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East to Alaska

USA | Saturday, 11 May 2024 | Views [73]

Our final view of Yokohama

Our final view of Yokohama

AFTER SIXTEEN DAYS AT SEA, THE GOOD SHIP Royal Princess arrived in Whittier, AK yesterday—East to Alaska, not North. As cruises go this one was pretty blah. It began with a last minute change of berths negating the carefully chosen location of our hotel in Yokohama. The five ports-of-call in Japan seemed like an afterthought, often an hour or more from any attractions and once or twice there was no attraction at all, just a place to dock for the night. We had pretty much covered Japan on previous visits and we went ashore only hoping to use our final 1000 yen to score enough Diet Cokes for the crossing but we feel sorry for the people who booked this cruise hoping to get a taste of Japan. 

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               The good ship "Royal Princess" 

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                  Connie has a Yen for Diet Coke 

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                     It's just a bridge! Muroran, Japan

The crossing was surprisingly smooth considering the high winds, nearly constant rain/fog/snow mix and temperatures that would make a witch consider a polar-fleece bra. On the plus side we were upgraded from an interior cabin to a balcony, partially-obstructed but we could see what was brewing outside. As Connie tracked our progress from 180° East to 180° West longitude on her phone, we played Groundhog Day with the International Dateline. We used our “second May 6” as a “wild-card” to finally celebrate our anniversary with dinner at the ship’s Allegro restaurant where we underwent the inevitable “Happy Anniversary” humiliation song.

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              A room with a view, partially obstructed

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                  Real Frozen Ice Cream

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             Crossing the Line

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              Mantshana puts on a show for our anniversary

Reported high winds force us to Kushiro but the Captain was able to get permission to cruise the College Fjord on our way to Whittier. The weather wasn’t nearly as nice as when we cruised Glacier Bay in September but we were prepared for the light snow—not so some of our fellow passengers. Did they not know that Alaska was our destination? 

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                 On deck for a first look at Alaska

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                  Poor choice of clothing

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                      Glacier in College Fjord, Alaska

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               Cousin Reg and the Lintz Legends

We docked in Whittier, one of Anchorage’s cruise ports, at dinner-time on Friday but couldn’t disembark until Saturday morning. With a day to kill in Anchorage we took the shuttle to the Hotel Captain Cook where we met up with another of Connie’s long-lost cousins, Reg and his wife Marianne. We didn’t even know they lived in Alaska when we were there in September, our loss! Connie and Reg traded more Lintz Legends over coffee and Marianne told us her amazing immigration story—from China to Hong Kong to Poland to the US—until it was time for them to head back to Wasilla and us to the airport for our midnight flight to Denver.

 

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