Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grand Princess Alaska Cruise Skagway

I sleep so well on a cruise ship! We dock in Skagway at the crack of dawn and climb up top to take a look. It is overcast, windy and cold but we have eluded the rain. These intrepid photographers marvel at the early morning light.
Skagway, Alaska Grand Princess

As usual we opt for breakfast while the ship's crew makes arrangments for us to visit this beautiful town. All this beauty makes me hungry!

Breakfast Buffet Grand Princess

We gather our gear and begin our discovery of Skagway. As we disembark we notice the Norwegian Pearl is docked in front of our Grand Princess at this long dock. The port provides large golf cart type vehicles to transport you to the port  entrance. I find a small gratuity is always  welcomed. With a smile the cart driver gives us the low down on transportation options available into town. We choose a local bus that shuttles us into town for $5 each, round trip. It is really not that long of a distance, and most certainly walkable, but we smartly save our energy for later. The bus driver is also a tour guide, of sorts,  and gives us guidance on where the restrooms are and tells us the U.S. Park Service offers free tours of the town. A note here about tours:  The cruise ships offer all types of tours, shore excursions and activities for a fee. You can ride a helicopter, dog sled or kayak. There is a train ride excursion on the White Pass Yukon Route that in retrospect we should have tried. The train stops adjacent to the ship and you board for a scenic ride up the mountain. I am a bit of cheapskate and hate to be led around,  preferring instead  to  explore on my own.  Next time I will take the train trip; it looks like fun.
White Pass Yukon Route Skagway, Alaska

We wander over to the Park Service Headquarters just in time for the start of a free walking tour. There are several Park Service buildings that house museums along the way. The park ranger talks about the Gold Rush motivation that brought citizens to Skagway. We learn this bustling little town hosts just a few hardy people in winter's unfriendly season.  Most of the workers head south at the end of season. After the tour we wander town checking out shops with souvenirs, t-shirts and tchotchkes.
U.S Park Service Skagway, Alaska

Shopping in Skagway, Alaska A.MacIntosh photo

During our walk we stumble across a bar mentioned in tourist guides,  the Red Onion Saloon. We head inside to imbibe and watch the friendly costumed wait staff stuff their tips. What a hoot!
Red Onion Saloon Skagway, Alaska

The Beautiful Women of the Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska A. MacIntosh photos

A number of souvenirs later, we jump the shuttle back to the ship. At the entrance to the port we take advantage of a scenic photo op. Back on board we do the same.  It is hard not to take a great photo surrounded by beauty and color.
Port of Skagway, Alaska

Skaway, Alaska on board The Grand Princess

Lunch awaits us. I choose a hearty plate of roast pork loin, sauteed fish and mashed potatoes.
Horizon Court Buffet Grand Princess

Mousse! Grand Princess

We watch a first run movie on Lido deck to work up an appetite for dinner. What's for dinner in the Da Vinci Dining Room tonight? Avril has the dried beef salad and Coq au Vin. I have the mixed salad and fettuccine Alfredo. One of my own signature dishes is Fettuccine Alfredo - this one rocks! 

Bobby Brooks Wilson is the entertainer tonight, with tributes to Stevie Wonder and his father Jackie Wilson. His high energy songs leaves us with enough energy for some disco in Club One Five.

Warning!! This video may cause your eyes to cross and your feet to tap. I filmed it with my IPhone while dancing with the lovely Avril! No passengers were injured during filming :)


Zoomie said...

You two must diet before and after each of these cruises! Feast!

Greg said...

Zoomie- You are absolutely correct, we do diet to allow for indulgences. We are also extremely active on board and that helps.

Chilebrown said...

Was that you doing that acrobatic flop onto the dance floor?
Three meals a day like that look fabulous. I want to go just for the food.

Greg said...

Chilebrown- Just some random dude who saw me filming. If I did that they would need paramedics! I was trying not to film faces. The food choices are mind blowing. With the exception of several extra charge fancy restaurants everything is included in the price.

Mona said...

wow greg. i'm so jealous of your adventures!!! i'm dying to go to alaska. glad to see you are doing great!

Greg said...

Mona! Glad to see you drop by. I have to write some more about the trip soon.