Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Alaska Cruise Vacation - First Port of Call, Ketchikan!

Admit it, you're in shock, aren't you? You read yesterday's post about our
day in Vancouver before our cruise to Alaska and laughed out loud when you
read that I would be back today to continue and share with you our departure
and day three visit to Ketchikan. Hey! I get it... I know it will take a while for
you to trust that I will update more than once every few months... However,
since my blog serves as a personal photo album as well as a way for my family
and friends to see what we're up to, I am committed to posting all of our trip!
So, after our visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, we crashed! No dinner,
no television... Only showers and sleep. The next morning, I got up early
to watch our cruise ship, The Radiance of the Seas pull up to the hotel!
Then, I tagged all of our luggage and we made our way down to the port!

Just to the right of our ship was check-in. We made sure to get there
early so that we could have time to get settled and explore the ship before
leaving Vancouver. We were given a number and assigned a queue...
Where we stood alone for about a half hour before other passengers
began filing in behind us. This guy and his family, all twelve of them
had on these cute shirts. Which I thought were cute until the little
peeps began to get restless... Then I hoped the ship would be big
enough so that we would never bump into each other again!
Being first in line, we cruised (pardon the pun) right
through check-in, customs and right onto the ship!
Where each day, Royal Caribbean reminded us what day of the week it was!
By the way... Canada Place on Vancouver's waterfront was designed to
look like a ship. And, from this ship, you can see by those sails that it does!
It was a beautiful day in Vancouver for a cruise!
Since staterooms did not open to guests
until 1 o'clock, we had plenty of time to explore...
Compared to the other cruise ships we have been on, this
was a very small boat. But I'm guessing it kinda has to be
to navigate around the waters of where we were headed!
After exploring for a while, we made our way to the buffet for lunch!
Where sadly, most of this stuff had very little taste!
It really was a shame too, considering how much effort it must
have taken to create these desserts and the amount of money
that went into the ingredients. After sampling a few things, I
decided none of it was worth the calories or hours it would
cost in the gym. So, to satisfy what little sweet tooth I have, I
stuck with the low-fat soft serve - Which was available 24/7!
Nope! Not even remotely worth it!
Fortunately, there was no shortage of salad!
I could have eaten this salad for every meal, on every day. However,
as luck would have it, it was offered once and then never again!
After our lunch, someone decided it was time for a nap...
But not me... I continued to explore and get those steps in!
As you will see from my photos throughout
this cruise, I spent a lot of time on this deck!
Finally, our stateroom was ready!
Spacious, with a nice large window and semi-clean!
Almost exactly the same configuration of the staterooms on Carnival
Bathroom was the same too...
Pretty basic...
Only what you need... Except for outlets. All hairdryers, flat irons
or anything else you need to plug in has to be used at the vanity,
which only has two outlets! Which is why I never leave home
without my trusty powerstrip. With my powerstrip, I can blow dry
my hair while also charging my camera battery, phone and laptop!
It's the little things, kittens! 
After we unpacked, it was time to exercise that extra beverage
package I purchased, which included any non-alcoholic drink I wanted!
So I ordered a virgin margarita and we headed
back outside to say our farewells to beautiful Vancouver!
On what turned out to be the most beautiful day!
It's not the Golden Gate, but Lions Gate Bridge sure looks like it!
Pretty, isn't it?
The day before, we crossed over the bridge in a bus...
Now, we were crossing under the bridge in a big boat!
Although we did not have the time to explore Stanley Park, we did
sail by. One day I hope we can come back to bike the seawall trail!
It didn't take long to get out of Vancouver and out to sea!
Although I didn't realize it at the time, this would be our last sunset for a while!
But I did take full advantage of it by having my own little Kate Winslet moment!
Once the sun went down it was time to get ready for dinner...
Unfortunately, I had to send my steak back three times; therefore,
dinner for me ended up being a few bites of my hubby's dessert!
After dinner, we went back out on deck for a walk... Which lasted less
than five minutes because I realized I did not pack a coat heavy enough
to keep me from freezing to death on this cruise. So I hit the gift shop!
Thank goodness I found something because day two of our cruise was a
day at sea and without a warm coat, I would have been confined to the ship!
And this girl has to be outside to be happy!
Somewhere along the Inside Passage, we lost an hour!
Which was important to know if we
wanted to make our excursion time in Ketchikan!
Since there is a lot more to do and see in Ketchikan, (as compared to
other ports on our itinerary) we decided that we would stay in town
and therefore, limit our excursion choice to something that wouldn't
take very long. Something that gave us a little tour and history of the
area but wouldn't munch up the entire day. So we took a Duck Tour!
I liked Ketchikan immediately!

