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Grumpy and Grandma

ALASKA #3 and STILL GREAT

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We just returned from another DCL trip to Alaska. Our first was in 2012 the 2nd year for that DCL itinerary. The 2nd was in 2015 with Lou and Gail. Well last year our son mentioned they were planning a trip so we “invited” ourselves along. We actually saved them a few bucks to boot since we did a place hold for 2 cabins on a previous cruise and we also had their eldest in our cabin so they only needed to book a 4 person. We again had our favorite accessible cabin 6154 with the large veranda.

 

For those of you who missed the 2012 trip here is the link:

 

https://www.fortfiends.net/topic/6550-north-to-alaska-updated-last-page/?tab=comments#comment-160489

 

Most of the trip was pretty much the same as 2012 and 2015 so this will be rather short, but will also have some of the pictures that are close to the same and some that were unique to this cruise.

 

As has been our previous practice we fly into Seattle and then take a bus to Vancouver. This year we did the same only arrived in Seattle on Fri. day so the kids could tour the area. Several years ago our grand-daughter had a school project the involved the Sea Hawks so she was anxious to see the area. Friday evening we had dinner at our favorite restaurant near the airport, Sharp’s Roast House, even went back Sunday night as the grandkids loved it. https://www.sharpsroasthouse.com/

 

They spent Saturday in downtown (sorry no pics) visiting one of Dave’s favorites, the 1st Starbucks which had a 30 min line to get served. They also visited the Wall of Gum where you leave you worn out chew, the Space Needle, Downtown Market and several other city highlights. They did all their travels by Light-Rail.

 

Linda and I drove to Joint base McChord to gather the supplies needed to make the  “covert” wine bottles for the cruise. 20190610_145735.jpg

 

 

It was well worth the drive. Washington State & Seattle Tax on liquor is around $10.00 on a 1.75.  We first drove to Costco and immediately walked back out since the first thing I spotted was Costco’s $12.95 vodka priced at $22 and change. No additional tax on wine just hard liquor and since the Base is Tax Free we saved a “bunch”

 

Sunday Rick and Andy got up early to tour the Boeing Plant in Everett. What else would you expect a 737 pilot to do?  That afternoon we went to Boeing Field and the Museum of Flight which is only about 7 miles from the airport and our hotel. Since I’m still have some limited walking issues I followed along for part of their ventures, so only a few pics.

 

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Andy

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Here are the new in flight tankers that are being finalized before being delivered. Mt Ranier in the background it hasn't erupted in over 1,000 yrs, but still a possibility.

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Up next, THE CRUISE.

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I'm in!  The TCD gang considered an Alaskan cruise this summer, but the logistics of getting everyone there got too complicated (and expensive). So we had to settle for an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy next month. 

I want to hear more about that fine wine you brought on board. I could use something like that. 

Also, for what it's worth I see your photos fine on my iPhone using safari.

TCD 

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We arrived at the Port in Vancouver around 12:30 as scheduled and check in went fairly smooth except at U.S. customs. Since we are leaving from CA you go through CA customs then US customs before boarding. Linda, Rick (he was pushing Linda’s wheel chair) and I zipped right through, but they would only let the 3 of us go together. Michele and the kids went to another line and got to the border agent just as we finished up, but what an ass he was.  Children under 16 only need their birth-certificates well this lazy SOB gave Michele a hard time since he had to manually type in the info. She gave it back too. I just wish his Supervisor had been close, but he/she wasn’t He first argued that they needed Passports, then it was “well how did you get into Canada”? etc, etc. His last comment was, “well now I have to type all this in”.. He ,as an absolute idiot and we won’t discuss any more…… Bottom line he deliberately took  his time, or he can’t type and it took them at least 5 minutes to get cleared. I don’t know if Michele followed up with C&BP, but I hope she did. Since we are now Platinum we zipped through DCL check in and got on the Ship just as the cabins were available. So we took everything to our cabin, picked up the scooters and headed to the buffet. (sorry no food pictures)

 

After lunch we went to our cabin to un-load our carry-ons and wait for dinner. Naturally grandma had to check out the veranda.

