Alasaka Trip Part II :
Cruise cont’d from Alaska Trip Part I
Sunday, Aug 28the day we had been anticipating for about 6 months. Our “Cruise Family” of 9 loaded a shuttle with our luggage, headed to the dock to board Holland America’s STATENDAM. Ready and anxious, we waited at the motel, at the dock, and finally it was time to board the ship. Our picture was taken to go with our key card, then off to find our rooms. Melba, Gloria and Karen shared a room. Charles and Judy had balloons marking their room. They had received an Anniversary package to celebrate 40 years of marriage. (It helped to locate our rooms in that hallway, as they were about half way down.)
It was exciting to see the ship depart, heading out to sea. We were trying to orient ourselves to where things were located on the ship (You get your head bitten off if you call it a boat).
All nine of ate together as a group that night. It was decided we would share our evening meal each day on the boat. Our waiters were Sam and Zein (Zane), we had a wonderful view from our table. After dinner we attended a review to introduce the crew and some of the entertainment for the week.
Our first day at sea, several of us took a swim, a story of its own. Gloria was trying to get her sea legs, not handling the movement well. Melba won a drawing for a necklace, and Nola won an evening of jewels. Just enjoyed the experience of being on board, watching the scenery, even found time to enjoy a deck chair, a blanket and book on a Kindle for about ½ hour.
That evening was our first formal meal. Everyone came in looking so special. We also celebrated Charles and Judy’s 4oth anniversary. Nola came to the table wearing more than $20,000 worth of diamonds: necklace, bracelet, ring, and earrings. (She had to return it all by 11pm). Melba was wearing her new necklace. It was a very elegant evening.
Then we attended the Mackie’s Broadway. The costumes were by Bob Mackie, of the Carol Burnett Show, and the music was Broadway Hits.
We arrived at Ketchikan, Alaska, for our first shore excursion. Karen went with Charles, Judy & Gloria to explore the city. Lots and lots of jewelry stores, wanting to sell you something. A Thomas Kincade Gallery, was our first stop. Charles & Judy, and Karen each made a purchase to be sent home. Then we explored, making a few purchases. We returned to the ship for lunch, then enjoyed our afternoon. Gloria and I went back to the room and watched Three Men and a Baby. Enjoyed it and laughed a whole lot.
WEDNESDAY, (thankfully they changed the day of the week mat in the elevators).
Karen joined Melba, Kenneth & Billie to explore Juneau. Melba wanted to pick up all of the freebies she could. So we visited lots of jewelry stores. Many of the places just couldn’t believe I didn’t wear earrings, I didn’t want bracelets or other rings, and I could say NO. They really wanted to make a sale.
In one store after making our purchase, the raffle was coming up soon. I kept track of Melba and my tickets. Lo and behold, she won again, so she got two necklaces from that store. We decided to return to be ship for lunch. The rest of the group returned ashore. Karen attended a Digital Workshop, even though the program was not available for her Apple. She also took time to check out the computer on the ship and checked on her e-mail. Charles, Judy & Gloria had taken a tour out to a Glacier. Carl & Nola took a boat ride and didn’t join us for dinner that night.
Today we docked at Skagway, Alaska. Gloria and Karen decided to explore together and let the others go their way. Charles and Judy took the train ride. Gloria and I decided to take the history tour. It was about ½ mile from the dock to the town, but there were shuttles to take the tourists back and forth. Our tour was about an hour away so we just waited at the dock, enjoying the scenery until our “Tour bus arrived”.
Our tour guide was driving a yellow bus to take us to town. We were taken to the auditorium, and given a run down on the history of Skagway. Then we introduced to the Arctic Brotherhood. After we sang
Home in the Snow (tune: Home on the Range)
O give me a home between Fairbanks and Nome,
Where the moose and the caribou play.
Where nothing will grow –
‘cause it’s covered in snow
From June to the following May.
Home, home in the snow –
Where it’s mild when it’s 90 below
The tundra for me by the great Bering Sea,
and the life of an old sourdough.
(as Kansans we new the melody quite well). We were initiated in to the Arctic Brother.
Back on the bus for a tour of the town, then out to the cemetery to view the grave of Jefferson “Soapy” Smith, their most notorious citizen. We were regaled with his exploits, and death. He had been cheating the town in many ways, and it was decided he had to be done away with. He was shot, and killed by a towns member, but “Soapy” got in one last shot and hit his shooter, Frank Reid. Reid survived for 3 days before he succumbed to his wounds. But for killing Soapy he was declared a hero. No one showed up for Soapy’s funeral, and he was buried on outside edge of the cemetery. A huge headstone was erected for their hero, only to learn later that he was wanted for murdering in cold blood another man in the states.
After visiting the cemetery we were taken up to a look out point, which gave us a wonderful view of the town and harbor.
Then Gloria and Karen stopped in town checking out the stores before catching the shuttle back to the STATENDAM. Back on board, we just enjoyed the afternoon. Then back for the evening meal. Wonderful choices.
Another day at sea, the ship was cruising through Glacier Bay. The weather was foggy that morning with lots of wispy fog coming off of the water. The weather was getting colder, as we traveled, but we bundled up to walk the decks and watch for the glaciers.
We began seeing smaller glaciers, then we saw a huge one, the Mendenhall Glacier. It was a beautiful day for pictures. Charles was out when the glacier calved, getting video of the event.
It was a day to try to stay warm, later in the afternoon, the sea was getting a little rough, progressing to get very rough by the end of the day. It was another formal dinner, but not everyone could enjoy it. That evening, Gloria’s sea sickness returned, after eating Melba was also having trouble. Karen made it back to the stateroom, almost falling as her head was spinning. Melba got sick, then was determined to see the Midnight extravaganza, so Karen dressed, going with her to see it.
WOW the artistry was amazing, but neither of us could eat any of it.
Another sea day, cruising through the Fjords, a spinning head, did not allow walking the deck. That means no pictures were taken that day. By afternoon the waves were letting up some. It was a relief when the waves slowed down. After breakfast Karen returned to the room. Spending most of the day in the room, just trying to get her head to stop spinning. This was the day to get things ready for the next segment of our trip, doing laundry, to getting clothes ready to pack. Karen was unable to make it to dinner that night missing the final dinner and entertainment.
Our cruise is coming to an end. Luggage was packed ready to move on to the next segment of our trip. We ate lunch on board then departed the ship. A bus was their to take us to Anchorage Hilton Hotel. That evening the Voss clan ate at an Italian Restaurant and enjoyed a pleasant evening. Charles, Judy & Gloria went to an Open air market and tried the reindeer sausage. Tomorrow will start our journey through inland Alaska from Anchorage, Denali Park & Fairbanks. .
……………………. To be continued.
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