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Thread: Summer Trip to Cooler Climates

  1. #31
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    My parents were never big nature lovers but they have taken two cruises to Alaska and each time they got back they couldn't stop talking about all the wildlife they saw, mostly the eagles, and how beautiful it was.

    A trip to Alaska is on my bucket list.

    Glad you are having such a good time. Sorry to hear about the good and service situation. That is disappointing but hopefully you don't let it ruin this experience.
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  2. #32
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    We are having a great time. The food/beverage stuff is not ruining the trip in the least. My acid reflux was really bad before the trip and I'm still having to watch what I eat, so not eating a lot helps. I'm pretty sure I'll get off the ship weighing what I did before I got on-not sure about others on this trip.




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  3. #33
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Friday
    Today was an at sea day. We slept and then went to breakfast late. We sat and talked with others for a few hours. We met a lady who sounds like all she does is cruise-some as long 39 days and is looking to do a 100 day cruise. Next was laundry because we are headed out for the 8 day land tour. The laundry room was packed. I waited 45 minutes for a washer while hubby was in the room working and then 30 minutes for a dryer after my clothes were washed. Hubby came down right before the dryer was available. The clothes went in and we went to lunch, grabbed our laundry from the dryer and then meandered around the ship taking care of a few things before heading to one of the bars for a cold drink. We spoke with another couple for a while before heading to the room to pack. We decided that the menu in the dining room wasn't anything we wanted and did the buffet for dinner. Scenic cruising of College Fjords began at 6 so the buffet was great because of the views. We then went back to the room for a short time before heading back out for some drinks and the comedy show. We were in bed by 11 because we had to be out of the room by 8 this morning. Our group is one of the last ones off the ship today-10:05 meeting time which is great as some groups began to meet for disembarkation at 6:10 am. We are just hanging out at the table in the buffet now. The ship is really quiet now. We will have a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to the hotel-Kenai Princess Lodge and we have a short tour at 2:30. I have no idea what or where lunch will be today.




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  4. #34
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Saturday we arrived at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge. Our rustic cabin like room is HUGE and has a wood burning stove which we lit in the evening. The food and service here is great. What a great day we had today(Sunday)! We did a tour out of the Kenai peninsula. We saw orca whales and then the fluke of a humpback whale. We saw puffins, sea lions, harbor seals, and otters-some on chunks of ice and some on the rocks mountains. We saw a swarm of moon jellyfish. We got up close to a glacier and heard the thunderous sound of it calving and falling into the water! It was truly a great experience(even if I had to take 2 dramamine). Tomorrow we move on to the next lodge. We are a group of 28 on our bus and there are 27 on the other bus. We will be together until Sunday. Great people.




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  5. #35
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    We have been on the move all week.

    After leaving Kenai, we stopped in Anchorage for a few hours to walk around and get lunch. The downtown area was really quiet compared to other cities. Then we continued on to Copper River Lodge. The next day 6 of us did a tour to Kennecott which is an old copper mine that is deep into St. Elias Wrangell National Park and is being restored by the National Parks. It was about 120 miles from the lodge, but took close to 4 hours each way in a beat-up old van because 60 miles of road has been described as "washboard road"(termed by one of our group) and the driver, well, I just won't go there. The old mining town was very interesting and the tour through the town and mill where they separated the copper from the limestone was educational. Yesterday, we headed toward Denali and saw some beautiful scenery along the way. They used the Denali Highway which is mostly gravel for over a 100 miles before arriving at the Denali Princess Lodge. This place is huge-over 600 rooms, several restaurants and shops and the first of the three to have wifi in the rooms. Today was the included tour into Denali-the Wilderness Tundra Tour. Only National Park Services vehicles or their vendors are allowed past a certain point in the park and we were on one of their buses(run by Aramark) and what I mean by bus, it a long school bus outfitted with coach seats and overhead luggage racks. I was stuck over the wheel and was not a happy camper for the 60 miles in and the 60 miles out with only a few bathroom breaks. The road is mostly one lane and gravel/dirt and has sharp drop offs. Lunch was a box of snacks and a bottle of water. The rained all day and was so foggy that at times we saw nothing, but we can't control the weather, can we? We did manage to see a few bears, caribou and a red fox-the fox was the only animal really close to the bus). The bus is equipped with a good camera that the driver can focus up close on the wildlife and we could see it on the screens on the bus. This was the tour I was looking forward to the most and I guess I was disappointed probably because I was so uncomfortable. Tomorrow we are doing a jeep tour back on the Denali Hwy(if I would have known it was the way we came here we would not have booked it) and then we board the train to Fairbanks around 3 or 4 pm. I have to say, that even though we were disappointed on the ship with the food, the lodges have excellent restaurants. The lodges are nice and comfortable and the staff is great. They really do a great job of organizing everything. Our tour guide makes dinner reservations for us most night and puts us with other couples so we get to know each other. It was been a lot of fun. One sad note. Yesterday, one of the few times we had cell coverage in the middle of nowhere, one of our travel companions got text saying her mother, who has been in declining health, passed away. She decided to finish the tour because everything for her mom has been pre arranged and they will do the memorial service when she returns.




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  6. #36
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    I can’t get over how much you are on the go. When my SIL did the Alaskan cruise/rail trip. It sounded like she just sat and read on the ship. Don’t think they even saw any wildlife. Not sure I would have the energy/ambition you guys do but I’m certainly enjoying your report!!

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  7. #37
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegmeister View Post
    I can’t get over how much you are on the go. When my SIL did the Alaskan cruise/rail trip. It sounded like she just sat and read on the ship. Don’t think they even saw any wildlife. Not sure I would have the energy/ambition you guys do but I’m certainly enjoying your report!!
    Thanks. I'm tired. I have cat napped on the buses. We will be here for another 11-12 days and have a lot planned. We are also in the planning stages for an eastern European trip next summer. So far we have a Viking cruise booked Bucharest to Budapest but will be adding on to the front end and back end of that trip. Another one of our travel agent friends(we went jr. high and high school together) is helping us book that. We have another travel agent friend who does the more unusual trips and is planning to lead a 19 day Antartica cruise leaving from Chile for mid March 2021 and we are seriously considering it. It'll mean leaving Aruba early, but when does that type of opportunity come up? Yes, we are insane.




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  8. #38
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    you are NOT insane
    you are worldly
    you are making the most of your lives!
    good for you.

    again, speaking for me, I am enjoying living vicariously reading of your trip.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Definitely not insane!! You are very fortunate to be able to travel the way you do. Plus the Antartica cruise sounds amazing.

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  10. #40
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    I work with a guy that is doing an Antarctica cruise next April. It sounds amazing, and if all seven continents is on your bucket list, that's the hard one. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us, sounds like you are making the best of it.

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