Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sapphire Princess
Sailing Date: July 8th, 2006
This cruise was much anticipated because
our son was being married on board on the first full day out to sea, after
departing from Whittier.
The only thing I regretted was not arriving in Vancouver a day in advance and then taking the bus to Whittier to board the ship. Even though we reside in Orange County, CA, we were all exhausted by the plane flights. We were lucky and did not have any delays to our flight schedule. I think what was most exhausting was lugging all the wedding attire with us. It was suggested that we hand carry the tuxedos and bridesmaid dresses and wedding dress, in case there was a delay in getting our luggage to the ship. It turned out that everything arrived in a timely manner and right to our cabin.
We arrived in Anchorage on time and Princess personnel were quickly were quickly instructing us on where to take our luggage and where to meet the bus. We got on the bus without much delay and enjoyed the ride to Whittier. An extra treat was a spontaneous stop at a wildlife refuge. It allowed us to stretch our legs and view grizzly bears, an injured eagle, some elk and bison while we waited for our timed entrance into the “one-way tunnel” into Whittier.
We arrived and boarded the Sapphire at approximately 5:30 in the afternoon and went right to our cabins to relax.
Our first day was at College Fjord. It was a beautiful day and even though we were on a very large ship of 2600 people, it was amazing how quiet and wild and beautiful the glaciers were. I was glad we booked a mini suite, because we had lots of room on the balcony to relax and enjoy the views of the glaciers. The weather was cool and required a jacket or sweatshirt. I never left our cabin, but was perfectly content to take in the view from our balcony.
Sunday afternoon was the big event – our son’s wedding. Princess provided us with a wedding coordinator who lead us through the whole procedure and the wedding went off without a hitch. The Captain was extremely gracious and was truly happy to be a part of this occasion. Photographs were taken throughout the ship and the bride and groom were treated to a trip up to the bridge for photos (much to the delight of our son). A small reception was held in the Wheelhouse Lounge. The live music was very romantic, the hot and cold hors d'oeuvres were delicious and we danced, ate and drank and celebrated for an hour, before going up to the dining room for dinner. The staff was so gracious and made this a very romantic and memorable occasion for our whole family.
Glacier Bay the next day was even more spectacular. I ordered the champagne breakfast and even though my husband went to the buffet to eat, I enjoyed this special breakfast and the views with my niece. We were not used to champagne for breakfast, but had some orange juice brought to our cabin and enjoyed Bellini’s instead. The views were gorgeous and the remoteness of the whole area was almost overwhelming.
Tuesday we were in Skagway and left the ship, walked across the dock and boarded the train to take the Whites Pass Railroad tour. Being a history buff, I enjoyed this tour and the spectacular views. It was only 4 hours long and we were back early to enjoy the port of Skagway, some shopping and lunch. I had some delicious fried oysters at the restaurant right adjacent to the dock, freshly opened and fried just prior to being served. Skagway is a short easy walk from the ship. The weather was beautiful.