It is unfortunate that I can’t write as quickly as I travel. Consequently my blog is two weeks behind real time. Our trip came to an end yesterday, and yet I have three stops in Alaska that I have yet to mention. So in order to catch up I will make this brief (please! I can hear the cheering from here) . We haven’t been to Alaska before and so it was all new and all wonderful. It is indeed a state blessed with the most amazing scenery, fantastic wildlife, mosquitoes the size of small drones (and just as annoying) and some bloody awful weather. In Glacier Bay, we were lucky enough to sail right up to the Johns Hopkins Glacier on April 30th. That date is particularly important as no cruise ship is allowed to go up the fjord that leads to the John Hopkins Glacier between the dates of May 1st and September 30th as it is the breeding ground for the endangered Harbor Seal. Those dates are also the exact dates of the main Alaskan Cruising Season, so most ships never get to see this glacier. Our ship was one of only two to sail to Alaska before May 1st and the only one to see the Johns Hopkins Glacier. The captain got us there by sailing very slowly through a threatening layer of broken ice that carpeted the inlet for a mile or two in front of the glacier. As we approached we could hear the tremendous explosions as new calves were formed and we watched them crumble into the water right in front of us. Now we could appreciate the startling fact that this enormous glacier retreats 15 feet every day. The next day we were in Juneau where we could visit the Mendenhall Glacier and walk right up to the base. In Kodiak, another place that sees very few cruise ship, we rented a car and explored part of the island. We saw bald eagles up close and we saw them nesting We also saw bison and deer But what surprised us most was what we saw when the road we were on came to a sudden end
Our last day in Alaska was spent in Ketchikan where we hired a float plane to take us into the fjords It was definitely an unforgettable experience Finally dear readers, many of you have been asking for an update on our feelings about Holland America. I am not going to end this trip on a low note, so I will just say that there were many problems, some big and some small, but none of which got handled in a professional way. One amusing anecdote, while having very little bearing on our enjoyment, will perhaps sum up our time with Holland America. In the morning an array of individual boxes of cereal are laid out on the breakfast buffet. There are at least 8 different choices – or there were. They ran out of all but one before the end of the cruise. For the last 5 days the only cereal available was Fruit Loops. A perfect choice if the ship was full of children, but not so appropriate for fourteen hundred passengers, almost of whom were well past retirement age. But never fear, if Fruit Loops aren’t your thing, then you can move to the “deli station” where you can pick from a wonderful array of cold cuts and cheeses Giving up on breakfast? Then just go out to the pool and join in the fun with your fellow passengers If for some reason you don’t find any of the above appealing, then join us on another cruise line.
Any other cruise line.