Author: Rich C.
Date of Trip: September 2009
Alaskan Cruise via Celebrity Millennium
Having visited New Zealand for our 25th wedding anniversary, our next milestone trip had to be as good or better. After consulting the “boss,” we decided on a cross country trip to Seattle, and then a flight up to Fairbanks where we would join up a land/sea tour of Alaska. I have been flying since 1969, when I was sent on a “vacation tour” of a small Southeast Asian country many of my comrades in arms are familiar with. Many iterations in travel have occurred and sadly, in my opnion, they have not been for the better. One key point that will dissuade me from future travel via that mode is the carpicious nature of the TSA screening. Of particular note is that no notice is given in advance of what is considered “contraband.” In this instance, a 3/4 empty tube of tooth paste was confiscated. Now, if they had taken my dirty underwear I might have thanked them.
Flight aside, our landing and subsequent check in to the Pike’s Landing Hotel was fast and very courteous. Our lodgings were comfortable and very convenient to a very nice restaurant located about 200 meters from the hotel. the restaurant, also called Pike’s Landing, was not haute cuisine but excellent. Those wanting some wild life (i.e., salmon and perhaps venison) would find their appetites satiated. The Sunday buffet was excellent with a wide range of foods on the platters and good service.
The land tour was excellent, with a stop in Denali National Park. We took the tour into the park with the tour bus and it was fascinating to see the wildlife. The best fun was watching the mother grizzly and two cubs play and browse out in the fields in front of us.
Joining the ship at Seward, our cabin aboard the ship a far cry from what I was used to on military vessels. The double bed was comfortable and while not palatial, very nice. We chose an ocean view cabin and I was glad we did as it was not warm enough to enjoy a “sit” on a balcony. To any travelers considering such travel, judge your level of comfort and the weather before booking one of the more expensive cabins with verandas. Meals were normally at the buffets and they were far and away very good. Although the ship had about 2,000 passengers, we never experienced any undue delays in food or service. The formal meals that we had (we attended to only 2 due to our walking late) were sumptious and since I can honestly attest to not used to haute cuisine, a bit overpowering but delicious.
We had several stops and each were very enjoyable. I would have to write a diary on each site we stopped at as there is so much beauty and enjoyment at each stop. I have the additional curse of a lot of curiousity so I could have spent days at each point investigating all the nooks and crannies and the history of each point. Obviously, our 49th anniversary was a great and happy event for us and maybe, just maybe, we might take another cruise, in another clime and place.