Monday, July 31, 2023

The Great Alaskan Adventure: Part 1, July 22-25

 Last week, our family embarked on the Great Alaskan Adventure or, as Charlotte called it, Cruisin' for a Bruisin'. Many years ago Mark and I knew we wanted to do something monumental to celebrate our 50th anniversary, including our family. We briefly contemplated Hawaii, but then thought "who wants to shop and cook for 12 people?" So we pivoted to an Alaskan cruise, where all we had to do was choose where and when to eat. 

Our travel agent recommended Norwegian Cruise Line because it was very family friendly, and we had six kids--two 9-year-olds, two 11-year-olds, a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old. We needed activities! 

We began our adventure by flying to Seattle. 

Once on the plane, we told the flight attendant we were a group of 12, and that we were celebrating our 50th anniversary. A few minutes later, she announced to the entire plane that we were celebrating and told everyone on board to press the call button a few times. It was pretty cool.

Once we checked into the hotel, we took the light rail and then the monorail to the Space Needle. 

Stacie came from Portland to join us for the day.

Ella has a fear of heights to it took her awhile to get comfortable, but she did it. 

The next morning, we gathered our luggage and headed to the Norwegian Encore. 

The Encore is definitely the largest ship Mark and I have cruised on--4000+ passengers and a crew of 1700. Our rooms were on the 11th deck. 
It was a beautiful day, warm enough for swimming. 

On Monday, we had a full day at sea. We played games, read, ate. We did a lot of eating. 

In the evening we went to see the Choir of Man, a really excellent show full of great music.

Levi took these beautiful photos, at about 9:50 p.m.

On Tuesday at about 2:30 p.m., we arrived in our first port, Juneau, the capital city of Alaska.

We had not booked an excursion, but Aaron and Christa thought a hike could be the first thing on the agenda. 

Mark and I went with the group for a little ways, and then decided it was steeper than we wanted to attempt, so we stayed in town. From what we heard later, we made the right decision. 

After the hike, we all went on the Mt. Roberts tram, which takes you up 1800 feet with a stunning view of Juneau. Not everyone was a fan of the tram ride (think fear of heights and claustrophobia), but we all made it.

It stays light for so long in Alaska. One by one the cruise ships left Juneau, on the way to Skagway the next morning. 

Stay tuned for Part 2.