Alaska Cruise 2014 travel blog

AUGUST 11 Postscript

We had a great time!

Getting on and off the ship were amazingly quick and easy.

Our fears about an inside cabin provided to be unwarranted. It was small but plenty large enough to comfortably sleep and change our clothes. We were hardly ever there.

Glacier Bay was by far the highlight our trip. We loved the scenery. The Park Rangers really helped us understand the area.

The Ports of Call were disappointing.

Skagway was barraged with tourists every day when the cruise ships docked. The downtown consisted of jewelry stores, t-shirt stores, souvenir stores and more jewelry stores. The train ride up the White Pass was specular and not to be missed.

Juneau, being the capital of Alaska, had a lively government area. But, all of the city near the docks was committed to the tourist trade. Our whale watching cruise was very pleasant and the staff was wonderful. We saw many whales in the distance but never saw one up close.

Ketchikan was super touristy. I was told that there is an area catering to the locals but I never saw it.

Victoria was nice but we weren’t there long enough to enjoy it. I’m cynical enough to believe that the only reason we docked for a few hours in Victoria was so that the cruise line could legitimately call this an International cruise. This allowed them to open the casino, underpay their staff, and otherwise avoid meeting U.S. laws.

Everyone on the crew was exceptional! Not only were they attentive and trying to please; but, they were also empowered. We never heard, "sorry, we can't do that." Instead, we heard "I'll take care of that." When things went wrong, as they always will, the crew made sure to correct or alleviate the problem immediately.

We mostly ate in the two main dining rooms (MDRs). They were both excellent with lovely decor and ambiance. Always quiet and relaxing. Never had to wait more than 10 minutes to get a table for two. Usually there was no line at all. The food presentation rivaled that of the best restaurants. I don't know how they can do that when serving thousands of people a day. Wish I could say the same for the food quality. It always looked delicious but the taste didn't always live up to those expectations.

The buffets were always crowded and noisy but quick and easy. The food quality was surprisingly good. Better than almost any other buffet we've seen. Now that we're back home, Kathy misses being able to pop up to the buffet for a quick bite!

The shows in the Stardust Theater were always interesting and fun. But, I won’t book a cruise just for those.

I had mild sea-sickness throughout the trip. Fortunately, I never got very sick. It didn’t prevent me from sleeping well every night.

All total, we loved the trip. I'd do it again except for the sea-sickness.

We’re already talking about our next cruise. We’ll just have to do “port intensive” trips with few or no “sea” days. Maybe the next one could be in the Caribbean. Perhaps a River Cruise in Europe.

Please let me know what you thought of this travel journal.

In particular,

What parts did you like?

What didn’t you like?

Was there something that didn’t make sense?

What would you like to hear more about?

What would you like to hear less about?

I’ll be making presentations about this adventure at some of the senior residences around here. My first one is scheduled for September at an Assisted Living Center in East Providence, Rhode Island. I call these talks “Arm-Chair Travels with Dr. Ken”, see

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can give me!

Stay tuned for my next adventure. In November, I'll be traveling to the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe:

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