Hubbard Glacier, Alaska:
Our last cruise day was a Sea Day, which included a viewing of Hubbard Glacier. When we woke up that morning, we stepped out onto our veranda and found an incredible view with glassy water and sunny blue sky with a slight overcast... the absolute best Glacier viewing weather! As our ship approached Hubbard Glacier, we could hear the calving in the distance. It's moments like these that make having a cabin with a veranda an absolute must!
After a relatively quick breakfast in Lido, we enjoyed viewing the Glacier from the bow of our ship. There are three glaciers in Alaska that are growing, Hubbard Glacier being one of those. Our Captain wasn't able to get as close to the Glacier as I had been in the past, and I wished we could have stayed there longer. No doubt, I will be back again some day!
As we sailed away from the Glacier, I knew we had to make the most of our last day onboard. After our breakfast with a view, we headed back to our room. We wanted to get most of our packing done before lunch in order to enjoy a tour of the Galley, some casino play, and a show in the lounge all before dinner!
Our last night couldn't have been any better. Jijo delivered the most incredible platter from Silk Road along with caviar, which we shared with our travel companions. Our evening ended in the Crystal Dining Room, sharing good conversations with our long time & new friends. The perfect ending to this perfect cruise!
Whittier, Alaska - Disembarkation:
We disembarked Crystal Serenity in Whittier where we would take a motor coach transfer to Anchorage. Though I had sailed on six previous Alaska cruises, this was my first time in Whittier. I learn something new every single time I travel, so I was soaking up the transfer process. Disembarkation with Crystal was very smooth. There were no crowds to battle, plenty of space on the motor coaches to spread out, and beautiful scenery surrounding us. The road from Whittier to Anchorage includes the longest tunnel in North America. Not only is it 2.5 miles long, it is also a one-way tunnel with cars and trains passing through separately. The wait to enter can take up to an hour and motor coaches are allowed entry before cars. The busses are spaced out, with only 8 coaches allowed in the tunnel at one time. Inside the tunnel, there are 10 safe houses, just in case of emergency. The tunnel is only open for a certain time period, and there are doors at either end for when it is closed.
Since our wait to enter the tunnel was going to be 30 minutes, our driver took us on a quick 5 minute tour of Whittier (the town is very small). The most interesting thing we saw was a woman walking her pet reindeer, something you don’t see everyday!
After our 10 minute transit through the tunnel, we were rewarded with a ride through Turnagain Arm, which is rated one of the world’s most beautiful drives. Along the way, we were excited to glimpse a mamma moose with her two babies who were grazing along the side of the road. One last highlight to end this most memorable trip!
My Cruise Summary:
I have now sailed Alaska seven times, on six different ships, four different itineraries, and with four different cruise lines! I have sailed in June, July, August and September. I've experienced weather ranging from 50 degrees and raining to 90 degrees and sunny. Every Alaska cruise has been wonderful, but I can honestly say that this was the best of all! Perfect weather, good friends and the Crystal experience were the perfect combination!!
With Crystal we experienced no overcrowding, and no nickel and diming. In fact, we disembarked with only two charges on our stateroom account: our entry into the blackjack tournament and our future cruise deposit for 2019 (Mediterranean cruise anyone!?). Crystal provides a luxury experience without being snobby. Service was fantastic and the food was phenomenal. We were most impressed with our butler Jijo, who made us feel especially well taken care of throughout our cruise.
There are so many reasons I love cruising! Being mostly off the grid, having interesting conversations with fellow passengers, and greeting new friends around the ship allows me to live in the moment. I get to unpack once and relax, not stressing the logistics of moving from place to place. Daily life at home is busy and full of responsibility. I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but once in awhile it's vital to step away, disconnect and recharge.
If my story has inspired you to visit Alaska, I’d be happy to help you plan your unique journey. Also, if you enjoyed this blog entry, please let me know in the comments below!