“I could get used to this!” I told Emily as we made our way through the inside passage towards Alaska. We weren’t crewing on a steel sloop, or flying by float plane. Instead we were going by a different form of transportation. One I never imagined taking. This time last year if you told me I was taking a cruise ship somewhere I would have told you I thought that maybe you had a few too many at the rum Bar. But the fact is, it is true. Yes, I did take a behemoth cruise ship northward. Yes, I did indulge in more coffee known to existence within a week period. Yes, I read many reviews about the ship before we booked the trip. And all I have to say is that was one of the best experiences of my lifetime and I would highly recommend such a trip to anyone.
We booked our roundtrip flight to Seattle and before long we were on our way. If you have not visited Seattle before I highly recommend visiting. The city is clean, the restaurants are awesome and the public transportation from the airport is a breeze. After spending an awesome night at the Mediterranean inn, which included getting some amazing views and photos from their top floor observation deck, we woke to a beautiful and sunny day as we slowly made our way to the Crown Princess ship. After arriving we were through security and on the ship in 10 minutes! Not bad considering that moving 3000 people from land to ship in a short amount of time is no easy task. After finding our stateroom we went to explore the different areas of the ship. There are so many levels and bars and restaurants it is easy to get lost! we had the chance to talk with many of the ship’s crew and attendants. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. It was nice to see such a large diversity of passengers and crew. Many of the crew were from different nationalities and it was awesome to see the interaction.
Our cruise took us to many different ports. Our first stop was Juneau where we went kayaking with curious harbor seals. In Skagway we took a rail trip into the mountains and in Ketchikan we did some hiking and in Victoria , B.C. we roamed the city for the few hours we were there. Our favorite “stop” during the trip didn’t even involve us getting off the ship. We spent an entire day cruising through Glacier bay national park and preserve. The park only allows two cruise ships and a handful of recreational vessels to enter the park each day. Emily and I woke up to the sun shining through the balcony curtains at 4am. We grabbed a cup of coffee and watched the amazing scenery go by. Humpback whales were going about their early morning business shooting water mist into the air.
The water was so calm and the glaciers were magnificent. The size of the ship made everything seem small until you were right alongside the huge layers of ice. It was at that point you realized how small you are.
After leaving Victoria we made our final overnight passage towards Seattle. We booked our flight into the evening so we had time to see more of the city. After making our way through Pikes place and checking out the waterfront we reluctantly boarded the light rail to head towards the airport.
Over the course of a week we covered over 2000 nautical miles. That is pretty impressive! We were averaging over 20 knots most of the time while traveling. Compare that to the max cruising speed of about 7 knots on our boat.
While Big boat cruising may not be for everyone, It is just like anything else. If you say you don’t like like it, don’t make your final judgement until you have tried it. I know I learned my lesson.