Liz and I went on a cruise to Alaska for our honeymoon. We flew into Anchorage on Friday, Aug. 24th. It became very real to us how far Anchorage really is! I think it was 14 hours door to door. Anyhow, once we landed we caught a shuttle to the cruise line port in Seward. And as boring as a bus ride may sound, we enjoyed the ride. The scenery and landscape was incredible. Finally at 6:pm we boarded our ship and settled in for a 7-day cruise.
We had an awesome cabin on the top deck. We had our own private balcony. We loved waking up to a view of the Alaskan mountain range. Liz was loving the weather, it never went above 65 degrees F.
We visited the ports of Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Ketchikan and our final port, Vancouver, Canada. In Juneau we visited the Hubbard glacier. We took a helicopter ride to the Mendenhaul glacier, put on crampons and with our ice axe trekked up and saw waterfalls, crevasses and lots of cool stuff. We even drank glacier water. It was amazing to see so many terrains co-exist side by side. Snow on one side of the mountain, then just on the other side glaciers, then a couple of miles down into the valley plush green landscape with a gorgeous waterfront. The helicopter ride was just as exciting since we'd never been on one.
At Skagway we tried to go dog sledding but the weather didn't cooperate so we hiked some really nice trails. Liz's favorite part was finding a Starbucks in this tiny town in the middle of nowhere Alaska where you can arrive only by plane or boat. She re-emphasized her point about Midland having no excuse for not having a Starbucks.
In Sitka, we took a wildlife boat tour and saw several humpback whales, a gray whale, sea lions, bald eagles, tons of salmon and a few sea otters. Liz could see how difficult it would be to find the animals without a guide. You really had to know what you were looking for and also where to look It always took Liz a little while to see them once we found them.
In Ketchikan we took a seaplane to the Misty Fjords, said to be the second largest wilderness area in the U.S. We flew with another couple we met on the ship, Pam and Bruce, a very nice couple. In addition to the cliffs, waterfalls and pristine lakes, we saw mountain goats, an eaglet who wasn't ready to leave the nest and a whale (only Sean and Pam saw the whale). Later in the day, we visited the largest collection of native American totem poles at Saxman, Alaska.
Of course the food on the ship was awesome and we ate WAY more food than any two people ought to eat. We could try to describe the presentation of one of the buffets but we wouldn't do it justice. Trust us when we say it was unlike anything we'd ever seen. Truly unbelievable!! Liz thoroughly enjoyed the formal dinners and I endured the "casual night" when I still had to wear slacks. The service and the attention by the cruise line was also extraordinary. We had people waiting on us from the time we got off the plane to when we returned to the airport. They attended to every single detail.
The last day on the ship we were at sea so we had time to entertain ourselves with the ship activities. Liz agreed to give Bingo a try, but later decided it was a dumb game after we lost. Then in the casino, Liz lost half her starting pot of money at the Roulette wheel but then won 5 times the remaining amount at the Blackjack table. Too bad the starting pot was only $50.
We flew back from Vancouver Friday, Aug. 31st and settled into our new life together over Labor Day weekend. It was tough returning. We had quickly become accustomed to breakfast in bed, afternoon naps, 4 O'clock tea in our room, being waited on by a butler, and 5 course dinners every night. But we're back and we're very excited about our new life together!!