 

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The kids went off exploring and we then met up on deck for the sail away after the safety drill, before heading to dinner. Our first night was in Tianna’s as was 2 other nights since they changed the rotations from previous cruises. It is much better than Parrot Cay, but more on that later.

 

A few pics as we started up the inner passage.

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A water fall

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The next full day was a day at sea so we just lounged around ate and drank. What else do you do on a Cruise. Linda and I went to listen to the Naturalist’s presentation about Alaska and the Dawes Glacier. He was a retired Ranger who worked for the National Forest Service. I never realized that the vast majority of Alaska is the Tongass National Forest and the 2nd largest Rain Forest in the World. Also it is where Walt got his inspiration for Big Thunder Mountain after he saw Thunder Mountain in JUNEAU which has many landslides and thunder like noises.

 

Getting ready to head to dinner.

 

Our “baby” boy and his family..

 

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The GK with Grumpy and Grandma

 

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After dinner we just hung out, the GK took full advantage of the Kid’s and Teen Clubs and Rick and Michele enjoyed the “Adult” clubs and took full advantage of the Wave phones to keep track. Something that was used during the entire cruise.

 

The next morning we head into Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier and as I mentioned the scenery remained the same as before and just as breath taking.

 

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Awaiting our arrival at the Glacier

 

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A new Port Advetnure. The ferry picks you similar to a tender and takes you up close and personal to the Glacier

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A seal on one of the icebergs.

 

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Next we arrive.

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13 hours ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

That verandah is amazing!  Nice for such a scenic place like Alaska. Congratulations on making it to platinum.  I'll be there after our next cruise. The TCD twins are already platinum too. 

TCD

Got it booked for the PC again next fall, great spot for that cruise too. Glad you are joining the "ELITE"..😀😀 I think at least 20% on most cruises are PLATINUM

11 hours ago, kadancer said:

Looks amazing!

The best is yet to come, at least for us.

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We arrive at Dawes Glacier and the scenery is just as breath taking as in the past. DCL had usually attempted to go up Tracy Arm and the Sawyer Glacier. Many times the ice flows have prevented them from heading up the fjord, which is what happened to us in 2012. In 2015 when we went with Lou and Gail we did see the Sawyer Glacier. Well in recent history they have been diverted to the Dawes Glacier more often than not so that is now the normal itinerary.

 

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So here we are. We could not get as close as in the past, but you can still enjoy the grandeur of Mother Nature. I never realized that Glaciers are just layer upon layer of snow that compress into ice due to the weight of each snow fall.

 

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The surrounding scenery

 

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This is after we turned and were heading back out. The kids and I went up on deck 10 for a short time since we had some light rain and many people waited until the last minute to come up. So when the crowd arrived we returned to the veranda with Grandma. During the whole adventure we took advantage of room service and had our lunch delivered. Wings, cheese trays, chicken tenders for the kiddos.

 

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The girls came back out of our cabin for the pic.

 

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You can see the ferries and the ice at the base of the glacier

 

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And remember only about 10% of this is above water.

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Up next Skagway and our heli tour, which was the highlight for me this trip. It may be next week before I continue however since we leave for Denver on Tues to visit our other daughter and family.

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Love all the family pictures ❤️   The deck looks nice, but still makes me a bit nauseous... I'm still trying to push aside the idea that I have to go on one of these next year :huh:   We won't have that beautiful outdoor space...but that might be a good thing as (hopefully) I'll be able to forget that we're on a ship :))

Alaska looks so pretty.  I have a childhood friend, she and her husband have lived in Anchorage for over 20 years; they love it.  I'm not sure I could handle all the snow and the lack of sun/daylight during the winter months... but I keep bringing up the idea of an (RV) road trip to Tom.  I think it would be amazing ^_^   

I grew up in the San Juan Islands (about 2 hours north of Seattle), so you were in my backyard.  When the sun comes out, it's tough to find a prettier place than the PNW.

So glad you had another opportunity to take a cruise!❤️ 

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10 hours ago, Katman1356...Jason said:

Glad to see the pictures. Looks like you had a good time. 

