I'm onboard Mercury, having left Vancouver on Friday. Day at sea yesterday, filled with lots of activities and brisk weather. Nice ocean view room on Deck 4. Food and service have been excellent. Food at lunch buffet is good but not self service. You tell the staffer what you want and he puts it on a plate for you. Dinner last night was the first formal night, and we were invited to sit at the Captain's table. Great fun! Today he invited the 4 couples for a private tour of the bridge, which will happen this afternoon.
We are sailing into Juneau at the moment, expecting to arrive at 1pm (we are now 4 hours earlier than east coast time). Hubby and I have a kayaking excursion to a glacier this afternoon.
Hey Sandy! Glad to hear you and Norton are having a good time on the Mercury. Captain's Table, eh? And now a bridge tour. Wasn't it you who told me this was a small event?
Good and bad about the buffet being served to you. Good is that the utensils aren't fingered over by a couple thousand people. Bad is that you can't place the item exactly where you wanted it, or get "that piece" that looked most appealing!
It's Wednesday and we are approaching Ketchikan. Sunday was Juneau where, amazingly, it was sunny and around 70 degrees all day. We went kayaking towards Mendenhall glacier, saw seals playing in the water and lots of bald eagles. It was perfect. Monday was Skagway, where it had been raining for the past 5 days and rained all day. We had signed up for a "strenuous" hike on the Chilkoot Trail, a short distance within the huge hike the gold rushers took with 50-lb packs on their back -- and they did it around 40 times to get the required 1 ton of supplies to the top of the mountain. Our hike in the constant rain took us up 700' in muddy, slippery conditions, followed by a float down the rushing river in a rubber raft. I now have a cold and lots of charley horse, but I'm glad I did it.
Yesterday's trip to Hubbard Glacier was amazing. The Mercury got closer to the glacier than any other time this season. We saw lots of calving going on in spectacular weather. Very awesome.
The ship is beautiful, having recently been renovated. We're finding excellent service all over, and wonderful entertainment. Dinners have been exceptional. Buffet food is a little disappointing but there certainly is a lot of variety. Entertainment in Cova Cafe and Michael's Club is excellent. I'm sitting in Cova now with a pot of tea and an almond croissant...
We have a short, level hike today in Ketchikan followed by a motorized rubber raft ride. Tomorrow is our last day onboard, a day at sea, and Friday we're back in Vancouver.
We've been to Alaska once before and this time is even nicer. I recommend it!
The cruise is over and it was a good one. Nice public rooms onboard (ours were the Cova Cafe and the newly non-cigar Michael's Club), very friendly and solicitous staff. We went into one of the stores the first day onboard, looking for a sewing kit so we could make a minor repair. The store didn't have one, but the lovely saleswoman asked us to wait a moment, and she ran down to her cabin to fetch her own personal sewing supplies for us to use! Quite amazing.
While waiting for debarkation, no announcements are made as to when your color tag can leave the ship. Instead, we received instructions with our tags as to what time we were to meet in which room for debarkation. Debarkation was fast and easy, and it was lovely not constantly hearing the announcements overhead.
We're in Vancouver now, taking advantage of the first complimentary high speed internet access I've seen in a hotel in a very long time.