Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 7:30 am on June 20, 2012. We had breakfast at the buffet before heading off the boat.
The weather was overcast.
We were met by our friendly, lively tour guide from Frontier Excursions as we exited the ship, and left Skagway at 8:30 am. The group consisted of 22 people and 1 monkey. Our tour guide was a local named Tyler from, of all places Florida (he said he wanted to get as far away as possible from that place).
We drove through Skagway – Tyler even showed us his house and invited us to a Dungeness crab party tonight. Too bad we can’t go since we’ll be sailing on the cruise ship. Even if he was joking about the invite, we would have turned up and claimed that we can’t tell when a joke is a joke, and then helped ourselves to tons of Dungeness crab!
Tyler drove us through the White Pass Trail which follows the same path as the train. The train is $129 per person while our tour is $99 per person and goes a lot more places, plus we get to stop and get off the bus to take pictures. The people on the train are the usual idiots who don’t check Tripadvisor and realize that you can do the same excursions the ship offers for a lot less money, or at least with a lot less other people around you.
The bus stopped at a place with lots of snow covered mountains.
We got to stop and play in the snow. I threw a few snowballs. The kids and Tyler really liked throwing snowballs at people.
The bus drove through the beautiful Boreal Forest. Later on, we had to stop at the Canadian Customs and show our passports as we were leaving Alaska and entering British Columbia. We were headed up to Yukon.
The bus stopped at Caribou Crossing for lunch. It’s called this because caribou can cross at any time. Too bad we didn’t get to see any caribou today though. The weather was quite sunny and warm and the clouds were clearing away. It was turning out to be a lovely day!
Ivan and I each had the curried lentils and a baked potato for lunch. Lil Dave had a BBQ’d banana which he thought was a bit strange (and so did we to be honest, but lets face it, the fact that we let a 10 year old monkey hang out with out on our honeymoon is even more stranger!).
We had time to walk around Caribou before headed to our next stop. There’s a museum, dog sledding, husky dogs, a donkey, ponies and goats. We skipped the museum and went to see the husky dogs. There was a few pups that were born last month – they were really cute. Ivan fed some dog treats to the mama dog and a few of the pups.
The husky dogs are training for the Iditarod race by doing dog sledding here.
The dog sledding is done on grass which isn’t the real thing, so we decided not to do it. It was $35 per person for 15 minutes which to me is a rip off. Plus, Ivan has done the real thing (dog sledding with a whole pack of dogs to himself) in Lapland on a multi-day trip a few years ago.
The dogs go absolutely mental when they’re being picked for the dog sledding. The dogs are jealous when they aren’t chosen, they seem to go mad (jumping up and down and barking) and keep barking until the dogs start sledding away. The way the dogs act you’d think there was some delicious salmon above their head that they couldn’t reach.. but no, they just really have it in their blood to sled. (side note – do dogs eat salmon I wonder? And if they don’t, do you think that’s because they don’t like it, or just because they have never tried it and are like some humans who claim they don’t like something even though they have never tried it!)
We saw the mama dog Geisha feeding her pups. One of the pups was on his back while grabbing his lunch – how silly and cute! Look at him in the picture below on the left.
Next, we visited the ponies. One was very friendly and liked being petted while the other one kept eating grass and would move away when you tried to pet him.
There was another area with a big donkey and small goats. You could feed the goats by paying a quarter in the vending machine.
It was time to head off.
Our next stop was the beautiful Emerald Lake. I could see why it was called that since the lake was a lovely green color. It really was so so beautiful and none of our pictures do it justice.
The group boarded the bus and were off to Bove Island. It’s an island in the middle of a lake. Alaska is really a beautiful state filled with wonderful nature and wildlife. We were lucky to see 3 baby bears on the side of the road during the tour.
We stopped by the Welcome to Alaska sign and Tyler took pictures of people in the group.
Tyler got us back on time on the boat at 3:05 pm – we were supposed to be back on by 3:45 pm.
Once back on the board, we ordered a cheese and fruit plate from room service and then sat and enjoyed the simply incredible views that we had from our balcony.
We walked around the ship to see the gorgeous scenery passing by. The commentary from the naturalist was playing in the stairways, and the restrooms, but not outside or in the bars or cafes….slightly annoying..but forgiven due to the fact that the views really were out of this world. We were up close with huge snow covered mountains, and the sun was shining and the water was perfectly calm..simply incredible.
We headed up to the Cosmos lounge which gives a perfect view all around from up high from the huge windows. We saw some whales in the distance. People always act crazy when they see just the spout or a tail of a whale. It’s really not THAT exciting after seeing it for the hundredth time. It’s cool when they breach, but just the tail isn’t going to make me say ‘Oooh, I see a tail!’ and start clapping. I think these people need to pay a visit to Sea World. I mean I’m not saying seeing a whale in the wild in Alaska isn’t cool..I just think the scenery around is the star attraction, and seeing a tail of a whale in the far distance is not going to be the highlight of my day!
Ivan and I saw the naturalist Dirk Younkerman and Ivan started asking him questions. He told us that his commentary is played on channel 16. He said that you should be outside because on the balcony you only get half the view. Dirk said that tomorrow from 7 to 10 am, the ship would be passing Hubbard Glacier. He also said that the helipad area on the 5th floor would be open for glacier viewing tomorrow. He said you can wake up early and sleep in the afternoon. That’s exactly what we’re going to do. It’s not everyday that you get to be so close to a glacier.
It’s so weird to us that sunset is so late. Tonight it’s at 10:21 pm! It’s nice though since it gives us a beautiful view at dinnertime.
We got ready and headed to the Martini bar. Here, we ordered two martini flights and the bartender had to stand on a stool to pour them out of the 12 cocktail shakers. So cool!!
The best martini flavors in the flight are the raspberry and the pear – so tasty!! Lots of people were walking past and taking photos – their faces were saying ‘wow that looks so cool’, but I would imagine they were simply thinking ‘what a bunch of drunks those two must be to have to order TWELVE martinis to drink, instead of just one each!’.
Ivan and I brought two of our martinis to dinner. It was time for another lovely dinner with our tablemates. It’s crazy, but we always enjoy the conversation that we don’t really realize what we’re eating. I had the great crab stuffed mushrooms and a nice tomato bisque for a starter. Ivan and I each had two main courses: ahi tuna steak and lobster tail. The ahi tuna steak was covered in pepper and it was simply delicious. Ivan wanted to order two more, but didn’t. Everybody was brought a piece of Baked Alaska. We didn’t even get the dessert menu which we usually do before we order. The Baked Alaska had cheap ice cream and wasn’t very good. Ivan and I shared a tasty apple pie a la mode instead.
We took pictures with our tablemates and exchanged e-mail addresses and Facebook information.
The show tonight was late, so everybody went to the show right after dinner. We all sat together too. iBroadway was the name of the show tonight. The screen on stage showed an iPod screen and what kind of song the Celebrity Production Singers and Dancers would be performing to. Many songs were sung from musicals like We Will Rock You, Hairspray, Phantom of the Opera and Mamma Mia.
It was actually a really really good show. The dancing was incredible and very well choreographed. Almost every song had the entire cast on stage (about 20 of them) doing very high energy dancing. It was definitely the best show we had seen all week.