Thursday, July 31, 2014
A Golden Time in Alaska
Last week my wife and I enjoyed an Alaskan weeklong cruise on the Golden Princess of the Princess Cruise line. When we did a Caribbean cruise several years ago most of the people on the cruise spoke of the Alaskan cruise being a “must do” cruise. After experiencing Alaska upon the Golden Princess, I had to agree with their sentiments. With my Living More Than OK concept I don’t like telling people what they should do, but I highly encourage everyone in their lifetime to see the splendors of Alaska.
Seeing nature on the Alaska cruise made for a needed break from the Summer heat of Texas. Seeing the majestic beauty of God’s creation was the highlight of the cruise. For my wife the favorite part of Alaskan nature was going on the whale watching excursion. The humpback whales were very active in feeding while we were out on the small boat activity. The captain of the small boat would follow the circling of the seagulls to find the whales. The seagulls had a sense of where the whales would be feeding and would swoop down to get leftover fish for their lunch. We also had the chance to see some killer whales on that excursion as well.
For myself, the favorite excursion was a 40 mile scenic railway ride in Skagway up to the Yukon territory of Canada. Seeing the trees, mountains, and streams was refreshing way to view the wild and beautiful nature of Alaska. I tried to imagine how they built the railroad there in the late 1800’s. The tour guide mentioned that this particular railroad was an engineering feat in its time. This railroad tour helped me capture a sense of wonder about the creation in Alaska.
We always enjoy meeting a variety of people and cruises are a wonderful place to meet people. The crew and the staff of the Golden princess were friendly and helpful which I believe helped create an atmosphere on the ship of friendliness. One could strike up a conversation with about anyone. One man from California had been on Alaskan cruises numerous times and gave us insightful tips on where to do photography on board when the ship toured through Glacier Bay. With my wife and I being Christians we met with a group of about 9 Christians on Sunday morning. By midweek that group grew to 14. The fellowship of meeting with a group with the same worldview where we could share our mutual appreciation for God’s creation in Alaska was an important part of each day on the cruise. Then there was a delightful elderly couple we met from Louisiana that made our time special as well. New Orleans is one place we have wanted to visit but have never made the time to get there. With our meeting Clarence and Vilma from the suburbs of New Orleans changed that. On the last day of the cruise she gave us their address reminding us they have spare rooms so we would have no excuse not to come. So if you enjoy meeting new people a cruise is a perfect way to do that.
Then with my being a Bookhead, reading is part of the cruise experience. The Golden Princess had a small library on board that I frequented. I read a couple of my books I brought along and then I picked up a Jim Patterson novel, Tick Tock, out of their library to enjoy reading as well. In Ketchikan we stopped in the town bookstore, Parnassus Books. If you are ever in Ketchikan and enjoy books stop by. Their specialty is books on Alaska and they carry a variety of little gifts in the store as well. I have included here a picture from their store window, “Snack, Nap, Read” fits well with the cruise ship experience of good food, rest and reading. I was glad to see that Princess cruise lines promote reading with their library and a book club activity they had on board. I was too busy with other books to be involved with that, but the next cruise with them I will make it a point to try out the book club.
That wraps up my thoughts on the golden time we had on the Golden Princess cruise to Alaska. Hope you enjoyed some of the pictures from the trip. I have heard people say they would never take a cruise. Years ago I was one of those people. Give a cruise a try and you will see it can be one of the most relaxing vacations you ever experience.
Reflection: Here is the link to the Princess cruises http://www.princess.com/learn/cruise-destinations/#.U9pvJzYo61s click on it or search for another cruise line you are interested in and imagine yourself on one of the cruises.