It was quaint and exactly as I imagined it would be from the
research I did prior to our cruise. I knew what I wanted to see and
really wanted to see it all! Oh! And, just wait until I tell you about
what is widely recognized as the best place to eat in Ketchikan!

Again... Can you believe this gorgeous weather we had?!
There's our Duck!
Our duck tour far exceeded our expectations. Mostly because of the two
great guys driving and narrating our tour. They knew everything about
Ketchikan and offered lots of insider-information you only get from
people that live and work here full time. During our tour we hit all the
highlights of Ketchikan on land and then we set out to float for a while!
The scenery around the Marina was lovely!
It was a relaxing cruise and we saw lots of bald eagles too. No whales or
other marine life, but we weren't really expecting any of that so no one was
disappointed. After disembarking the Duck we set off to explore Ketchikan!
And, when in Ketchikan, you must sample and buy the salmon!
Okay, confession time... I had never eaten salmon!
Until we took this cruise to Alaska and I met this guy!
And, it wasn't bad!
After sampling the salmon and picking up a few goodies
to take home with us, we made our way over to one of
the most popular places to go in Ketchikan, Creek Street!
This view immediately reminded me of our visit to Peggy's Cove!
It's a little different...
Totally on opposite sides of the continent... But you see the resemblance, right?
Anyway, Creek Street is also where we met this
young and very enthusiastic entrepreneur!
Who was jumping into 40 degree water for tips!
There he goes! Over and over he jumped into
the chilly creek for whatever you wanted to give him!
One of the things not to miss is the tram up to the top of Creek Street for
the panoramic view of the Tongass Narrows Waterway, Deer Mountain
and the Thomas Basin Marina. Unfortunately, the tram was out of order!
So we hiked up to the top to check out Cape Fox Lodge!
One of us loved this, while one of us wished the tram was working!
Can you guess which was which?
Regardless, once we arrived at the top...
We found the view more than made up for all the effort!
Back down the hill, we continued our walking tour of Ketchikan!
Wandering down the other side of Creek Street...
If you would like to learn more about the
rather colorful history of Creek Street, click here
Or you can just read the plaques on the houses!
We enjoyed our little stroll through and around Creek Street...
We also worked up quite an appetite doing it!
Now, about that place where we had lunch...
There is this place called, Burger Queen... And, if you Google, the best
places to eat in Ketchikan, it always pops up with rave reviews too!
It was a welcomed break from cruise food!
I had read that locals call ahead and get their orders to go, while
tourists are known to line up around the building and down the block! So...
We made sure to get there before anyone else did!
While we stood at the door waiting for them to open, I must have been
asked a hundred times whether or not I was sure I wanted to do this...
After all, it didn't look like much from the outside or the inside!
And, there are only four tables in the whole joint!
However, if you read the reviews like I did and happen to catch
the one written by a food critic who said, "The Best Fish and Chips
money can buy anywhere in the world"... Then you know you gotta try it!
Believe me... This truly was the best fish and
chips money could buy, anywhere in the world!
And, that's not all. My better-half ordered
the Seattle Burger and he is still talking about it!
Incredible Food!
After lunch we did a little more walking...
And, a whole lot more shopping!
After all, my post card list is now somewhere around 300 friends
and family so I had to pick up post cards to send from every port!
After hugging it out with this bear, it was time to wander back to our
ship. The best advice I can give anyone traveling to Ketchikan via cruise is
to skip the more lengthy excursions that take you away from the town. Stick
with the quick and inexpensive ($49 per person) Duck Tour. You'll see and hear
about Ketchikan and have plenty of time left in your day to explore it on your own!
And for goodness sake, whatever you do... Do not miss Burger Queen! We had
a wonderful time in Ketchikan. And, I hope you enjoyed the tour as well!
Stay tuned, because next up, we are cruising to Icy Strait Point...
For a whale watching excursion you won't want to miss!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an incredible description of your journey! I'm just going with family on a cruise in the permafrost area - Antarctica :)


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