days in Seattle followed by a 7 day cruise
This was a once in a lifetime trip with four generations on an incredible cruise. My parents, our daughter with her fiancée and their 2 kids.
The trip started with us traveling with my parents to the beautiful city of Seattle. Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest located in the U.S. state of Washington. It is aptly nickname "The Emerald City." due to is luscious green surroundings. Seattle has a lot of attractions, Boeing Factory, Pike Market, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Museum of Flight, it has 2 prominent major league teams NFL's Seahawks and MLB's Mariners, and the iconic Space Needle that symbolizes Seattle's skyline.
We chose to do a Hop-on Hop-off tour that took us to a lot of the neighborhoods. One of the stops, Pikes Market, is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers' markets in the United States. The Space Needle tour included Chihuly Gardens and Glass showcasing the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. We got lucky one morning when we took a trip to Kerry Park, a small park in the Queen Anne district, with an incredible view of Seattle. They were filming an episode of Grey's Anatomy there.
Our daughter and the kids joined us the afternoon before the cruise started. It was both kids' first airplane ride.
We departed Seattle on the Carnival Legend at 4:30 PM on a crystal clear day with temperatures in the 80's. The first day was at sea and allowed us to explore and get comfortable with the ship. The ship is a sister ship to the Carnival Spirit, which we had cruise before, and allowed us to show the nuances of the decks with all of our fellow travelers. The second morning we woke to the Alaska and temperatures in the high 40's. Being from Arizona this was a pleasant change from the 110+ we left.
It takes a day and half from Seattle to Alaska. This allows you to explore the ship
Tracy Arm Fjord
It is a narrow and deep passage way with sheer-walls and over 30 miles long. We boarded a small boat that took you close to North and South Sawyer glaciers. Harbor seals rear their young on ice floating in the fjord , and whales and sea lions are often seen in the water.
The first actual port was Skagway, the starting off point for the Klondike Gold Rush. We had been on the White Pass and Yukon narrow gauge railroad on a previous cruise and chose to do it again. We had several other friends join Cindy and I along with my parents and we went all the way to the Yukon rather than just to Fraser BC. We spent a couple of hours, including lunch, in a small quaint little town of Carcross. An hour and half bus trip brought us back to Skagway where we walked through town.
The second port was Juneau, the capital of Alaska. I did a Whale Watching and Salmon bake. The overcast and some times raining weather did not dampen the excitement of seeing whales. We were lucky and seen both orca's and humpbacks. Cindy and the the rest of the family took the tram to the top of Mt Roberts.
The third port was Ketchican, the beginning of the last frontier. The southernmost entrance to Alaska’s famed Inside Passage. I had planned a bucket list excursion where a float plane took us to a bear sanctuary, but it was cancelled due to inclement weather. Cindy and the others enjoyed the rain walking around town while I gladly baby sat Olivia.
The fourth and last stop was Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. We only had 4 hours in port so we had not planned anything ahead of time.
We took a taxi from the port to the heart of town. We found horse drawn carriages and opted for an hour long tour of downtown Victoria. The city has retained a large number of its historic buildings, in particular its two most famous landmarks, Legislative buildings (finished in 1897 and home of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia) and the Empress hotel (opened in 1908).