Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Alaska Cruise Part 4- A Passport Picadillo

It's mid-cruise by now--we have found our pace and our stomachs have quieted down from the initial shock of walking on a moving target and ever-changing horizons.

Our biggest decision is no longer  "which cocktail bar shall we play Texas Hold 'Em in? " ...

...but "where shall we have dinner tonight"?  There are 3 dining rooms to choose from, as well as many themed specialty restaurants $$$.

That night's entertainment demonstrated why I love cruise shows:  it was a hodgepodge of performances staged by the crew!  The crew performers were mostly men singers and a group of singing/dancing cooks.  One of the men was so good it brought tears to my eyes that his special light was hidden in the cold food locker of the cruise ship kitchen.  Doesn't seem right.

Here is a representative of the bartenders; this guy found an ingenious way to fill large cocktail orders--from a huge banana decanter with multiple drain holes positioned perfectly over martini glasses.  It was fun and endearing to watch amateurs do something they loved-- no matter how wacky.

The next day we parked in Skagway.  We all have shore excursions; a train ride, bike trip and horseback trail ride.  The day is gloriously sunny and warm and we were told by excited tour operators that days like this are very rare in Skagway!

Even the port seal was feeling frisky as he  entertained cruisers by flipping an unlucky salmon up out the water and then chasing it down, only to grab it in his mouth and flip it up again, like a toy!  The seal would then pause and look at us, as if to make sure he had an audience and then continue the salmon flip game.  Must have been terrifying for the fish but great fun to watch the playful seal perform!

Soo-Eeee was responsible for some drama because she was unable to locate her Passport.  I checked with the Tour Operator to see if there was any wiggle room where the passport issue was concerned but Noooooo...they would wait a few minutes for me to tear my cabin apart but I had to have it to take part in the bike ride which began in Canada.  I raced back on ship and tore the cabin apart--no passport!  The Tour Operator refunded the bike half of the activity and I was able to go on the train ride since it was round trip with no disembarkation in Canada.  I was disappointed but glad to be able to go on the train, even if it was all my myself!

I would later recall that I put my ID and credit cards in my yellow slicker rain gear in Ketchikan and thought it remained in one of  the pockets...

The Train trip was spectacular!   This is the Klondike Highway which replaced the train route.  It is the road that the bikes would be coasting back down from the summit in Canada.

I have always loved train mystique and the rumble and vibration of train travel.  Not to mention the thrill of being perched on tiny elevated tracks!

I remained outdoors on the platform between cars for a great view, smell of pine and electric feel of the air.

I was also the train photographer since many folks wanted group photos with the beautiful mountains in the background. 

Here is a glacier-- see the blue at the base of the white snowpile?

While I was having a wonderful time on the train, my friends, (Sharon, Mary and Marilyn) coasted on their male bikes down the Klondike Highway.

"Marilyn--I feel your pain"--why on earth do they use only MEN'S bikes for these tours?!   Why must ladies risk injury "down there" to pole vault onto these things?  Is is too much to ask to stock both styles of bikes??

Here is the hearty group.  It was reported that the bike ride was quite athletic with some uphill inclines and the speed down the mountain was very challenging.

After all tours were complete, we explored the town.  Here is a view that looks like the ship is parked at the end of the street.

A suitable bar was located--the Red Onion Saloon.  Photos & History

The link is pretty entertaining.

The Red Onion is an infamous brothel where the bar servers (madams) wore tight bustiers hoisting their lady parts up to their noses.  The pictures on the wall are all ...racy.

Here is another Skagway street scene.

Our time at Skagway was awesome.

PS.  The next day, I reached into my tiny shoulder bag--the fourth compartment--and there was my passport.  It was a new bag purchased just for the cruise and I had forgotten there were FOUR compartments... I had it with me the entire time.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for putting all this together...it brings back such good memories!