As usual it was wonderful, especially since the weather really cooperated

35 minutes ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Love all the family pictures ❤️   The deck looks nice, but still makes me a bit nauseous... I'm still trying to push aside the idea that I have to go on one of these next year :huh:   We won't have that beautiful outdoor space...but that might be a good thing as (hopefully) I'll be able to forget that we're on a ship :))

Alaska looks so pretty.  I have a childhood friend, she and her husband have lived in Anchorage for over 20 years; they love it.  I'm not sure I could handle all the snow and the lack of sun/daylight during the winter months... but I keep bringing up the idea of an (RV) road trip to Tom.  I think it would be amazing ^_^   

I grew up in the San Juan Islands (about 2 hours north of Seattle), so you were in my backyard.  When the sun comes out, it's tough to find a prettier place than the PNW.

So glad you had another opportunity to take a cruise!❤️ 

You definitely need to. It's amazing how the climate varies. Ketchikan which is our last stop avgs 32 over the winter with little snow.

The area is gorgeous, it's just unfortunate that it's getting so over-croweded.  

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Gorgeous pics!!  Can't wait to see more...

I see everyone has on some sort of jacket/sweatshirt...  What is the typical "outdoor on deck" temps during the day?

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7 minutes ago, Duane said:

Gorgeous pics!!  Can't wait to see more...

I see everyone has on some sort of jacket/sweatshirt...  What is the typical "outdoor on deck" temps during the day?

It was in the high 50's, but it was misty on and off too.. We also had a short light shower when we got close to the Glacier.  

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I've yet to go on Alaska #1 and I'm probably plastic in the DCL world so it's nice to follow along with your journey.  Beautiful scenery.

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On 7/1/2019 at 1:38 PM, Seals said:

I've yet to go on Alaska #1 and I'm probably plastic in the DCL world so it's nice to follow along with your journey.  Beautiful scenery.

LOL I'm probably paper.

Sure looks like a wonderful trip.  Grumpy, have you ever seen a glacier calve?  Think that is the term.

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4 hours ago, fladogfan aka Gretchen said:

LOL I'm probably paper.

Sure looks like a wonderful trip.  Grumpy, have you ever seen a glacier calve?  Think that is the term.

Correct term and no we haven't experienced any on our cruises.

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Next stop was SKAGWAY. It’s really a big little town, approximately 5 blocks wide and 7 blocks long, but very busy when the cruise ships arrive. Here you can board the train and take a very scenic ride up the mountain and cross back over to Canada. We did that on our 2 previous cruises and you can see those pics in my 2012 report.

 

DSC_0082.jpg

 

In the morning when we arrived Rick and Andy went salmon fishing, but since it was early in the season it was catch and release for the king salmon.

 

After lunch we took and very exciting and scenic helicopter tour up to one of the glaciers. We had originally booked a sea-plane excursion, but do to the 3 previous accidents DCL cancelled all of those tours.

 

Here we are after our safety video with our safety vests waiting for our ride. Grandma, Michele and Charlotte had no desire to tag along.

 

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Here comes our ride.

 

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Rick and Andy got to sit in the front.

 

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The scenery was spectacular from this vantage point.

 

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Getting close to our destination

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Andy and Emily by the Alaskan Flag.

 

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They leave one helicopter there for emergencies

 

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The reason you see the dark streaks on a glacier. The rocks that are crushed and moved along with the ice. It’s amazing what Mother Nature does.

 

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A close up

 

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Since I still have some walking issues due to my back I stayed back from the group and just took pictures.

 

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The blue color that reflects through.

 

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The kids off in the distance

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The clear ice shows the purity of the water

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It’s really hard to see, but the water is running about 6’ below us under the ice.

 

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One last shot before we head back to the ship. We were on the Glacier for over 30 minutes which for the kids made for a very interesting afternoon.

 

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More of the wonderful scenery as we head back.

 

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The harbor approaches as we arrive back at the port. We actually boarded the helicopter with-in about a block of the ship.

 

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As we are about to touch down.

 

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Up next, JUNEAU, Mendenhal Glacier and some whale watching.

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Just now, Tri-Circle-D said:

What an awesome shore excursion!  For future reference, did you book the helicopter through DCL, or on your own?

TCD

We always book through DCL. We're just more comfortable knowing that if you're late or something gets messed up you're covered.

