After exploring Vancouver for a couple of days and acclimating to the time change, we transitioned smoothly from that adventure into boarding our cruise ship to Alaska. What made it even better was finally reuniting with our friends, Phil and Stacey, and getting to meet some new friends they brought along!

After a short wait, our entrance onto the ship was surprisingly swift, and finding our cabin was easy, with our luggage showing up without a hitch. Chad and I were both pleased with our mini-suite, complete with a balcony. And guess what? Our friends had adjacent rooms, so we had the patios interconnected by opening the dividing doors. It felt like a mini neighborhood on the water!

The Charm of the Open Seas

The departure from the port, sailing under the Lion's Gate Bridge, was something out of a dream. As we navigated through Vancouver Bay, the anticipation of the upcoming adventure was palpable. After dinner with all of our new friends, exhaustion from the day's journey caught up, and a quiet evening on the balcony, admiring the blend of mountains and water, seemed like the best way to unwind.

The first day at sea had its mix of beauty and challenges. On a day marred by unpredictable weather, Chad and I decided to relax, catch up on some much-needed rest, and even got some laundry done.

Taking advantage of the room service, we ordered dinner, which included an amazing French onion soup that would become a staple of this whole journey!

Icy Strait Point: No King Crab and No Wildlife!

Our first port of call was the intriguingly named Icy Strait Point in Hoonah, Alaska. As we anchored, the sight of bald eagles soaring and dancing in the sky was a welcome treat. Chad, anxious to try out new camera gear, was quick to grab his zoom lens for a better view. The unique sounds of these majestic birds caught us off-guard – a high-pitched, almost haunting melody.

Hoonah was a revelation. Rich in history and culture, it was incredible learning about the Hoonah Tlingit, the original inhabitants, and the evolution of the Icy Strait Point. And yes, I admit, I developed an odd fascination for the word “fjord.”

While we were anticipating some delicious local Alaskan King Crab, that dream was short-lived, and we had to settle for Dungeness. And we had to crack them with our hands like cave people since they had no crab crackers.

After a brief rest back in our room, it was time to head out for a wildlife adventure with our friends via a self-driving Jeep adventure! Even though Chad and I historically don't have the best of luck when it comes to seeing native wildlife, we were hopeful. This is Alaska, after all!

Nope! Aside from a deer on the side of the road as we left town, we saw not a single animal. Not even a squirrel! Ugh! But at least we got to share this not-so-much wildlife tour with our friends!

A Cruise Adventure Isn't Without Its Downsides: Juneau is a Bust!

As we ventured further, not all was smooth sailing. The weather was a spoilsport during our much-anticipated helicopter tour in Juneau, as the whole area was fogged in and rainy!

Hours on the ship, coupled with the unpredictable rain, did make us wistful for our RV. The freedom and flexibility that comes with RVing sometimes overshadowed the cruise experience.

We made the most of the day, though, exploring the ship while it was mostly empty, and ended the day with a dinner date with a view! Even though our adventures have been a bust so far, we are still in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and we can certainly enjoy that!

Sea Day: Hubbard Glacier!

This sea day was no ordinary sea day! Our ship made its way through some view-blocking fog, emerging into a beautiful day cruising near the Hubbard Glacier, where the views were absolutely awe-inspiring!

The glacier itself and the surrounding mountains covered in snow and ice, causing waterfalls down the mountains, were amazing to witness!

Ending the day and a private birthday dinner for our friend, Christina, was the icing on the cake of a wonderful day!

Embracing the Wonders of Haines via Jet Boat!

Since our helicopter tour was a bust, we decided we needed an adventure and booked a jet boat river tour on the Chilkat River. Maybe we will finally see some wildlife?

Arriving at the tour, we were immediately treated to some awesome views of the local Bald Eagles. Being local to this location, they are comfortable with the tour company staff, responding to calls, and even snatching fish out of the water in front of us.

Only a few minutes into our tour, we also saw a healing brown bear crossing the river! We figured this had to be a sign of the tons of bears and other wildlife we would see on this adventure.

While we didn't see any more bears, the majestic eagles, the serene Chilkat River, and the surrounding landscape made it unforgettable.

Our day in Haines ended on a high with tacos, a visit to a brewery, and a stroll through the Oceanside RV Park. It was almost poetic, watching eagles from our room's balcony and reminiscing about the day's adventures as we set sail once again.

Stay Tuned for More Adventures!

Our Alaskan cruise is far from over. With six more days to explore, experience, and engage with Alaska's treasures, there's much more to share. So stick around for Part Two of our Alaskan adventures and more delightful shenanigans with our friends!

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