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Discovering Alaska Part I

Cool Sailing in the Summertime

Summer in Alabama is really hot. I don't mean hot as in lots of exciting nightlife and activities, but rather hot as in awful temperatures soaring into the high 90's and sometimes over 100 degrees (F) with killer humidity. After failing to find a cool place to enjoy the summer year after year, I finally decided to try out a cruise to Alaska. I love to go on cruises. It's the best type of vacation there is, in my opinion. Of all of the itineraries that I have done, the Alaska Voyage is the one I avoided for years. Why you ask? I don't like cold weather, I don't like rain. I thought that is all I would get on an Alaska cruise. Boy, was I wrong.

After spending a lot of time researching which 7 day itinerary to choose, I finally settled on the Diamond Princess Voyage of the Glaciers. This ship and sailing was particularly attractive because of the departure port, Vancouver, British Columbia, the site of the last Olympic Winter Games in 2010. My husband and I would be traveling on the Diamond from Vancouver northbound to Whitter, Alaska, the homeport for Anchorage, Alaska where we would fly home. To top it all off, our favorite type of cabin, the awesome Princess mini-suites were on sale and we grabbed one right away.

Diamond Princess Mini Suite

Vancouver, Canada

We left Alabama on a warm June morning and flew via Atlanta to Vancouver the day before the cruise departure. Our early flight got us into Vancouver right around lunchtime. We met the always curtious and friendly Princess Cruises meet and greeters in baggage claim and boarded transportation with our luggage to our hotel for the night, the Four Seasons Vancouver. The Four Seasons was one of the pre-cruise host hotels for Princess, right in the middle of downtown near lots of restaruants and shopping. Arriving at the front desk, I once again found a use for my high school French (it came in handy in Nice, France on another Princess cruise). When the front desk clerk welcomed us with "Bonjour Madam and Monsieur" I was able to reply in kind. I was loving Vancouver already! Our hotel room was airy and spacious with a large window overlooking a busy city street. I read that there was a large shopping mall connected to the hotel and I planned to spend time there picking up some last minute items before boarding the ship.

Four Seasons hotel

Four Seasons hotel room

Ready for a late afternoon meal, my husband and I set out to find a place to eat. The hotel desk clerk directed us to a side street with lots of restaurant choices. Walking out into the bright sunshine and mild temperatures, I was pleased to have this chance to visit Vancouver. Vancouver is the city that has it all: natural beauty and cosmopolitan flair. Set between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains, it has a wonderful blend of nature and urban living. Gardens, parks, and beaches are numerous as are heritage buildings, restaurants, and theatres. This city, with the laid-back feel of Los Angeles and the West Coast of the USA, is the third largest city in Canada and shares an ethnic diversity and multicultural flavor that is friendly and welcoming. Canada has a population just less than 30 million people in a country twice the area of the United States. The heritage of Canada was French and English; however, significant immigration from Asia and Europe's non-French and English countries has broadened Canada's cultural richness. This cultural diversity is considered a national asset, and the Canadian Constitution prohibits discrimination against individual citizens on the basis of race, color, religion, or sex. The great majority of Canadians are Christian. Although the predominant language in Canada is English, there are at least three varieties of French that are recognized. The Italian language is a strong third due to a great influx of Italian immigrants following W.W.II.

After walking a couple of blocks, we found an interesting looking English Pub. Walking through the door we found the place un crowded and quickly found a table. A waitress soon took our orders and we finally felt relaxed after a long day of traveling. We ordered hamburgers, fries and beer which really hit the spot. Leaving the Pub we walked down the street to the shopping area and bought some Vancouver Olympics souvenirs’ before making our way back to our hotel. Spending the rest of the evening relaxing in our hotel, I made plans for the next day to find a great place for breakfast and shop in the mall a little before the Princess transport picked us up from the hotel to take us to the Pier. Our first day in Canada was a delight I and could not help but be excited about what was to come.

Coming up, sailing out of Canada and into the beauty and wilds of Alaska. To Be Continued…….

Gerrilyn Grant Gipson Esq.
Meetings & Events Unlimited Travel Services

Posted by Gerriv 08:15

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Hi Gerrilyn...I want to do an Alaskan cruise in the next couple of years so I am interested in your next blog post! Also your description of Vancouver is right on. I love it there, in fact my husband and I are going in March for a few days to celebrate our anniversary, can't wait. What Pub did you go to?

by Tanja Rieck

Hi Tanja!

I loved my Alaska cruise and I have some clients going this summer, so I am writing this partly for them. I can't remember the name of the Pub, but it was around the corner and down the street from the Four Seasons. If I think of it, I will let you know. I plan to post more on this cruise ASAP.


by Gerriv

Man, Gerri...you just described one of my dream cruises! I've been wanting to go on an Alaskan cruise for some time now...and this just makes me want to hurry up and go. Can't wait to read more...

by Amaya Radjani

Hey Amaya! This is a cruise everyone must do! And you don't even have to leave the USA to see the most stunning scenary. I'm working on part II as we speak, too many photos to choose from!

by Gerriv

Thanks so much, I will forward the link to my cousin. We can't wait.

by Gwen Garner

You are Welcome Gwen! You are going to have a wonderful time on your Alaska cruise too. I have more chapters coming soon!

by Gerriv

Good job! You made me feel like I was there, too. We were on the Inside Passage when I went to Alaska and our first port-of-call was Juneau. Keep writing...Love you, Mom.

by Joanne Grant

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