To Alaska with Kate and Colin

Kate and Colin go on a cruise for their 25th Wedding Anniversary

In their Christmas News Letter Kate and Colin pointed out that they had a 25th wedding anniversary coming up in May and that they were going to take a 4 day cruise to Alaska and back. They invited family and friends to join them. Well, Ann and Susan and I thought it was a good idea and we signed up. So did their friends Micheline, Gina and her beau Leonard.

May 2nd was a lovely day. In fact, the weather for the whole trip was wonderful. Ann came to our house and we took a cab down to Canada Place to board the “Coral Princess”. It all went smoothly and in no time we were in Pinacoladaville!

Waiting in the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place. A fellow traveler took this picture for us.

Susan at the rail as we pull out from Canada Place with the Vancouver skyline in the background.

Colin at the rail. We are still tied up at Canada place and he has the North Shore mountains behind him.

Micheline took this picture of us in the harbor. I think we look pretty excited about our adventure.

When you go on board there is a photographer there ready to snap your picture.

Leaving the harbor is always such a pretty experience. What a gorgeous city we live in!

Here we are just outside the Lions Gate Bridge: Susan, Ann, Kate and Colin and that is Kate’s friend, Micheline, on the right.

Life boat drill is mandatory. It is a pain but apparently the law. Here we are learning how to put on the life preservers.

Our cabins were all grouped close together so we found Kate and Colin right away and spent time with them as we departed from Vancouver. We explored the ship, went to the life boat drill, and then went on deck to watch the ship slip beneath the Lions’ Gate Bridge.

The Coral Princess is a beautiful ship. The crew were excellent and they they kept the ship in spotless condition. This is the Atrium in the middle of the ship. It was beautiful to walk through and all of the ship’s attractions were accessible from here.

It was too cool to use the pool but many people did sit outside and enjoy the sun.

The decks were not crowded. It was pleasant outside but too cool to stay out for long.

Susan by the spa swimming pool. See what I mean about the décor?

We had an early seating in the dining room and the table was nice and private.

The spa had a south east Asian theme and some of the decorations were really neat!

I had Susan come to the spa especially to take her picture with the sculptures there.

We had one full day at sea, one day in Ketchikan, and then another day at sea going back. Four nights in total. The weather was great and the sea calm. Hardly a ripple. And it was a wonder to behold! We saw humpback whales and dolphins all around us.

Once we left the shelter of Vancouver Island we cruised away from the shore. It was just a jagged line of mountains on the eastern horizon. To the west was Japan but way too far away to see.

In the evening of our first sea day we passed some rocks with a light house on them. There was a full moon in the sky and the scene was incredible. I was on deck without my camera so I rushed down to the cabin, grabbed by camera and flew back on deck. And this picture was my reward!

The next morning I was up about 7:00 as we glided into Ketchikan. This town is just a small fishing village but it now depends on the cruise ship trade for much of its vitality. It is small but it is on the water, has a large fishing fleet, and there are lots of shops for tourists. So for a day’s exploring, it was very nice.

This is the town of Ketchikan from our balcony. Look how close the mountains and forests are. It’s not very big!

This statue of the people who make up the community is on the dock right where our ship tied up.

Here you can see how they built the street out over the creek. I do wonder if this river ever floods?

That is Susan on the balcony of our cabin. I took the picture from the dock beside the ship.

Still a fishing town, there were countless fishing boats of all sizes tied up. But nothing the size of the Coral Princess.

Another view of Creek Street and how it is built over the river.

You can see how the ship towers over the town. The buildings you see are two stories high.

Kate and Micheline on Creek Street just outside of Dolly’s House. This old red light district is now little shops and boutiques.

This is the sign on Dolly’s House, one of the old brothels that were located on Creek Street.

Susan stopped in a fur shop and they were selling wolf rugs.

Ketchikan is a small town. It was, still is I imagine, a fishing town. There were certainly lots of boats tied up at the docks. The tourism is an added boost to the local economy. Here we are in a little park a block from the ship. Everywhere the town has erected interesting signs that tell the story of the different parts of town and its history.

One of the most charming things to see is the old red light district which was built on the shores of a creek that ran through town. Well, actually it is a river. The water is deep and fast flowing. A lot of water comes down here. As you can see, the street is literally built out over the river. This was the red light district in the town in years past. Now it is a major attraction and the old building are all turned into little shops. Very pleasant!

Our cabin was high up in the ship: on the “A” deck. I like the balcony rooms because of the floor to ceiling window. We did not use the deck much but we had the door open for fresh air. So, although small, the cabin was perfect for us.

Micheline, Kate and Gina together at dinner.

This is the name plate on Kate and Colin’s cabin door.

Kate and Colin’s cabin door with appropriate decoration!

Kate and Colin at our dinner table in the Provence Dinning Room.

Kate and Colin having their picture taken on the way from dinner.

Kate and Colin in their “formal” portrait. And no, it was not taken outside.

Here we are! From the left, Susan, Ann, Me, Colin, Kate and Micheline with Leonard and Gina in the back row.

On the way back to Vancouver Ann signed us up for a “Crab Boil”. It was a great idea and we looked forward to it. We assembled in the Bayou Café at lunch time where we were given bibs and some medical looking utensils and the feast was on!

The Bayou Café. Our table is just to the left of center

Ann

Micheline with our waitress.

Kate!

Colin

Susan

In this dish there are two kinds of crab, mussels, clams and shrimp steamed to perfection. There is also kubasa sausage which, surprisingly, was delicious in this mix. There were also potatoes and onions. It was a really good meal.

You can be sure we danced every night. The Wheelhouse Lounge had a good sized dance floor and the band was really excellent. They were not really a dance band but they did good enough. We had a great time and lots of tunes were very danceable. The singer had a good voice and the three musicians were very accomplished. And no canned sound track. This was the real deal!

Kate, me and Colin in the Wheelhouse Lounge. That is Micheline on the left edge. We were here all four nights. But it was not crowded. There was that much to do on the ship that it was never busier than you see here.

And that was our trip. Four days sounds short but it did not feel rushed. It was a leisurely and we came back relaxed. It was not too long. It was not too short. It was just right! Ann is already talking about a short “relocation” cruise this fall. Sounds like a good idea.

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