Alaska with Princess Cruises
by Erin Ziering
May 19th- We left bright and early to catch our flight from LAX to Seattle, Washington. After our short flight and 30 min drive to the docks we came face to face with our new home for the week, The Ruby Princess to Alaska. She was huge! The girls could not believe the size of our ship. Boarding was easy breezy and once on-board we were escorted to our room. We had a balcony mini suite at the back of the boat. It had the most beautiful views of both the side and the back of the boat. The girls had a queen size pull out to sleep on together and Ian and I had a queen bed to ourselves. The room was perfectly comfortable.
The ship was loaded with activities to do. There was a dance party and game around ever corner- not to mention all you can eat food and lots (I mean lots) of places to grab a cocktail! We had to beg the kids to leave the kids Camp Discovery to hang out with us. They were having the best time.
May 21st- After 2 days at sea we landed at our first port, Juneau, Alaska. It was a beautiful fishing village full of local culture. While the men explored the town (and the famous bar The Red Dog Saloon) My mom, the girls and I went on an excursion. Our first stop was the Salmon Hatchery to learn about the migration and breeding of Salmon. The second stop was to Mendenhall Gardens with the most beautiful nature landscape and a ride to the top of the mountain. Our third stop was to hike to the Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. It was about a mile each way. The Ziering Girls were the perfect age for the this trip. (5 and 7) They were able to complete the entire hike without needing to be carried. They loved finding pieces of the Glacier on the shore side and learning all about the beautiful landscape on their hike. While we were out exploring the guys went on a high flying adventure in a helicopter to land on the Glacier and enjoy a Salmon Bake. They had an amazing time too!
May 22nd- Talk about Adventure! We were finally in the heart of the Yukon Territory where the gold rush happened. We started our adventure in Skagway on the White Pass Yukon Route to learn the history of the Gold Rush and get the most spectacular view. Our tour guide was amazing and kept us all laughing during the 3 hour train ride. The girls loved it! I was worried it would be to long for them but they actually had alot of fun!
After the ride we stopped at a Gold Panning location and the girls got to pan for real gold. They were giddy as they found flakes of gold in their pans. (they even stole all of the adults) At this same location they had the dogs that were training for the Iditarod. The girls favorite part of this day was cuddling the puppies. Ian and I loved learning about the training these animals go through and their excellent care.
We ended our day in Skagway the only way you should, with some local Alaskan Brewery and King Crab legs.
May 23rd- This was a beautiful day at sea getting to view the majestic glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The kids spent the day viewing the Glaciers from kids club and learning about them from a Park Ranger while Ian and I had a romantic afternoon sipping champagne on the deck.
May 24th- This had to have been our favorite family excurison of the trip. We choose the Deadlist Catch tour (suggested by Discovery Kids) It was an absolute blast. We loaded on-board the Aluetian Ballad. The ship had the friendliest crew who kept the children smiling and the adults laughing the entire trip. They took us out to feed eagles. At one point we saw at least 25 eagles soaring all around us. It was magical. The girls even got to throw fish to the eagles. We got to learn all about crabbing and the Bering Sea. The girls even got to hold crabs and other sea life! It was a blast and we made some great memories with my parents.
May 25th- Our final stop of our trip was to Victoria in Canada. It was a late night stop at 7:30pm. We disembarked to board a small Orca watching boat. Mia and Ian enjoyed the view of Victoria while watching Orcas. Penna was sound asleep on me inside of the boat. It was such a beautiful city that I would love to see more of one day ! It has some beautiful architecture and even floating houses!
This was our first time cruising as a family. It was the perfect amount of adventure and relaxation. It was perfect for the whole family.
for more travel check out Father’s Day at the Dude Ranch