Alaska Adventures: Scenic cruising and the Hubbard Glacier

Like visiting Alaska altogether, I initially felt ambivalent about the whole cruise thing. Having been on two previously–once as a kid and once as a senior in high school–I knew generally what to expect. But I certainly didn’t plan to like it as much as I did. Even T admitted it wasn’t so bad. Although we both agree, the only reason these two airplane people could deal with being boat people for awhile was that we could visit really cool sights inaccessible by most other modes of transportation. That and we were cruising with a dozen friends which made the whole experience more worthwhile.

Our first “sea day” included “scenic cruising” and a visit to the Hubbard Glacier.
Our ship, the Coral Princess, accommodated approximately 2,000 passengers. We initially worried that we’d be sardined with lots of strangers, but happily, the boat didn’t seem too crowded. (The exception being formal dinner nights when the ship’s photographers played Olan Mills for the evening.)
On the ship, we relaxed in the lounges playing trivia, borrowed books from the library, shot the breeze on deck, took naps and avoided computers. A strange and delightful result of being at sea was the absence of technology. You could pay for internet in the computer cafe, of course, but the cost was outrageous.
Happily, the fog didn’t obscure our views.
We took the opportunity to toast something every day.
Another strange thing about being on ship was not carrying a purse or cash. Upon arrival, you are issued a cruising card that equates to an ID and credit card on board. Beyond that and a camera, I didn’t carry much around the ship.
Hubbard Glacier.
Apparently glaciers are best viewed in overcast settings because the blue hues come out better, like so.
Iceberg!
I really worried about what to pack for Alaska having little in the way of winter gear after living in Cactus Land for years. Luckily this old sweater (and four layers underneath) kept me warm on the coldest day of our trip.
“Why I oughta…”
Ever feel like you’re being watched?
Yukatat Bay, home to the “Galloping” Hubbard Glacier.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Twin squinty-eyed smiles!
Okay, so if you’ve never cruised before, I tell you now: Bring your running shoes because the food is everywhere! On our ship, you could eat in the casual buffet all day long, grab a burger at the grill, snag a slice of pizza on the Lido deck, order room service 24-7 (no extra charge!), and my favorite… have a soft-serve cone whenever your heart desired. Let’s not even talk about the fact that they will bring you anything (and everything) at dinner. You could (and maybe we did but you can’t prove it) order multiple appetizers and desserts. Heck, you could even order four entrees if you really wanted to. 
Every day we received a “Princess Patter” newsletter that outlined the next day’s events. A lot of happenings occurred here in the atrium and all around the ship including contests and tournaments, classes and exercise meetings, and goofy entertainment. As we TROUBLE trippers provided our own entertainment, we participated in fewer of the ship’s activities than most I would say.
Ominous! I tried not to think about the Costa Concordia.
So I’m trying to expand my horizons lately and try new things, right? Well, I’ve learned some things are just gross. Like caviar. And lobster. And steak tartar. (Okay, that one actually tasted good but I had a mental block with the whole “raw meat” business.). Not gross (in taste, anyway)? Pâté! Who knew?
We splurged for a mini-suite and enjoyed the extra few square feet.
The room was all compact spaces and tight corners.
Just to the left of the frame dangled a long emergency cord that passengers could pull if in distress. Note to yourself: If you (or your backside) accidentally pull this cord (while leaning against the wall to shave your legs), help will immediately phone the room. And that help will not let your spouse hang up until they check to see that in fact you are okay (and just shaving your legs) and not in dire straights. Just so you know.
Everyday our steward, David, would tidy the room and turn down the bed. Sigh.
I miss sunsets on the water!

xoxo,
shawna

Alaska Adventures:
– Hello from Alaska! 
– Bumming around Moose Pass and Cooper Landing 
– Trail riding in Seward 
– Trouble takes a party bus Whittier

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