Wednesday, June 20, 2018

ALASKA CRUISE - MAY 2018 - FRIDAY, MAY 18TH, 2018 - LEFT THE SHIP TODAY



Friday, May 18th, 2018 we left the ship today.  Fitting that it rained.  It was an odd feeling, like saying goodbye to an old friend.  But first I need to finish what we did after our wonderful experience looking at the Hubbard Glacier.  For the first part of my post it will be a continuation of the 17th, and then I will add on our activities for the 18th.  

We were all directed to a special lunch of King Crab Legs and our whole group was there, family and friends.  It was our first casual meal we had had since being on the ship. 

Everyone lined up on the deck to get them, but the wind was blowing and it was a tad nippy to put it mildly, even for me.  I was glad when we headed inside to the restaurant.  

That afternoon we were also invited onto the bridge, one last chance to see how the ship is run.  That was very interesting.  

The last day just zoomed along.  Earlier we had packed our suitcases and had them outside the cabin by 7.00 p.m.  On the morning of the 18th, we have to be out of the cabin by 7.00 a.m.  We meet the family at 8.00 a.m. in one of the quiet lounges, where we join several other people.  A relatively short walk off the ship and to the bus, which will be the start of our land tour, the second part of our vacation.  

But getting back to the 17th, we are ending our day by sipping on a banana martini with our niece and nephew.  We are joined by the sister of our good friend (and now our good friend after this trip).  But it was getting late and it was time to get a good night's sleep.  Another big day tomorrow.  

Friday, May 18th - Left the ship - End of Cruise  

4.56 p.m. and we are at the Alyeska Hotel in Girdwood.  

We were a little sad to say goodbye to our ship, the first cruise we had ever been on, and it had left a lasting impression.  Eight days in all and it had been a phenomenal experience.  

The last port of call for us was Seward, and our first stop was the Alaska Sealife Center, in the same town.  We were given an hour-and-a-half to look around.  A fun place and we fell in love with Pilot the Sea Lion.  
I also loved the puffins  

We met a very nice couple when we sat down for a spell.  They were off the Norwegian ship.  A pleasant conversation talking about their trip, and then it was time to get back on the bus.  
The bus dropped us off in the same town for lunch and after an hour we were on our way to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, a wildlife sanctuary.  
We saw bear, elk, wolves, deer, musk ox and bison. The animals would be rehabilitated back to the wild wherever possible.  From there it was a short ride to our hotel, and first thing my niece and I did was find coffee on a lower floor when exploring the hotel.

We had a couple of hours rest and then rode the gondola to the top of a mountain overlooking the hotel.  Our group of eight had dinner in a lovely restaurant with the most breathtaking views.  
You can see the hotel at the bottom of the second shot.

When our dinner was almost over, we were told that it was too windy for the gondola to get back down, so we waited for half an hour before we were then told it was okay.  Several diners by that time, filled the gondola to make the journey down.  It was a very, very, very slow ride, again packed in like sardines, but we eventually made it to the bottom, and I think we were all very happy to get back down.  Gregg asked what would happen if we weren't able to use the gondola, and he was told that there was a caterpillar-tread-type of transport that they could send for.  It had a capacity to take 10 people safely down the mountain.  
We chatted in the foyer around a lovely fire.  Our tour organizer had told us earlier to put our bags outside by nine in the morning, but we don't have to be out of the hotel until much later.  

One of the many nice things we have learned about our land tour (and this is the first one of these we have been on also), is that although we are in a different hotel every night, our bags are  ready and waiting in our room at the end of the day.  The following morning we leave them outside our room, and they are picked up a couple of hours before we board the bus.
We are also very happy that almost a year ago we had arranged to come back to this hotel with our niece and nephew. We were keeping our options open, but when we saw the hotel we knew we had made the right choice. We will have said goodbye to the tour group by that time, and while the rest of our family fly home, we will be heading back here for a while.

But in the meantime we are off to Anchorage tomorrow.

(I will be revisiting these places in other posts eventually.)








24 comments:

  1. Those king crab legs look scrumptious, you guys have so much energy that is a lot of touring. Will stay posted for Anchorage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More energy than I ever thought I had. The sights and all the wildlife kept us going :)

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. He certainly was, absolutely loved him.

      Delete
  3. Beautiful scenery - but it is the animals who have stolen my heart this post. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great and there will be more animals EC :)

      Delete
  4. I remember that last day feeling. It can be quite painful. It happened on every cruise we went on. You have your blog as a permanent reminder though, that's a good thing. You got some pretty good pictures to remind you of a wonderful holiday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Valerie, I love to read my old journals a few years down the road. Brings back so many memories. I'd love to read one about your cruises sometime by the way.

      Delete
  5. Hello, beautiful photos. I like the wildlife, the puffin is cute. My hubby would love those crab legs. Great cruise. Enjoy your day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eileen, your hubby and mine :) Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  6. The puffin and sea lion look real characters!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were, I loved keeping them company for a while.

      Delete
  7. Cruise ships are so beautiful. I have always said that one day I will go before Christmas and enjoy the beauty of one then....such interesting things you have seen. I love it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be a lovely time to go on a cruise. Thanks for sowing the seed Pam, though I don't really know when the next one would be. This felt like one of those once in a lifetime trips.

      Delete
  8. my heart melted at the sealion pics and that beautiful bear.. did they let you drive that ship? LOL kidding! it is a beautiful ship

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to bring that sealion back home with me but we are land logged so I don't think it would have been fair :) Yes, I could just see me trying to navigate through all those jaggy places, lol!

      Delete
  9. bears! such nice pictures. You and Gregg look wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  10. So enjoying this tour with you. The sactuary looks a lovely place and good to know that it is there. Take care Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always happy to hear Diane. I'm always happy to hear our displaced animals are being taken care of. You take care too :)

      Delete
  11. We spent a lot of time at the Sealife Center and loved it. Wonderful pic of the puffin -- aren't they amazing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They certainly are and so happy you saw them too. Thanks Sallie :)

      Delete
  12. That many people give me the willies, but I'm glad you had your cruise!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truthfully I do not do well in crowds also but there were plenty of places I could tuck myself away in a nice quiet spot.

      Delete

I thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I enjoy reading them very much and always try to return a visit. As I do monitor comments it may take a while for them to appear, even quite late depending on what is going on and how much time I am able to spend on the computer.

Also, there are times when I delete by mistake, so if something you have written to me is gone, it's usually because my fingers have pushed the wrong button!