Eagles while whale watching in Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

There was an hour time change through the night and so I got an extra hour to sleep in! Despite having and interior room with no windows to gauge time, Ryan woke at the crack of dawn and went down to breakfast. I told him I would get up at 9 AM and meet him. Right at 9, he barges into the room and tells me that he and his family saw Orcas and whales off the side of the ship, so I hurried through my wake-up process and ran upstairs to see. Alas, all of the whales had disappeared, however, the view itself was enough to take my breath away. We were in a channel surrounded by huge, snow-crested mountains that had skirts of lush greenery whose colors were the definition of evergreen. Cascading from the pockets of snow were waterfalls that ran the length of the mountain all the way down to the water we sailed upon. I have to say, it was the best breakfast view I’ve ever had.

We had about 2 hours before our boat went ashore, so Ryan and I decided to jump into the hot tub. The contrast of the hot water and cool touch of the air mixed with the mountain views was just great. Not to mention the added bonus of the jets massaging our caves which ached from running up and down the ships stairs between floors!

Eventually, it was time to run back to the room and get ready for our whale watching excursion in Juneau! We had a quick-lunch onboard the ship and I tried to get the “world renowned” crab cakes that were on display in the lunch que, but they hadn’t made them yet so I had to go with a burger. I was disappointed but I quickly shrugged that off as we debarked. We had about 1.5 hours until we needed to meet our tour guides, so we walked down the wharf to the shops. We tried on some hats and looked through the chachkies. Ryan and I took off a bit further into the town of Juneau which is packed with fun shops and yummy looking seafood places. After some window shopping (even though I wanted to buy everything) at this adorable shop called Trove, Ryan and I rendezvous with his family and then met the Harv & Marv’s tour guides by the boat. The pointed us to our 20-person shuttle that was our transport to the marina.

It was about a 20-minute scenic drive to the marina where our ship and Captain, Captain Steve of the Merlin, was waiting for us. Steve was very nice and was quick to help us on our private boat to head out before any of the other boats beat us.

Whale watching with Harv and Marvs in Juneau, Alaska

After taking off from the dock, the hunt was on to spot a spout of a whale. It took about 15 minutes before we came across a breaching blue whale calf! The mother was close by as well and both of them kept popping up to the surface. We even got to see the mother’s tail a few times! We watched them for about 30 minutes and then they disappeared.

We took off down the waterway, passing bald eagles and sea lions along the way! The sea lions kept popping their heads up out of the water – super cute! We finally found another set of baby and mother whales right by a glacier. The baby whale was playing and kept bobbing its head up out of the water. It was such a cool site, especially with the backdrop of the white mountain tops. Absolutely breathtaking. I loved everything about the experience. Especially seeing the other boats crammed packed with people who did not get a private boat. For $20 more, it was totally worth doing!

A blad eagle in Juneau, Alasak

We sadly had to head back to the marina and then back to the cruise ship harbor. We had until 10 PM to board the ship, so Ryan and I walked around downtown Juneau. We bought some trinkets in town, and Ryan was hungry so we stopped by Deckhand Dave’s Fish Tacos food truck so he could get some delicious Rock Fish tacos. They were not only reasonably priced, but the bite I had was so yummy.

I, personally, was saving my stomach for some Alaskan King Crab since I didn’t get my fill from lunch earlier. Luckily, Tracy’s King Crab Shack was on the walk back to the ship so we stopped by. While I just wanted a crab cake initially, we ended up with a combo so we could try a crab leg, the crab bisque, and crab cakes all at once. Oh My Gosh! It was so fresh and delicious! Not only that, but the location right on the docks with the buckets of crab legs whizzing by for other tables made the experience just so much more.

With very full bellies, we walked back to the ship, watched some live music in the Piazzo, and went to bed!

Alaska cruise aboard the Crown Princess

Alaska, Day 1

We made it to the Crown Princess:

We took a big black Uber, that just barely fit all of us and our bags, to the Crown Princess cruise ship. Once we got to the loading dock, we got in line ready for the long, tedious process of boarding. To our surprise, none of that actually happened and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes! It could not have been more painless or organized! We were led to our rooms and, to our surprise, the room was big-ish. We got a middle-boat room with no windows, but the mirrors in the room made it appear much bigger and there was a HUGE closet! Score!

While waiting on our luggage, we met up with the Maitre D’ to make a reservation at the steak restaurant, grabbed a celebratory margarita at the bar, went to lunch at the buffet, and then soaked in the view with some Champaign on the upper deck. Not too shabby, huh?

