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North to Alaska! Live from Volendam (and Vancouver) - May 22-29, 2019


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As we sit in Denver’s airport following a very bumpy flight from the east coast through some Midwestern tornadoes, I think it’s safe to start a live thread.  

 

Please join my wife and I as we sail on the lovely ms Volendam May 22 through Alaska’s Inside Passage to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and the magnificent Glacier Bay.  

 

Before we board, we’ll be spending three full says in Vancouver, staying at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Plans for Vancouver include wandering, eating and sleeping. This is a well-earned getaway for us both.  

 

We have a few great excursions lined up for our cruise. We will be taking the Tracy Arm excursion directly from the ship before she rocks in Juneau. In Skagway we are doing a bus trip to Bennet Lake and then the White Pass railroad back. In Ketchikan we had booked a trip with Mountain Air but unfortunately due to tragic news I’m sure you all know we no longer can do that. Instead we will play it by ear.  

 

This is our second trip to Alaska, the first was back in 2008 on the Westerdam. That was our first HAL cruise; this will be our 7th.  

 

We received a note the other day that due to tide issues to be at Canada Place between 10 a.m.-12 p.m. for a 3 p.m. sail away.    

 

So, follow along. I’ll be posting photos. Lots of photos. I’ll do my best to make it worthwhile! But please ignore typos as I’m positing solely from my iPhone XS.  

 

More tomorrow from Vancouver.

Edited by sppunk
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Hey we are on this cruise also.  We fly out Sunday afternoon from Ontario, Canada.  Meet friends from Britain for this cruise.  We are touring outside of Vancouver for the first 2 days and then after the cruise we will do Vancouver itself.  We have also booked the Tracy Arm excursion and a few different tours in the other 2 cities.  Our 1st Alaskan cruise but our 4th with HAL.  Just finished up packing/closing our suitcases.  Can't wait!!!

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I really enjoyed the Tracy Arm excursion because we were so close to the water and glacier. Also the Fairmont Pacific Rim is one of my favorite hotels so far...great service!  I wonder if Patrick is still the door man there. He was so sweet!  Have fun and thanks for posting about your trip.  

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8 hours ago, cormike1 said:

Hey we are on this cruise also.  We fly out Sunday afternoon from Ontario, Canada.  Meet friends from Britain for this cruise.  We are touring outside of Vancouver for the first 2 days and then after the cruise we will do Vancouver itself.  We have also booked the Tracy Arm excursion and a few different tours in the other 2 cities.  Our 1st Alaskan cruise but our 4th with HAL.  Just finished up packing/closing our suitcases.  Can't wait!!!

 

Bon Voyage!!

 

Have a great 1st Alaskan cruise.  After you do this one, you will want to go back.  So much to see in Alaska.

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Enjoy your cruise to Alaska. If you happen to see Scott Singer on the ship, please at hi. A number of years ago when he was about 18, he did a really good "live from" on one of his cruises. Now he's been fortunate to have a job in the cruise industry.

Thanks.

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Also on Volendam sailing this coming Wednesday, 22nd.  Wife and I arrive Vancouver tomorrow afternoon for a couple nights prior.  Our first HAL, and first multi-night cruise.  Before this we've only done several European overnight ferries.

    Regarding your reference to:

"........We received a note the other day that due to tide issues to be at Canada Place between 10 a.m.-12 p.m. for a 3 p.m. sail away......"

     Our note from HAL on May 3rd referencing the earlier departure due to a tidal issue, recommended being at terminal between 10am and Noon or between 2 pm and 3 pm.  All Onboard by 3:30 pm with departure at 4 pm (30 min. earlier than original time).  Online also showing 4 pm.   No matter, we'll likely be hanging around the terminal before 10 am.

     Since you plan to post photos daily, have you figured out Internet costs?  Might be too late now to purchase Online at a Gift & Indulgence, but I went ahead and did the 7 Night Premium last week at $111.99 - everything else I found had costs higher, but not clear what was truly a current price.

     And, my wife is originally (and her mother still lives) from Newton, just down the Pike from Fenway.

     

     

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Day -3: Sunday, May 19

 

Before I begin to today’s report, I can’t do it without posting the photo I took when we were flying into Vancouver. So, here:

 

2-D598-D6-A-4-D00-4-E71-95-DD-ABE3-A2-CE

 

It’s a good day when you wake up, get ready for the day, realize your phone didn’t switch time zones and get to go back to sleep for another three hours. And that’s exactly how this day began. 

 

When we opened the shades this morning we were presented with an amazing view of Vancouver Harbor and the lovely Westerdam. Things really are looking up. 

 

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A sun-filled 68 degree day beckoned us so we took full advantage. We stepped outside and walked to Stanley Park, about a 25 minute walk from the Pacific Rim. Then we walked. And walked some more. In all, 26,000 steps exploring the harbor, park, Gastown, etc. enjoying the views and celebrating life. 

 

Vancouver sure is pretty, guys. Here are a few pics:

 

58-E77-ACD-9949-4-D58-A6-CB-5818-F3-E222 

 

7-B8-CB7-B1-7-D1-F-4-C44-87-E6-D2-B60-C1 

 

5174-EFB4-73-D2-4436-BF89-4-C2-C6454-F2- 

 

Dinner tonight was at Blue Water Cafe. Supposedly one of the best restaurants in Canada, we can safely say that’s a proper title. We had spot prawn wontons, west coast salmon and sablefish - their signature dish - with shiitake mushrooms, edamame, bok choy, and miso. So. Dam. Good. 

 

54-FE4-EC3-94-EC-4-BB6-A44-E-7504366-ECF 

 

Today we hit the Vancouver jackpot. 

 

More tomorrow.  

Edited by sppunk
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