Home Index Our Family Our Travels Our Cruises Our Images

Alaska - 2010

HOME (Our Cruises) Ensenada 1997 Alaska 2000 West Caribbean 2002 East Caribbean 2003 Mexican Riviera 2005 SF - Vancouver 2006 Panama Canal 2007 Mexican Riviera 2008 50 Yr Reunion 2009 Alaska 2010 Mexican Riviera 2012 Hawaiian Isles 2013 Coastal 2014 Alaska 2014 Historic America 2014 Coastal 2015 Coastal 2016 Panama Canal 2016 Hawaiian Isles 2017 ALASKA 2017 Mexican Riviera 2018 Mexican Riviwea 2019 Pac NW Coastal-2019


- - Alaska, April 2010 - -


Date of Embarkation: July 7th, 2010
 Length of Cruise: 7 Days
 Name of Ship: Coral Princess
 Cruise Line (Princess #): Princess Cruise Lines   (#7)
 Embarkation Port: Whittier, AK
 Ports of Call: Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan                  
 Final Destination: Vancouver, BC
 Cruise Mates: Kent, Linda, Logan & Wes, Kim, Delaney, Cassidy,
                           Ed & Andy, Dick & Murphy, Chuck & Karen
Total Days With Princess: 59
Total Days At Sea: 70

We flew into Fairbanks, Alaska and did a "Land/Sea Cruise" where the land portion started in Fairbanks and worked our way down through Denali Park, the Kenai Peninsula, and eventually into Whittier where we met our ship. The ship cruised the Inside Passage along the Western coast of Alaska and Canada , ending in Vancouver, British Columbia.

It was a special cruise for us. Logan was celebrating his 21st birthday, Andy was celebrating her sixtieth, Kent and Linda were celebrating their 25th anniversary, and Rosalee and Ken were celebrating their 50th anniversary. It was great to have so much of the family with us for these special occasions.

Rosalee kept a personal diary of this trip. Anything you see in this colored box and in this font will be from her diary.

We so enjoyed our second ever cruise, back in the year 2000, when eight of us went on a similar land/sea cruise with Princess Cruise Lines. Some of our cruise mates on this cruise were with us on that first Alaskan Cruise. On this cruise, we all came together from various parts of the country. The party consisted of the following:

Ken & Rosalee Smith from Pleasanton
Ed & Andi Myers from Livermore - Rosalee's niece and nephew
Dick & Murphy Sweet from Bend, Oregon -Rosalee's other niece and nephew - Andy's Sister
Chuck & Karen Myers from Florida - Ed's brother and sister-in-law
Kent & Linda Smith from Livermore - Ken & Rosalee's Son & daughter-in-law
Their sons Logan & Weston Smith from Livermore
and joining the party in Whittier for the ship portion of the ship were...
Kim Holmes - Ken & Rosalee's daughter
Her daughters Delaney & Cassidy Holmes
Fifteen in all. What a party.

We did not actually meet up together until we arrived at the airport in Seattle, Washington. Rosalee and I planned to arrive in Seattle a little earlier so we could meet up with our friends, Walt & Janet Jamison of Seattle. We met on our Panama Canal cruise in 2007.


Fri 6/25  --  Car picked us up 6:15 am ... departed Oakland 8:55 ... arrived Seattle 10:55 ... to Doubletree Hotel by 11:30 ... Walt and Janet were waiting for us ... checked into hotel ... joined W&J ... had lunch at Ivar's ... great clam chowder, fish and chips not great ... drove to W&J's new senior apartment, on the grounds of Crista's King's School/Royal Gardens property ... walked a tour of the grounds ... includes two types of schools, senior housing, assisted living, nursing home/Alzheimer's Unit ... drove to W&J's previous home ... drove to Edmonds WA waterfront ... walked out on the wharf and watched a ferry leave and another return ... saw a Celebrity Cruise Ship leave ... had dinner at Barlee's and they returned us to Doubletree by 10 pm ... lights out by 11:00 pm


