I hitched a ride on my first Alaska cruise in the early 2000s in my parents room on the foldout couch. It was my longest cruise to date at 12 days, which I absolutely loved disconnecting and having no connection to the outside world. In the moment for sure.
We arrived early into Vancouver (also my first time in Canada) and immediately went out to explore. I only remember totem poles and a port, then insisting we go to the monstrous Capilano suspension bridge. It seemed like we were in a fairy tale and I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost amongst all the connecting catwalks in this lush rain forest.
Every Alaska port was so quaint and I loved all the nature. Definitely in my element. We hiked to the Mendenhall Glacier, took the gondolas to cliff tops, went whale watching….. unspoiled and breathtaking.
I rappelled off my first real cliff and had the bow of the ship to myself one morning while more than 50 dolphins guided us into a one of a kind sunrise.
We had a day planned to watch the glacier from the top deck…. sounds boring. Quite the contrary. The ship inches along slowly pulling into a small bay, while small icebergs are bobbing all around us. What??!! I was sworn to that it was normal. Then we spend hours doing a 360 degree turn while bundled up in our winter gear. Then I finally understood – it is hard for me to sit still for any amount of time BUT I learned that day that silence is golden. Ice chunks occasionally peel off the glaciers and splash into the bay. JUST WOW! Only then can you understand the effects of years global warming and try to be sensitive to your own carbon footprint.
Another memorable note – I was the youngest passenger by probably a good 15 years. And being a night owl, I certainly wasn’t ready for bed so I hit the lounge for live music every night. I was infatuated with a young Filipino singer who had a passion for folk music. Just something about him was so calming and intriguing. I even bought his CD and stayed in touch with him for awhile, as he continued to sing on numerous ships over the years.
I ramble but Alaska is a true masterpiece and worthy to be on everyone’s bucket list.