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17 minutes ago, fladogfan aka Gretchen said:

Beautiful!  Are there rules about collecting some of the rocks from the glacier? 

Have you ever done a sled dog ride?  I have heard of some on glaciers during summer.

Didn't hear anything about not picking up rocks and no we did not do the Dog Sled. Gail had it planned when we went with them in 2015, but it got cancelled. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 9:58 PM, Grumpy and Grandma said:

Next stop was SKAGWAY. It’s really a big little town, approximately 5 blocks wide and 7 blocks long, but very busy when the cruise ships arrive. Here you can board the train and take a very scenic ride up the mountain and cross back over to Canada. We did that on our 2 previous cruises and you can see those pics in my 2012 report.

 

DSC_0082.jpg

 

In the morning when we arrived Rick and Andy went salmon fishing, but since it was early in the season it was catch and release for the king salmon.

 

After lunch we took and very exciting and scenic helicopter tour up to one of the glaciers. We had originally booked a sea-plane excursion, but do to the 3 previous accidents DCL cancelled all of those tours.

 

Here we are after our safety video with our safety vests waiting for our ride. Grandma, Michele and Charlotte had no desire to tag along.

 

DSC_0088.jpg

 

Here comes our ride.

 

DSC_0091.jpg

 

Rick and Andy got to sit in the front.

 

DSC_0092.jpg

 

The scenery was spectacular from this vantage point.

 

DSC_0093.jpg

 

DSC_0098.jpg

 

DSC_0099.jpg

 

DSC_0100.jpg

 

DSC_0105.jpg

 

Getting close to our destination

DSC_0107.jpg

 

DSC_0110.jpg

 

Andy and Emily by the Alaskan Flag.

 

DSC_0112.jpg

 

They leave one helicopter there for emergencies

 

DSC_0114.jpg

 

The reason you see the dark streaks on a glacier. The rocks that are crushed and moved along with the ice. It’s amazing what Mother Nature does.

 

DSC_0116.jpg

 

A close up

 

DSC_0118.jpg

 

Since I still have some walking issues due to my back I stayed back from the group and just took pictures.

 

DSC_0120.jpg

 

DSC_0121.jpg

 

The blue color that reflects through.

 

DSC_0122.jpg

 

The kids off in the distance

DSC_0124.jpg

 

The clear ice shows the purity of the water

DSC_0126.jpg

 

It’s really hard to see, but the water is running about 6’ below us under the ice.

 

DSC_0127.jpg

 

DSC_0130.jpg

 

One last shot before we head back to the ship. We were on the Glacier for over 30 minutes which for the kids made for a very interesting afternoon.

 

DSC_0131.jpg

 

More of the wonderful scenery as we head back.

 

DSC_0132.jpg

 

DSC_0134.jpg

 

DSC_0137.jpg

 

DSC_0139.jpg

 

The harbor approaches as we arrive back at the port. We actually boarded the helicopter with-in about a block of the ship.

 

DSC_0145.jpg

 

DSC_0146.jpg

 

As we are about to touch down.

 

DSC_0147.jpg

 

Up next, JUNEAU, Mendenhal Glacier and some whale watching.

Beautiful pictures, but (if I’m being honest) all I really saw was, “previous 3 accidents”.  I know it was off the ship but, still “cruise related” in my mind so, not helping me 😂

Seriously though, the pictures of the blue glacier ice are amazing!!

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3 hours ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Beautiful pictures, but (if I’m being honest) all I really saw was, “previous 3 accidents”.  I know it was off the ship but, still “cruise related” in my mind so, not helping me 😂

Seriously though, the pictures of the blue glacier ice are amazing!!

Not really, the accidents had nothing to do with DCL it was just the company that provided the sea-planes and they do all kinds of tours. Actually the last one was someone going from point A to point B (non-cruise)  

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11 hours ago, Grumpy and Grandma said:

Not really, the accidents had nothing to do with DCL it was just the company that provided the sea-planes and they do all kinds of tours. Actually the last one was someone going from point A to point B (non-cruise)  

See, there you go, taking away a legitimate excuse on why I should not get on a ship :))   Dang... thought I had a good one to show the family :lol:

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