Sat 6/26  --  up by 2:30 am ... met shuttle by 3:30 am ... checked in at Alaska Airlines by 4:00 am ... rest of group showed up 5:15 .. departed Seattle for Anchorage 6:00 am ... arrived Anchorage 8:30 after 3 hours flight (included 1 hour time change) ... departed Anchorage 10:15 for one hour flight to Fairbanks ... Princess agent met us in baggage claim and we were shuttled to Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, next to the Chena River ... ten of us had lunch in the Edgewater Restaurant ... Ken and I shared clam chowder and a bowl of Reindeer chili and we each had a salad ... when we checked into our room only two of our bags had arrived ... finally received final bag at about 4:00 pm ... our one bag and Logan's and all three of Kent & Linda's had been delivered to another Smith's room ... we had a nice walk a couple of times around the property and made it back to the lodge about the time huge raindrops started falling ... we had intended to walk to a restaurant we had been told was very good but since it was raining we all paid for a 12 passenger van to drop us off and pick us p after dinner ... it was still raining ... Ken and I had a wonderful halibut with a salad or soup/pasta/veggies ... the fish was prepared with a honey apple glaze and the fish melted in your mouth ... back to the lodge ... bought Ken a rain jacket ... his didn't get packed ... returned to the room


Rosalee's Niece Andi at the first night's lodging


Rosalee and her nephew ed at our first night's lodging


Sun 6/27  --  Got to sleep in today ... had a leisurely morning ... breakfast in the Edgewater Dining Room ... a little shopping in the gift shop ... a little reading in the room ... headed downstairs for our 1 pm excursion ... met Laurie and Ron from Montana ... the Coral will be their first cruise ... met up with our group for the bus trip to the sternwheeler ... the weather started out a little rainy but about half way through the trip it improved ... the moderator was exceptional ... Karen and I sat inside and everyone else was up one floor or top-side ... returned to our hotel just in time to clean up a little and head downstairs to meet the bus to take us to the Salmon Bake dinner ... several of the group went to the bar for ice cream ... I got our 'stuff' somewhat organized to set the luggage outside the door by 6:00 am Monday morning


No, This Is Not Our Cruise Ship
Discovery III, Paddle-Wheel Riverboat in Fairbanks


Mon 6/28  --  Had our luggage out by 6 am ... didn't need to be out until 7:30 ... breakfast in the Riverside Dinning Room ... hung out in the lodge until our bus arrived to take us to Denali ... arrived in Denali at 12:40 ... found our room (suitcases already there) ... had a quick lunch (pizza, salad, and a coke for less than $10) in order to meet our bus for the Tundra Wilderness excursion into Denali Park ... bus arrived about 2:15 (a little late) and we returned at 10:30 p.m. ... The whole trip included constant beautiful scenery - mountains, hills, rivers and due to some rain, several rainbows ... saw lots of wildlife, mostly at a distance ...  4 wolf pups ... Dahl Sheep in two different areas ... about seven part way up the mountain - three standing guard at the top and another one making his way down to the seven ... at another sighting there were numerous (30+) on two different slopes ... the driver indicated these were 'nurseries' ... on our way back down the mountain there were two different moose sightings ... also saw some bird including a golden eagle and a couple of ravens ... up really close we saw a momma bear and two cubs ... the driver indicated they were most likely first and second year cubs - one white and one brown - eating and the cubs also playing and the little brown bear rolled over and a little ways down the hill ... we had another sighting just up the road a ways ... two bears that had apparently had their fill and were laying down resting ... as we came back down the road where the momma and two cubs were all three were laying down resting from their food scavenging and playing ... a close-up of the momma bear seemed to show her ribs ... the driver indicated she was thin from her hibernation and it isn't until July that the berries are present and she will be gaining weight to be ready for mating season in the fall ... lunch was on the bus trip into Denali and included serving-size chicken salad, crackers, roll, carrots with ranch dressing for dipping, potato chips and chocolate chip cookie ... there was plenty of bottled water and part way through the trip the driver provided hot water and packets of coffee or hot chocolate ... our hot chocolate really fit the bill ... we did have a few sightings on our way down the hill but I think everyone was glad to get back ... we were all tired from the long day but all agreed it was worth it ... tired or not we went on a search for ice cream ... the bistro was the only thing open that late and their dessert menu only indicated cake and pie dessert ... our water saw our dismay and found some vanilla ice cream ... we all had two very generous scoops ... I think Ken and I paid $12 or $15 plus tip!!


