Alaska Cruise – Part 1

There’s no way that a 10 day vacation is going to fit into a single blog post, so I’m going to break this up a bit. It was a whirlwind at work for both Jon and me leading up to the trip. Normally, I’d start laying things out at least a week in advance but not this time. We were grabbing everything the night before we departed and I was really glad that we were caught up on laundry so we had access to everything we needed!

Friday afternoon, we’re rushing out of work to get to our rental car in Oxnard. My step-dad, James, was kind enough to take us so that was one less worry to deal with. Now working through traffic to get to LAX. I don’t see how it’s going to take an hour and 40 minutes to go 60 miles, and we’re making good time by taking the 1 down the coast. As we get into Santa Monica, the GPS is saying we’re about 10 miles from the airport, but still have another 40 minutes. What?? GPS wasn’t kidding but thankfully we made it with enough time to check our bags and we could finally relax. Flying out of LAX is rough!!

Our cruise departed out of Vancouver, so we had an easy flight up. Customs was super easy, barely any lines. They have these fancy machines that do a lot of the steps for you so I think that helps it go faster. We were meeting the rest of the family at our Air BnB in Vancouver, so we got in a cab and headed over. I think our cabbie was in a race to see how many customers he could service in an hour, because he was flying!! We didn’t mind though – it was late and we were ready to go to bed!

Our Air BnB was really nice, and now that the family was all together it felt like the vacation had really begun! Especially after a good nights sleep. We slept in a bit, then headed off to the local Tim Horton’s for breakfast, which is apparently Canada’s Dunkin Donuts.

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Soon enough, it was time to check out and head over to the cruise terminal and to check in for our cruise!! We were taking Holland America cruise line, a ship called the Nieuw Amsterdam! After a few hours of queuing, we finally boarded.

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The good news was that our bags had already been delivered to our rooms, so we could immediately settle in prior to the “sail away”. As we prepared to leave Vancouver, it was such a beautiful clear day. That evening, we enjoyed our first meal in the dining room, which was excellent!! They did a great job with more “fine dining” style portions, probably assuming that most people are going to have a three or four course meal! Which we did! Yum!

Our first full day on the cruise was at sea – heading up to Juneau, 792 miles away. Being our first full day of vacation, we really soaked up the relaxation and explored the ship’s amenities. Jon and I did a workout class that we would somewhat regret for the next two days as it hurt to move any part of our body, and later enjoyed time up in the “crows nest” taking in the views of the coastline.

The big excitement of Sunday was Sunday night – our first Gala evening! We got dressed up in our finest – the guys in their tuxes! And headed down for an even more “stepped up” dining experience.

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