CRUISE TO ALASKA--April-May 1999

Inside passage on the Norwegian Wind.
April 27 to May 10, 1999.

Monday. May 3, 1999.

I did not intend to keep notes on this cruise as I considered this just a 14-day relaxing boat ride. But I decided to take a few notes. So here goes:

Tuesday. April 27.
Donna came over to visit us a while, then about 2:30 she took us to the Los Angeles cruise terminal. There we got on a large ship. and were in our room about 3:30.

Our room was quite nice, had a nice window and a small sitting area where you can relax and watch TV. Also a small couch on one side, a glass table in the center, and across the couch a TV and one chair and a footstool. It was quite comfortable.

There are three dining areas on the ship. We were assigned to the Terrace dining room, table 67 on the 9th floor, windows all around and we were at a table of eight. Five of us were from Leisure World and one a friend, Maxine, who lives in Long Beach, and a couple, Pete and Marie, who live near LW. Two men, Archie and Lee were LW residents. 6 pm is dinner time for the first seating, 8:30 for the second. We eat at 6 pm. Dinner consists of three or four courses and then desserts; all in all it takes about two hours.

We were scheduled to get to San Francisco the next evening, Wednesday at 5:30 pm, but while we were having dinner the captain announced on the PA that they had motor trouble and two of the four motors were down, and we would not get to SF until Thursday morning about 7:30 am. We were quite disappointed as we had wanted to do the town Wednesday evening.

We got to SF Thursday morning and about 12:30 we went on a three-hour tour of SF. It was quite interesting.

We left SF about 5:30 pm on schedule.

Friday the 30th.
All day at sea, scheduled to get to Astoria, Oregon at 9am Saturday. Nancy has a friend named Pat who lives in Portland that she knew when she lived there, when she was about ten years old. They have kept in touch all this time. About 20 years ago we were in the area and we did stop in to see them. Friday we called her and told her to check if our ship would get to Astoria on time, as she intended to drive to Astoria from Portland, about a hundred miles, to get together with us.

About 7 pm Friday the captain announced that because they were still having engine trouble we would skip Astoria and get to Seattle early about 7:30 Sunday instead of noon so we would have more time in Seattle. But Nancy was real disappointed we did not stop in astoria and get together with her friend Pat. So Friday evening she phoned Pat from the ship and told her the bad news. Both were real disappointed.

Sunday, May 2.
Got to Seattle about 8 am. At 1 pm we went on a nice three-hour tour of the city, very nice.

So now I am up to date. This is Monday, the third, 11:45 so it's time to go for lunch; more later I hope. Today we are at sea all day, will take it easy, read some, eat too much, food is good.

Tuesday May 4.
Today we got to Prince Rupert about 11 am, had to anchor out about a quarter mile from shore and take a tender (lifeboat) to the shore. We were not going to take a tour so we had lunch and about 1 pm we went on shore. The weather was not nice, quite cold and raining a little. Because of the weather we soon went to a mall. It had quite a few stores and shops. We were trying to find some place to get and send email. Nancy went into an insurance office and asked the girl about email, the girl who worked there went out and got the owner. He said he had never had that request before. He was nice and turned on the computer and brought up his server and turned it over to Nancy. She checked and we had several letters from David and Donna. He said "Would you like to have them printed?" We said "Sure." He turned on the printer and printed the letters and Nancy sent a letter to David and Donna. We went to the store and bought about five pounds of candy, took the shuttle back to the dock, took the tender to the ship, and had our usual evening.

May 5, Wednesday.
At sea all day. Most of the day between islands and mainland, lots of snow on the hills. I took some video, quite a sight. Tonite is formal dress and time for me to get dressed.

May 6, Thursday.
Today we are in Skagway, Alaska. This is our first stop in Alaska and as far north as we will go. The hills are all covered with snow, the temperature is only about 45, the sky is overcast. We expect it will rain. We did not sign up for any tours and just intended to go downtown for a while. As we walked downtown there were several people offering tours for a lot less than those offered on the ship, so we decided to take a tour in a van. Only six of us were on this which made it quite nice. They took us around town including the gold rush cemetery; then we started up the highway that goes over the divide to White Horse. It rained some, the view was great. I took quite a bit of video, then it started to hail, pea size, and soon it was snowing, quite hard for a while. We went over the divide and crossed into Canada a short distance, turned around and back down hill to town. Again the driver showed us the town and then took us back to the ship. It was very interesting including the weather. We had lunch in the afternoon, the weather cleared up real nice, the sun was out, no wind, I walked back into town. This was great. This evening we leave about 8 pm for Juneau.

Friday, May 7.
Got to Juneau, Alaska about 8 am. The weather was much as it was in Skagway yesterday morning, a little rain and quite cool. Again we did not sign up for any tours today. About 9 am we walked downtown, lots of shops, living off the tourists. The tourist season is just starting. For the next three months there will be hundreds of cruise ships stopping here for a day. We found a store to get and send email, had a letter from David, sent several letters and went back to the ship and had lunch . After lunch I went out again and I took a tour to the Mendenhall glacier. We had been there before and Nancy did not care to go again but I sort of felt that if you go an Alaska cruise you should see a glacier. Tonight we leave Juneau at 5 pm, get to Ketchikan about noon tomorrow. Nancy says turkey is on the menu for tonight. We always have about 5 choices. I get chicken often, a steak or fish once in a while.

Saturday. May 8.
Ketchikan. Weather the same, about every morning, quite cool, some rain and wind, later in the day the sun would come out for a while and then again overcast and sprinkle. About 9 am we got off the ship, right downtown, there were several people offering tours. We signed up for a 2 and a half hour tour. It was quite interesting. We went to Totem Bright Park. There were lots of totem poles in the Tongass National Park. There was a museum, also a building (replica) of the winter lodge (clan house) which would be built in the fall by and for a group of the natives. I took quite a bit of video here also. We saw two men working on totem poles. They makes poles to order and ship them all over.

This is our last stop. Tonite even though we will still be on the ship all day tomorrow, will be a sort of farewell dinner. We'll have special things on the menu and baked Alaska for dessert. It was quite spectacular.

Tomorrow at sea. Monday morning Vancouver, Canada, and we'll take a bus to Seattle and fly by United Airlines to LA. Should get there about 5:30 pm. We expect David to be there to take us home.

Got to LA on time, David was waiting for us, and brought us home.