dahl sheep ...and this is 'flat ground' to them


Kent, Linda, Logan, Weston
at the 'end of the road' in Denali Park


momma and baby grizzly bear, Denali park


In The Land Of Gold, Denali Park
Totally un-altered photograph


Loose moose


Hawai'i is not the only 'Land of Rainbows'
- - Denali Park


Tue 6/29  --  Fairly leisurely morning ... breakfast with E&A, M&D, K&C ... mine was a fruit bowl, orange juice, hot tea and a blueberry muffin ... met the bus about 11:15 am for transfer to train station ... train was 1/2 hour late ... didn't arrive until 12:30 ... the twelve of us had tables for four next to each other ... there was an empty table near and Murphy asked to move there so she didn't have to ride backwards ... lunch was very good ... we sat at a table with Ed and Andi ... I had a chicken pesto sandwich and the other three had cheeseburgers ... back upstairs to our tables ... there was a lot of picture-taking going on with all the awesome scenery although there was no wildlife sightings ... arrived in Talkeetna for our bus transfer ... arrived at the Mount McKinley Wilderness Lodge about 6:45 pm ... Ken and I had dinner with Dick at about 8:15 at the 20320 restaurant ... Kent, Linda and boys were already there and E, A, C, K, & M came in about the time we were finishing ... it had been raining pretty much all day but we were prepared for our walk to the restaurant with rain coat and umbrella ... our waiter was from Willows, CA (not too far from Gridley where we grew up) ... this was his second season here ... Dick gave him a bad time but he was a really good sport 


Our Ride South


If It Ain't Called 'Mirror Lake', It Should Be


Ed's Sister-In-Law Karen and Andi's sister Murphy


Murphy's Husband Dick... w/ borrowed cap


Grandsons Weston & Logan


Rosalee, Andi & ken on the Alaskan Railroad
Photo by Murphy


Wed 6/30  --  Leisurely morning ... passed on breakfast ... Ken sending e-mail and picture to support group friends and to family ... spent from 11 am to about 6:30 in the lodge reading, computering and meeting new friends ...  had lunch in the bar/restaurant w/ K, L & boys ... boys left on Talkeetna bus at 1 pm for their fly-fishing excursion ... had dinner w/ K & L (boys not back from fishing) in the 20320 Restaurant @ 7:30 pm ... heard the boys come in about 10:10 ... next morning Linda said they took the boys to the bar/restaurant on their return because they hadn't had dinner ... E, A, & M went on a plane around Mt. McKinley ... the weather didn't allow a landing on a glacier ... D, C & K went into Talkeetna ... Dick said he came home early - no plane ride for him ... C & K came home about 7:00 and had dinner ... apparently E, A & M were about finished with their dinner and a group invited them to join 'them' for a piece of cake (not sure what they were celebrating) and M shared she had become a great grandmother that afternoon ... Ed saw it in a Facebook posting


Rosalee waiting in the Lodge


Thu 7/1  --  Luggage out @ 7:00 am ... a quick breakfast ... fruit cup, cinnamon roll & banana ... left for Kenai at 8:30 ... had a 2 hour break in Anchorage for lunch ... all twelve of us ate at the brewery ... they had a nice separate room with just enough seating for the twelve of us ... had a beautiful ride the rest of the way but it was hard to keep awake ... around about 4:30 Ken and I ordered take-out - soup and chicken sandwich for Rosalee and chili beans and Philly steak sandwich for Ken and we only ate half


Fri 7/2  --  Breakfast ... Ken's... rest of last nights sandwich, potato salad, half a banana ... Rosalee's... luke warm coffee drink (hot water in the room not as hot as it seemed!), half banana ... I am sure we will have some snacks added before lunch time ... did a load of laundry ... took from about 10:30 to 1:00 with waiting for washer and dryer time ... Lunch was potato chips, diet coke and later hot chocolate ... Ken was computering while I was doing laundry and when I joined him I got some reading done between visiting with other travelers ... Ken also checked in with Grandma by phone ... sounded like all was well there ... had dinner with E, A, C, K ... K, L, M & D went on the 10 hour excursion to the fjords ... said it was great ... saw whale, bear, seals ... up close to a glacier ... they said it did get rough for a while and some people did get sick and green ... I guess the green came first ... the boys did another half day of fly fishing ... came back to the cabin to pre-pack for an 8:30 luggage pick-up ... raining again this evening


Sat 7/3  --  bags out @ 8:30 ... didn't feel like breakfast ... had a breakfast bar ... bus left at 11:00 ... had a short stop at a river and glacier lookout to delay the arrival at the one-way 2 1/2 mile tunnel ... the direction we were headed is available only on the half hour ... we had our turn at 12:30 pm ... the drive through the tunnel takes a little more than 6 minutes ... at the other end of the tunnel is the small town/port of Whittier ... approx 325 residents ... we completed the health questionnaire on the bus and then entered the building with four bus loads of people ahead of us in line ... until we spotted the Elite/Platinum line and we walked to the front of the line and were on the ship before 1 pm ... we found our room and talked to Kim by cell phone ... they were about 1 hour beyond the tunnel ... after settling in a little in our room (no luggage yet) we headed to the Horizon Court for a light lunch ... A, E, C & K stopped by for a couple of minutes as we headed for the ice cream ... we ran into W, L, K, D & C ... Ken went up a deck to take pictures and K, D and C got some lunch ... We all headed to our cabins and only had 45 minutes to organize after luggage and head to the wheelhouse Bar for a cocktail party organized and paid for by Suzy (travel agent) ... how nice ... we then headed to our respective dining rooms for dinner ... for this first night only our group was split up ... K, L, L, W, C, K, M &D to one and K, R, E, A, K, D & C to a different Dining Room ... after dinner we were sent to our muster stations and then spent some time on our balcony watching the sights as we had started the cruise while in the muster station ... Kim and girls joined us for a short while and then ken tried on his tuxedo to be sure it was okay for our first formal night tomorrow night ... after that Ken went to the show in the Princess Theater and I stayed in the cabin to organize our stuff


