May - June 2014
  • Day15

    Saying Good-bye in Vancouver

    June 14, 2014 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    As we sailed through the channel toward Vancouver we saw more industrial cargo ship passing us going to the west. We had the traditional dessert of Baked Alaska on the last night of the voyage, and said good-bye to the Wrinkles, the Friedmans, and the other new friends we have made on this cruise. We can only say that we saw parts of Alaska that we did not see on our first trip here. This land is so vast that I imaging every time one visits, he comes to a different country. Alaska has many parts, and as we fly home we feel that we have only touched the surface.Read more

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  • Day14

    Sea Day

    June 13, 2014 ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Today is a sea day as we make our way down toward the south and the end of our cruise at Vancouver. Here are some shots from around the ship that show what a lovely vessel she is. We spent some time this morning after breakfast sitting in a sofa out by the Wheelhouse Lounge reading. I am still trying to correct this intermittent malfunction of one of the switches on my Canon 60D. I think maybe water got into the camera during the heavy rainstorm that caught us outside at Copper River. At dinner I ordered mussels, a Caesar salad, and a bottle of Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier (California). Glenda liked it better than any wine we have enjoyed on the cruise so far. We packed up and prepared to leave the ship tomorrow morning. Baked Alaska parade. Waitresses were Vaneza from Brazil and Branny from Serbia.Read more

  • Day13

    Misty Fjords

    June 12, 2014 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    I had a sweet roll at International Cafe before breakfast in Provence Dining Room. We took a boat ride to Misty Fjord National Monument. On the way we saw orcas sea lions, seals, eagles. We decided not to go to Tongass Trading Company since we have everything we need. Besides, we don't want to pack anything else in the few bags we brought with us. We came back to stateroom for nap. Tonight for supper I had lamb chop at Sabatini's.Read more

  • Day12

    Whale Watching

    June 11, 2014 ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    We shed a couple of layers of clothing, then boarded another bus for the whale-watching excursion. The weather held fair, windy and mild as we went aboard a 70 foot, jet powered catamaran named the St. Juvenaly. In three hours we saw four humpback whales, many bald eagles, and several seals and sea lions. Again the scenery was beyond description. I got a photograph of the buoy and lighthouse which offered such a lovely scene when we passed the same spot on our whal expedition of September 2012.  When the boat went fast it became a bit cool, but on the whole we were dressed appropriately. We dressed for another formal night and met the Friedmans and Wrinkles for a dinner of lobster and giant prawns. I ordered a delicious bottle of Bex Riesling from the Nahe region of Germany, which we all shared. We returned to our stateroom, did the laundry, and wrote up these notes before retiring around 10:30 pmRead more

  • Day12

    Dog Sledding on Mendenhall Glacier

    June 11, 2014 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    We awoke early for a quick breakfast so that we could catch the coach to the Juneau Airport. There we were fitted with big snow overshoes for our helicopter ride 12 miles up the Mendenhall Glacier to the sled dog camp. The weather was magnificently clear, with a temperature in the 50's. It turned out that our three layers of clothing was excessive for this lovely day, but in Alaska one never knows what the weather will bring, nor how quickly it will change. The helicopter ride was smooth and comfortable, though a bit cramped with 6 persons including the pilot. The views of the glacier in the clear sunlight were magnificent. We landed at the sled dog camp and were divided into groups of 4. Our musher, named Ibbie, allowed each of us the opportunity to pilot the dog sled. After 6 to eight minutes, we relinquished command to one of our fellow tourists. Each change took place during a three or four minute rest for the dogs. I went to pet the dogs and encourage them. Among our huskies were Sampson, a large black dog with very thick fur; Greazy, a lean, white dog who seemed a bit frightened by new people, but a very sweet dog; Jack; and 6 others. In all we traveled maybe two miles in a large circle.

    We flew back to the airport in an equally glorious scene, then got to the ship in time to have a quick sandwich which we had saved from the International Cafe the night before.
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  • Day11

    Anniversary Dinner

    June 10, 2014 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

    About  10:15 pm we had already fallen asleep when we thought we heard a knock at the door. We ignored it, but the knock came again. Then again. Glenda went to the door in her night gown and said, "Yes?"
       The reply came back, "Room service."
        "But we didn't order anything."
        "I have a delivery for this room," the waiter said.
        Glenda opened the door, then hid behind it, being dressed in nothing but her nightgown. By this time I roused enough to say to the waiter, "Hello." I was still in bed, dressed only in my skivvies. He seemed very embarrassed, and in fact we had told Princess that we would celebrate our anniversary the day before. Nevertheless, there it sat in our stateroom, a beautiful little chocolate anniversary cake. We stayed awake long enough to eat it, sitting up in bed, then went back to sleep.
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  • Day11

