August 16 - 23, 1998

Our Travel Experience - Photo Album - Ratings - Tourist Info

Our Travel Experience
This was the first "true" cruise we'd been on, so we didn't really know what to expect. We don't think of Egypt as a "true" cruise because our boat was not on a huge luxury cruise liner. This time we picked a big boat and a well known company, Princess Cruises. We are very glad that we've seen Alaska. The countryside was amazing and we'd never seen anything like the glaciers. However, the cruise itself did not live up to our expectations. Now, we know that a cruise is a "package-type holiday" where you don't do much on your own, you have a set rigid schedule and there are various activities to entertain you! Next year, we've decided to go with Bob and Eileen on vacation again, but plan it as WE want it! Probably something as low-key as a resort island somewhere in Asia. We'll see...

The top ten reasons why the cruise didn't suit us:
10. All of us like better tasting food than was available on the ship
9. Tara likes to be able to order a banana 24 hours a day if she chooses to with minimal hassle
8. We wanted to strangle the waiter who kept yelling "whales, whales, whales" when there weren't any in sight!
7. We want the river we raft down to have at least class 1 rapids
6. Seth's dad tells better jokes than the comedian on board
5. Tara & Eileen don't need beauty classes on foot care, hiding wrinkles or coloring gray hair
4. We don't consider gambling in a smoky casino all night as fun
3. We prefer to play board games together than go to a 50's night dance
2. We don't like being forced to choose: get up at 7am or miss out on something
And, the #1 reason why the cruise didn't suit us:
1. We don't need to eat the prunes offered on all the buffet tables!

Photo Album
Tara & Seth ready to kayak.

Kayaking was FUN! Bob and Eileen had gone before, but this was totally new to us. The day was nice and the scenery was gorgeous. Notice behind Tara to the left. The white streak between the dark hills? That is a Glacier! Yes. Mendenhal glacier. It was blue-ish in color and just fascinating to see. While we were out kayaking, we saw numerous bald eagles along the shore. It was a shame we were only in the boats for about 2 hours, since a nice pleasurable paddle all day night have been enjoyable!
Seth did have a bit of a hard time fitting into the boat. He was steering with his feet & there wasn't much room in the kayak. Next time, Tara will try the "back seat" of the kayak!
The next day was our flight seeing opportunity. Tara thoroughly enjoyed the flight (even considering the fact that she was in an airplane!). We saw the glaciers in an up-close way that we never could have without flying over them. Seth, however, will have to look closely at all the photos Tara took to remember the flight. He was worried about being air-sick in such a small plane & took some some sickness pills. These proceeded to work, so well in fact that he never even noticed any motion as he slept a large percentage of the hour flight!
Seth was forced to wake up when we went rafting. The river we rafted down didn't have enough water in it! Every 10 - 15 minutes or so, our guide would have to get out of the raft & drag it off the river bottom. Since Seth was the biggest guy in the boat, he was promptly asked to get out of the boat whenever we were stuck & help! The guide had a hard time because the river was just too shallow. The scenery here was also beautiful and we saw many bald eagles. We'd seen so many in two days, that we got good at quickly spotting their white heads! However, we were disappointed since no moose came to the river shore.
A very enjoyable day was spent outside on the boat the day we cruised through Glacier Bay National Park. This glacier behind Tara was the most spectacular. It was BIG. The picture does not show the proportions well. We were lucky to hear large pieces falling off and crashing into the water. However, we did not see the ice actually breaking away. 

We were also very luck to see whales later the same day. The first whales were a group swimming off the in distance. They were followed by a small group of very playful sea otters. The next whale was all alone and very interesting to watch. He was repeatedly slapping the water with his tail. again & again & again. Then, he would raise his nose out of the water. again & again & again. Very interesting and fun to watch!!!

It was very sad to se the sun set on the last day, oh, but what a beautiful sunset. Not as colorful as our sunset in Vancouver, but very pretty over the ocean as viewed from the back of the boat. 

Tara actually spend allot of time on the back of the boat, that's where the whirlpools were!

One of our most enjoyable nights was spent playing board games together. We played until very late at night when everyone decided that Tara was going to win at monopoly no matter what, so they let her have the win and went to sleep. Tara, especially as she never wins at monopoly or scrabble, will never play a re-match since she won both this night!

Category Rating Comments
Overall Experience 7 We enjoyed seeing the glaciers and the nature of Alaska!
Ease of Journey 5 The cruise itinerary did not make for as relaxing of a time as it had in Egypt.
Accommodation 4 Our room itself on the ship was fine. However, we did expect allot more from the boat. We especially disliked the food. This was a big disappointment as we'd heard from others who had cruised that the all you can eat food was the best part. Of course, not all the food was bad. When we were walking in one buffet line, Eileen said "oh look, good, they have hot dogs!". Not much you can do to ruin a hot dog I guess.
Activities 7 The half hour flight seeing trip over the glaciers was the most memorable. The other outdoor activities: kayaking & river rafting were enjoyable, just not as vigorous as we would have liked. The indoor activities were a bit lame. We went to one night of the comedian and had a hard time sitting through it. We never did make it to one of the 50's dance nights. We were (in vain) hoping for an 80's or at least 70's night. It didn't happen.
Coolness 8 We are VERY glad we went on the trip. However, we're going to wait until we NEED to eat the prunes on the buffet before we think about another standard-cruise ship!
Tourist Info
Princess Cruises