Cruisin’ Alaska… Whittier Disembarkation Day :(

I’ve really enjoyed this cruise, it has been stunning from from one the moment we embarked.  The Island Princess immediately felt like temporarily coming home.  There are so many similarities between this ship and the Sun and Dawn Princess ships that I have been on before – similar (yet different) decor, similar ship layout, similar bars – Wheelhouse Lounge, Princess Theatre, Crooners Bar, Atrium Bar… with only a few differences.  Same with the deck names: Lido, Aloha, Baha, Caribe,  Dolphin, Emerald, Promenade, Fiesta, etc. so it’s hard to get lost!  And they have similar eating and entertainment areas… card rooms, library, Internet cafe, shuffleboard, golf driving range, Lotus Spa, Sanctuary for adults.  The Horizon Court all day buffet on the Lido Deck, two dining rooms (Provence and Bordeaux on this ship… I think it was the Venetian and Florentine dining rooms on the last ship) and Sabatini’s was the Italian restaurant on this ship.  The room service menu is exactly the same, only with the addition of American Hot Dogs and Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches on the menu!  🙂
cruise 1
This cruise has been largely full of retirees, some young families, but not many, and quite a few somewhat younger, not necessarily retired, people (mostly women) like myself, travelling with a parent.  So everything is kinda homey and familiar and yet with plenty of interesting little differences.  For example, I washed my hair with the ‘exotic’ eucalyptus shampoo and conditioners, but to me, I thought I just came away smelling like I’d been spewed on by a koala!
cruise 5
The demographic of the ship is primarily American with a handful of Aussies and a few Asian cultures represented here and there.   Every single American we met, upon realizing I was Australian would talk your ear off about how much they want to visit Australia, and thanks to Peter Jackson… New Zealand, one day.  I didn’t meet hardly any people that weren’t from the ‘Lower 48’.  The opening conversational gambits of course became very predictable: ‘So, where are y’all from?’  We met…
Mr North Carolina:  ‘Do y’all know where that is?’
Reply: ‘North of South Carolina, I should imagine…’
Mr & Mrs Montana:  ‘We just love watching the Australian Open on TV to listen to them funny accents!’
Ms Florida travelling with her Dad:  ‘I knows how to eat m’ seafood, I don’t need no crab crackin’ lessons.’
Mr & Mrs California: ‘You know where Disneyland is?  Well, we live near there.  Well, about two hours north of there.’
Mr Missouri: ‘I’d like a plate of sliced pineapple for entrees please.’ With EVERY meal.
Ms Virginia: ‘Well, it’s just near Maryland.’  Like I’m supposed to know where that is.
Mrs Texas: Wez all flew heer owen ma husban’s seester’s jet. Soz it wuz larke only three ‘ours ta git heer.
cruise 3
The food was outstanding as per usual, lots of seafood.  Lobster, crab, salmon, various fishes, shrimps, squid, clams, mussels and all good things.  Way too many sweets and lots of interesting new things to try.  I even had Aunty Mary try the escargot and veal sweetmeats… and everything was just delicious.  And man, you shoulda watched people put away plate after plate after plate up on the Horizon buffet and then watch them do it all again for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I swear they would have served up twice as much food on this cruise than they would have on one going out for the same length of time from an Australian port!
cruise 4
HIghly unlikely anyone is interested, but I am putting this info here for my future reference…
  • Vancouver to Ketchikan – 535 nautical miles; averaging 14.4 knots
  • Ketchikan to Juneau – 272 nautical miles; averaging 17.2 knots
  • Juneau to Skagway – 99 nautical miles; averaging 10.8 knots
  • Skagway to Glacier Bay – 113 nautical miles; averaging 11.5 knots
  • Glacier Bay to College Fjord – 438 nautical miles; averaging 18.4 knots
  • College Fjord to Whittier – 24 nautical miles; averaging 8 knots
In total 1479 nautical miles = 1700.85 statute miles = 2,739.1 kilometres
The Island Princess:
  • Operated by Princess Cruises
  • Registry:  Hamilton, Bermuda
  • Gross tonnage:  91,627 tonnes
  • Net registered tonnage:  53,394 tonnes
  • Draught:  27.2 feet / 8.3m
  • Length:  964.3 feet / 294.0m
  • Breadth:  105.6 feet / 32.2m
  • Builders Chantiers de L’Atlantique, St Naizare France
  • Keel Laid:  January 22, 2002
  • Max pax: 2368
  • Max crew:  810

cruise 2

Tell me what you think