On The Bus To Whittier


Coral Princess
Our Home For The Next Seven Days


   Date of Embarkation:                                      July 7th, 2010
   Length of Cruise:                                              7 Days
   Name of Ship:                                                   Coral Princess
   Cruise Line (Princess #):                                Princess Cruise Lines   (#7)
   Embarkation Port:                                           Whittier, AK
   Ports of Call:                                                      Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan                  
   Final Destination:                                             Vancouver, BC
   Cruise Mates:                                                    Kent, Linda, Logan & Wes, Kim,
                                                                               Delaney, Cassidy, Ed & Andy, Dick &
                                                                               Murphy, Chuck & Karen                   


Rosalee On Our Ship's Cabin Balcony


Sun 7/4  --  Lots of r/W/B on the ship ... people clothing & Princess decorations ... not sure why but I felt exhausted this morning ... we had breakfast in the Horizon Court with Kim & girls. It was hard to find a table ... the five of us had to squeeze in a table for 4 ... Delaney wasn't doing very well - sea sickness ... Kim went to the infirmary and bought some pills ... C & D "sleeping it off"... C's jet lag and D's sea sickness ... relaxed in afternoon ... first formal night ... K & I had picture taken with two different backgrounds before dinner ... were in our official Dining Room with assigned tables ... the 9 Smith families at one and the Myers clan at another ... all the men looked special in their tuxedoes including Wes with his Grandpa's top hat ... the ladies all looked lovely too ... Andi even had a hair cut/style and color for the occasion ... all 15 of us had our pictures taken on the grand staircase ... we had several Smith Family photos taken ... The Smith Family minus L & W went to the Princess Theater for the production "Dance" ... all went back to cabins for an early night


Mon 7/5  --  Breakfast with K & the girls ... Delaney is doing much better today ... back to our cabin for a while ... today is Glacier Bay ... down the gulf of Alaska, past Cage Fairweather (fun name), Icy Point, Astrolabe Point, Cape Spencer  into Glacier Bay ... K & girls came back from swimming just in time to see the huge Margerie Glacier at the top of Glacier Bay ... spent about an hour in front of the Margerie Glacier while the Captain maneuvered  the ship so the glacier was visible to both sides of the ship ... while the port side faced the glacier we watched and watched and although we heard some cracking we only saw a tiny calving but eventually while the starboard side was facing the glacier there was apparently a significant  calving ... as we sailed back down through Glacier Bay we had a good view of Lamplugh Glacier ... had we been situated in a different place on the ship we would have had a sighting of John Hopkins Glacier and Reid Glacier ... we didn't see much as we sailed back down through Glacier Bay ... we hadn't yet had lunch ... met up with Kim in the Horizon Court (D & C had grabbed a quick lunch along with some cookies while we were patiently waiting on our balcony hoping to see some calving) and E, A & M joined us at our table ... joined everyone for dinner ... had a ladies only table at the table for six but Linda and Karen presided over the guy's table ... Linda, Wes and Ed joined K and I in the Princess Theater to see the comedy show then ken and I saw part of the trio (violin, guitar and accordion) present popular classical songs ...  very enjoyable ... we stayed to check out the Karaoke and kept hoping there would be at least one person that would actually sing but after about five non-singers/duets we gave up ... Ken went back to Princess Theater to catch the comedy show thinking the second show might e different but not so


Tue 7/6  --  In port ... Skagway ... there are also Celebrity and Holland America ships in port today ... this afternoon we noticed there is another cruise ship docked behind us - will have to try to determine which cruise line ... after breakfast we walked into town with K, D & C for a couple of xxxxx ... bought a couple of nick knacks and returned about 12:30 ... had lunch and to our room for some reading, writing and some watching TV ... we only had one table filled at dinner tonight ... W & L were on their kayaking excursion, Dick, Chuck and Karen were eating in the Horizon Court and planned a restful evening ... the rest of us had a lovely dinner ... went our separate ways for a while and all ended up in the Universal Lounge for a musical/comedy show ... later Ken & I enjoyed an hour of eclectic music in the Explorer's Lounge by the group Indigo - female singer, drummer, two guitarists and keyboardist


Welcome To Skagway, Alaska


Shiniest '41 Cadillac In Skagway


Transport For Three, No Waiting


Downtown Skagway, Alaska


Now whom Do You Think Will Take These Home?


