CRUISE TO ALASKA--April 30-May 12, 2000

By Grant Vogel

Celebrity Cruise line, Mercury ship. Los Angeles to Vancouver.


Donna took us to the LA cruise terminal about 5 p.m. We were expecting no lineup as loading was scheduled to start at 4 P.M. But because the ship was late getting to Los Angeles, they were not ready to start loading on time. They started loading about 5:45. What a mob of people, all wanting to get aboard, about 2000 I expect. Once they got started it did not take long,. We were in our room by about 6 P.M. and we window sure did like our room. Plenty of room and a window facing forward. We were on the eighth floor in the right front cabin. After washing our hands we went to the dining room. Tonight was open seating. Most times you have your assigned table at an assigned time. We were escorted to a small table for four. The couple that joined us were Marvin and Hazel from Hemet, CA. They were quite nice, but on such a large ship, as we finished dinner we said, wonder if we’ll see you again. We saw them several times the next day or two, and then we asked them if they played pinochle. Sure, they said, so from then on we got together with them to play pinochle.

Monday, May 1. San Francisco. We were scheduled to get there about 3:30 but because we left L.A. late we did not get to S.F. until after five. Dinner is at 6:15 until about 7:30 and we were at a table for six. One couple, Jack and Marty from Los Alamitos, the other couple from Salt Lake City, Blaine and Nelda. They were friends, in fact Jack was Nelda’s uncle. They were all quite nice. After dinner we decided not to go out because it was quite late and it was quite cool out. formal dinner

Tuesday, 2nd. Ship left San Francisco at 2 A.M. for Seattle. All day at sea. Formal dress up and captain’s party tonight.

Wednesday, 3rd. Still all day at sea, relaxed, ate, played pinochle, got acquainted with the ship. It sure is nice. It is big, only about three years old.

Thursday, 4th. Got to Seattle about 8 A.M. Had not made any tour reservations. About ten A.M. we got off the ship and walked to the Edgewater Hotel and signed up for a four and a half hour city tour starting at noon. We had a nice five-hour tour, eight people on a small bus. Got back to the ship just in time for dinner. The ship left about 8 P.M. for Victoria, British Columbia.

Friday, 5th. Got to Victoria at 8 A.M. About nine o’clock we got off the ship and took a shuttle bus downtown, walked around a bit, not much to see, just stores, flowers like any city. So we signed up for a tour of the Butchart Gardens. I think this is the greatest flower garden in the world. On our way back to the ship we had a city tour and got back to the ship about 4:30 P.M. and the ship leaves at 5 P.M. for Sitka.

Saturday, 6th. We will be at sea all day,

Sunday, 7th. We got to Sitka about 9 A.M., had to anchor away from the harbor and take a tender (lifeboat) to the dock. About ten A.M. we went ashore and wandered around town. We were told that in the rear part of the post office there were computers you could rent to get and send email. So we went there. For five dollars half an hour we could use a computer. This we did. We read the letters from David and Donna and some others. Then sent short letters to them and to Trudy, Harry and Lefty. We went back to the ship near noon and lunch time. We sure don’t want to miss lunch. After lunch we rested and did some reading. I went back to town. I went to the museum. It was very interesting, Tools, furnishings, some Russian goods. I got back to the ship about 4 and the ship sailed at 5 for Hubbard glacier.

Monday, 8th. Got to Hubbard glacier about 8 this morning. Weather was quite cool but no wind and not a cloud in the sky. The ship anchored in the bay near Hubbard glacier. There are two big and several small glaciers in this area. Then they turned the ship around slowly like a rotating restaurant. It was great. About eleven thirty we left the area, it was time to go for lunch and we were on our way to Juneau. Should be there all day tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9th. Juneau, the capital of Alaska, the third largest city in Alaska. The weather was quite nice. We had been there twice before so we did not go on any tours, just walked around town, did stop at McDonalds for a cup of coffee. I like their coffee better than the coffee on the ship or at most restaurants. We tried to go to the library but it did not open until 1 P.M. so we did a little shopping and back to the ship at noon for lunch. After lunch and resting a while Nancy went to a show and I went back downtown. Only about a two or three block walk. After window shopping I went to the library and checked our email I was not sure I could do it as I never had used email except with our own computer at home. Well it worked and we had no new mail, but read the old ones from David and Donna, and I sent each of them a short note,. Back on the ship, had a nice dinner at 6 P.M. just as the ship was leaving, heading for Ketchikan. Should be there about 8 A.M. tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, 10th. Got to Ketchikan early about 7 A.M. The place has grown, has a nice new dock for cruise ships, and the weather was just perfect, not a cloud in the sky, very unusual as it rains here 250 days a year. The average rainfall is 150 inches a year. Last year they had over 15 feet of rain. This is a city of about 18,000 people with lots of nice shops. Bought a few things and visited a great museum. This is our last stop before Vancouver.

Thursday, 11th. At sea all day, just relaxing, reading and eating. Have to pack tonight and put out our luggage by midnight, Should get to Vancouver in the morning about 7 A.M. to the airport and leave for Los Angeles about 3:30, get to L.A. about 6:30.

Friday, 12. Vancouver. Got up at 6, had breakfast at 6:30, had to pack a few last things in our carry-on luggage. About 10 A.M. got off the ship, and a bus took us to Vancouver airport. Got there at 10:30. Our plane did not leave until 3:30. We had a good three-hour flight on Alaska air. Donna was at the L.A. airport to pick us up. Went to her place and we got home about 8:30. Had a real good cruise, all good except the last couple days Nancy had a cold and did not feel very well.