    White Pass Railroad

    June 10, 2014 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

    Our next stop was at Frazer, B.C. where we caught he White Pass Yukon Route Railroad for the return trip to Skagway. Taking photos along the way, we were transported by the majestic scenery, the stories of the intrepid stampeders of 1898, and the tenacity of those who built the railroad. One couple on our train was habitually late in returning to the bus. Not only that, she refused to relinquish he place on the platform when someone else wanted to take photos. Glenda actually asked her kindly if she would mind letting some others use the platform, which was large enough for only one person at a time. She curtly said, "No!" Back in Skagway I did penance for the horrible shot I took of the historic Skagway train station on our last trip. I made sure all of my camera settings were correct, then took several interior shots with supplemental flash. We returned to the ship just in time to change clothes and have an early dinner. I had a game pate, Caesar salad, and prime rib medallions with shrimp. Mike ordered a delicious Pinot Noir. We returned to our stateroom and got our gear ready for tomorrow, the big day of dog sledding and whale watching.Read more

  • Day11

    Yukon Trail to Carcross

    June 10, 2014 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    We took a bus trip from Skagway to Caribou Crossing, Yukon Territory. Guide: Anna. At 9:10 am took photo in Tormented Valley, British Columbia. At 9:45 am photographed Tutshi Lake, about 30 mi. long. There is a legend of a monster in this lake, which is at the same latitude as Loch Ness in Scotland. At 10:05 am photographed Tagish Lake (name means "fish trap" in local native dialect). At 10:25 am photo of Bove Island with Glenda's camera. Guide told story of Queen Victoria's visit. All undesirables in Carcross were rounded up and made to spend the week in a tent city on Bove Island. At 11 am we photographed Emerald Lake. We had barbecue chicken at Caribou Crossing, and happened to sit with a whole table of Australians from the Holland America ship Zuiderdam. We toured the little natural history museum, and then Anna drove us into the town of Carcross.Read more

  • Day10

    Marjerie & Lamplugh Glaciers

    June 9, 2014 ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    At about 12:30 pm we arrived at the mouth of Glacier Bay with the white Margerie Glacier on our left, and the massive Grand Pacific Glacier on our right. Although the pretty white glacier was much more photogenic, the Grand Pacific Glacier, essentially a big, dirty snowball did the work of carving this fjord. We stayed by the Margerie Glacier for about an hour and saw it calving. Our ship should pass the Johns Hopkins Glacier around 2:45 pm, and leave the Lamplugh Glacier around 3:15 pm. I missed the Johns Hopkins but took some abstract photos of the Lamplugh. The rotary switch on my camera is not working properly. I think water may have worked its way into the contacts during one of the recent rain storms. David and Carol Friedman brought a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from a small vineyard. They bought it at Publix. Tonight was Italian night. The wine was interesting because my first sensation was a tactile note of the prickly tang of fizziness on the tongue. It was similar to Trader Joe's Cabernet in that it did not have substantial body, and would be a sort of "cabernet light." I had penne al Arrabiata. After supper Mike and I went to talk about his mother's near-death experience. I was still hungry, so Glenda went and brought me a cheese plate from the International Cafe.Read more

  • Day9

    Hubbard Glacier

    June 8, 2014 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    We had breakfast in the Provence Dining Room on deck 7 with assorted messmates from India, Galveston, Florida, and Las Vegas. Then we walked about 2 miles on the promenade deck. Came back to room and Glenda took a nap. We ate lunch by ourselves; I had split pea soup and bread. Glenda had soup and salad.

    I decided to miss the wine tasting so that we might go out on deck to photograph the Hubbard Glacier in Yakutat Bay. Clouds partially obscured it, so my pictures were not quite as good as last time. The naturalist onboard has not been nearly as active in informing passengers about the glaciers as was her predecessor, Kathy Slamp. I was pleased to hear the captain speak over the public address system about an unusually high incidence of influenza on this ship last week. He stressed the need for frequent, thorough handwashing, and the need to cover one's cough. Had the captain of the Ruby Princess been as diligent, I might have been spared that case of pneumonia in November.

    Tonight supper was a formal night. Mike arranged for the Wrinkles, Friedmans and Cooks to sit at the same table. What a feast! Mike began by bringing a bottle of Champagne. I ordered medallions of lamb and a bottle of Gamay Beaujolais. As I expected, it was fruity and full. The conversation was lively, and David ended the evening with a hilarious joke about a Russian wrestler.
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