Cruising Through Southeast Alaska with Crown Princess | September 2016

It’s been four years since this trip happened and I’ve stopped keeping track of the number of times I’ve attempted to get myself out of writing about it. I just can’t seem to let it go. The only reason why I can actually proceed with this post is because of the notes I kept in my planner, the photos, and my crazy memory for still remembering this trip so well. It goes to show just how much this trip meant to me LOL

September 2016.

My grandparents and I left for the airport way too early in the morning to catch our flight out of San Francisco to Seattle. Prior to boarding, I remember having coffee and pastry at one of the cafes. We then proceeded through the security check and made our way to our boarding gate. I didn’t know it was at that particular time, at the boarding gate, that I was going to have a good and stable WiFi connection.

Even though I was still jet-lagged, I didn’t fall asleep during that short flight. I forgot what I did that kept me awake. Though I remember thinking how awesome it was that Alaska Airlines served Starbucks for their complimentary in-flight beverage.

As soon as we landed in Seattle, we headed straight to the meet-up point to meet one of ground service for the cruise. My grandparents put me on navigation duty and this put some pressure because 1) it was my first time at the SEA-TAC Airport so I had no idea where everything was and 2) I didn’t want to make my grandparents walk too much so I wanted to get things right on the first attempt.

After a while, we were able to find the meet-up point and left our luggages with the ground staff. We were then led to the coach that would take us to the port. It was a relatively short trip and the best part about it was the little facts about Seattle the tour guide was sharing. Oh and the scenic views as we drove through downtown, of course.

As soon as we stepped out of the bus, I remember seeing two cruise ships docked. I remember guessing which one we were supposed to get on (I guessed wrong) and followed the staff’s instructions on what to do and where to go next. I can’t remember the entire process but not long after, we were already able to get on the cruise ship.

View from Mount Roberts Tramway — Crown Princess docked in Juneau
Crown Princess docked in Haines

It was my first time getting on a cruise. My only memory of getting on a big boat was when my cousins and I tagged along our parents on a ferry from Manila to Cebu. So I didn’t know what to expect. While attempting to find our way to our room, I was also trying to read as much as I could from the pamphlet and trying to memorise which part of the ship was what. I had to keep telling myself I had all the time to explore the rest of the ship later, given that it was a seven-day cruise.

Our little mailbox. This is where the staff placed announcements, letters, and pamphlets.

My grandparents and I stayed in one room. I stayed on the top bunk and I clearly remember not wanting to stay up there since I kept catastrophising things — I calmed down and started being rational after a little while. I ended up loving my bunk a little too much that there was a day we were just at sea and I slept the whole day (went to bed after dinner, slept soundly, told my grandma I was sleeping through breakfast and lunch, and finally woke up to get ready for dinner LOL) 

The first thing you see upon entering the cabin would be the closet, with the bathroom three steps across.
Complementary chocolate-covered strawberries.

My grandma collected all our “mail” through the duration of our trip. These pamphlets contained all the information we would need from embarking to disembarking — relevant information about our ship, the amenities, and the ports we were going to.

My grandma and I had already purchased our ticket before docking in Juneau. My grandpa decided last minute he also wanted to join us but instead of going back to the ticket counter on the ship, we purchased his ticket from the booth in Juneau. 

Aside from being on navigation duty, I was also in-charge of choosing the excursion we would do for each port. The pamphlets delivered to our cabin had a list of all the excursions we could choose from.

This guy was in charge of the excursions counter at the ship. He was so accommodating — I remember asking him a billion questions about the excursions and instead of being snappy, he was just so patient. By the end of the cruise, I probably approached his counter like twenty times.

I can’t remember which day it was when my grandma and I walked around the ship to check the amenities available. I think I was able to take a photo of all the common areas…except for the buffet-style dining area.

I pretty much went to all the viewing decks to get a view of the breathtaking beauty that was Glacier Bay.
While cruising through Glacier Bay

There was quite a number of events that was organised throughout the seven-day cruise. And I only went to one. It was the very first one — when they welcomed all the guests and basically had a short presentation on what to expect.

The Wheelhouse Bar, if my memory is correct, doubled as the immigration area prior to docking in Victoria. Visas were checked for guests that weren’t US citizens.
Some of the products being sold at the souvenir shop on the ship.

After a week of being at sea, I was so ready to get off and walk on land. I had a great time being on the ship, and it was an experience I will never forget — yeah look at me now, it’s been four years and I’m writing about the trip as if it just happened. Because of this cruise, I learned so much about Alaska’s history and culture, and I ended the journey with so much appreciation for Alaska that it is now one of my favourite places. Hopefully someday, I get to go on a cruise to Alaska again. ❤️

PS. There were still excursions available upon disembarking and I honestly thought I would have enough time to explore downtown Seattle prior to our flight back to San Francisco. I was wrong. So my grandpa and I just took a photo at the Starbucks. At the airport. In Seattle. LOL

3 thoughts on “Cruising Through Southeast Alaska with Crown Princess | September 2016

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