Russian Nesting Christmas Dolls - (Matryoshka)


"Now Cap'n, If Ya Bring 'er in jesta tad too fast,
ya' may find yerself on Main Street"


Our Granddaughters, Delaney & Cassidy


Wed 7/7  --  Juneau ... up at 5:30 am to watch the ship pull into the dock ... didn't leave the ship ... Ken wasn't feeling very well ... mostly hung out in our cabin & balcony & people watched ... saw Ed come on board ... I did spend some time outside the Explorer's Lounge so I could watch activity in the karaoke and did some reading ... of course we didn't miss a meal but I definitely ate more than Ken at breakfast and lunch ... formal night again ... many of us ordered lobster and shrimp and a few ordered beef wellington ... had more smith family pictures taken ... went to the Princess Theater for a hypnotist - she had about 15 volunteers on stage and it was a great show - very interesting ... all of the Smith family was there except Logan and the Myers Clan sat two rows in front of us ... it was definitely the most enjoyable by far ... returned to our cabin early for a good night's sleep 


Arial Tramway, Juneau


Crab Boat w/ Traps and floating Markers


Setting Sun In April


A Fjord Viewed from the Inland Passage


Thu 7/8  --  Ketchikan ... docked by 9:30 ... decided to pass on breakfast and have an early lunch to prepare for our 1:20 excursion ... didn't do much shopping but did walk into the town to see what was there ... we did remember some of the stores from our 2000 cruise ... in 2000 we were berthed in the 'front row'- just walked off our ship and the shops were right there  -   today there were two ships docked in front o us (Holland America and the Golden Princess) so it was quite a walk down the waterfront ... after lunch we exited the ship and had quite a long walk again to the Aleutian Ballard - it was docked beside the Holland America ship ... the excursion was very good and met my expectations from listening to Clyde, Donna and Dennis's descriptions and watching the video - they pulled in two different crab pots and some prawn pots and anyone that wanted to could have their picture taken holding them ... they pulled in two huge tubs - one with a huge very ugly eel and one with an octopus ... they didn't pass those around! there was also a pretty ugly rockfish ... all during the trip they talked about experiences of being a commercial fisherman and how hard it was and it could be very lucrative financially, or the season could be a total bust where you owed the Captain instead of the other way around ... they worked as independent contractors and not as employees ... the Captain showed his experience as a 21 year old that ended up in the water with two others without survivor's gear or life boat and no time to put out a mayday call ... as a young man he had no belief in God but that day he prayed to the God that he had no relationship with and asked Him to help them ... there was a fisherman somewhere in the area that had a bad morning fishing and instead of waiting until the afternoon as he usually did he felt compelled to go back into port and on his way he discovered the three men ... being an experienced fisherman he and his deck hand were able to get the men into the cabin and take off their wet clothes and warm them with the few blankets and their own coats and took them into port for medical attention ... he obviously never forgot that experience but was never able to find the fisherman to thank him for saving his life ... he had some other inspirational stories to tell and left some of us with some teary eyes ... it was an absolutely wonderful excursion ... we arrived back in our cabin at 5:25 with only five minutes to get dressed for dinner ... we were a little bit late but we made it ... went to the evening show in the Princess Theater and then watched/listened to the end of a Country Western "name that tune" competition while waiting for the group Indigo to play C&W songs ... it was more a ho-down with line dancing lessons and I gave up after a while and returned to the cabin ... Ken returned some time later    


Pulling Into Port, Ketchikan, Alaska


Feeding The Bald Eagles


On Board The Aleutian Ballard


Rosalee On Crabbing Boat


Waterfront, ketchikan, Alaska


Fri 7/9  --  Ken's BD ... turned our clocks ahead last night and it is 9:45 and Ken is still sleeping .. went to the navigation presentation in the Princess Theater at 11:15 and then to lunch in the Horizon Court .. saw Kim & girls, E&A, C&K and sat at K&L's table as they were finishing up .. the boys joined us a little later .. back to the cabin to pack