Alaska cruise aboard the Crown Princess

We relaxed in the room until our 5:30 dinner time at the Botticelli dining room. We had a 6-person table by the window and a really nice wait staff! I had some vegetarian egg rolls with peanut sauce to start, tortellini soup, and salmon with a sweet almond crust as a main. It was all pretty good. For dessert, I ordered the chocolate soufflé, but the waiter decided to give us one of each dessert to try! I was so full!

After dinner, we walked to the Princess Theater for the singing and dancing show. It was old school and cheesy but the singing and dancing was good. The announcer who hosted the show told us that the Princess was having a The Voice competition and told us about all of the other cool things coming up. So excited for the adventures to come! After the show, we checked out the view, the sun stays up until like 10 PM, and then we watched movies until bed time.

Sunday – Traveling to Juneau

When you have an interior room on a cruise, you have absolutely no way to tell what time it is, with the exception of your trusty cell phone or watch. When you turn the lights out, it is completely and utterly dark. With that said, waking up is hard when you are toasty under the covers in a dark and cold room. After some coaxing from Ryan, I finally got up thinking I had slept in way too much, but as it turns out, it was only 8:30 AM! We had put out our order from breakfast in bed the night before, so around 9, there was a knock on the door and breakfast was served. We watched some TV while browsing the day’s activities and eating some cereal, grapefruit, croissants, and sipping coffee.

Alaska cruise aboard the Crown Princess

We decided to start our day with a spin at the gym. Unlike Caribbean cruises where everyone opts for sunbathing over weight lifting, the gym on our Alaskan cruise ship was packed! I did some weights and watched Miss. DoubtFire on the treadmill. There is nothing that helps me run more than a good movie with no commercials!

After the gym, we hit the buffet for a quick breakfast themed snack and then met up with Ryan’s family at the bar. I had a Bloody Mary and we watched the Aerobatrix two-person show perform in the Piazza. They had a very cute show that was quite similar to acts we had seen a few weeks prior at the Texas Scarborough Fair. After the show, we went to the Mexican Food buffet for lunch and the Acrobatrix members sat at the table next to us. We started chatting about some of the acts from the Scarborough Fair and, wouldn’t you know it, they knew exactly who we were talking about and were friends with those other acts through the circus scene! Small world, huh?

Ryan was not feeling so hot, so he went back to the room. I eventually rejoined him after a quick peek at the “outdoor track”. It was the smallest “track” I have ever seen and was too windy to walk on, let alone run! I came back to the room with every intention of going back to the gym while Ryan napped, but there was an interesting show about tree houses on and I accidentally feel asleep as well.

We had dinner reservations at the Crown Grill steak resultant at 5:30. Unfortunately, the rockiness of the day got to one member of our party, so only 5 of us made it to dinner. We were sat at a table right next to a wedding party who all looked quite lovely. Eventually, another bride and groom showed up and sat next to the other wedding party, and the staff brought out cakes for both parties and we clapped for all. It was quite a celebration!

Our dinner started with a delicious Alaskan crab cake, followed by an aged goat cheese and beet salad, a deliciously cooked NY Strip steak with sautéed mushrooms and mashed red potatoes, and ending with a desert medley that included a small sampling of every desert on the menu! Oh so delicious. The steak came with three different salts on the side; Himalayan, smoked Applewood, and Black Lava sea salt. I would pinch a different salt and sprinkle it on each morsel of steak to create the most flavorful experience! I am not a huge steak person but I will be buying salts and making steak as soon as I return to Texas!

Desert at the Crown Grill on the Crown Princess Alaskan Cruise ship

Dinner ended right around 7:15 – just in time to watch The Martian on the top deck! Ryan and I had been wanting to watch The Martian for months now so it was a perfect way to enjoy the movie. Though our lounges were slightly wet and it was 50 degrees out, we bundled up with extra towels and some blankets the crew gave us and watched the movie with the most spectacular view! I want to say it was relaxing but the movie definitely had me on edge! I highly recommend it and its book counterpart.

Keeping warm while watching a movie on the deck of the Crown Princess Alaskan cruise ship

It was quite a ride walking on through the hallways with the drastic rocking of the boat. We went to the store and bought some Dramamine for some of our sea-sick travel buddies, and then we went to our cabin for some needed rest.

Alaska cruise aboard the Crown Princess