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Looking Ahead to Alaska - Summer 2013

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Jan115

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When one cruise ends, another begins … that’s my motto!

Our Ireland & Scotland Interlude was not yet complete, when we were already thinking of our next cruise. Actually, we were not yet sure of the destination, we just knew it would be a cruise on Princess. Therefore, as is the custom, we took advantage of the Future Cruise Desk while on board the Ocean Princess and earned future cruise credits and on-board credits by booking a future cruise, to be taken on any ship at any time within the next four years. Hey, why waste time! Immediately, on returning home, we booked our next cruise, a 12-day cruise to the Mediterranean.

Ahhh … but as is typical with me, our next summer cruise booking is never written in stone. In the next weeks and months, it can transform into a different ship, a different destination, a land vacation or … horrors! … no vacation at all. We realized our one-way voyage from Venice to Barcelona was not going to be a cheap one, and the more I looked into hotels, excursions and air fare, the further and further the ship sailed away from us until it was just a black speck on the horizon. That's when my dear husband uttered the words I have so longed to hear ... "what about Alaska?"

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What? Did I hear you correctly or is that wax buildup in my ear? Did he just say “Alaska” or was that “I’ll ask her”? He’s never wanted to see Alaska. Oh, joy … oh rapture! He DID say Alaska! Well, I wonder what brought this on, I immediately thought to myself, as I would not dare utter these words out loud in fear of his changing his mind. Two words – Grand Princess.

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You see, the Grand Princess was the ship which carried us on our first cruise 10 years ago to the Caribbean, so it holds fond memories for us. Two more words: San Francisco – sealed the deal. A round trip, 10-day cruise from a city we’ve always thought about visiting, 4 full days at sea on a ship which has been re-fitted with a covered dome over the pool, a sailing up the inside passage of America’s Last Frontier to Glacier Bay National Park … what’s not to like? If he was going to cruise to Alaska, he said, this was the only way. After all, he has always been drawn to tropical heat and oppressive humidity over the “ice and cold” of Alaska, and it would take something really awesome to swing him around. Okay, I said, let’s do it – before he re-thinks the idea. I immediately fired up the computer and changed that cruise from the Mediterranean to Alaska faster than you can say “my Alaska dream cruise”.

I am now on a new mission and have new purpose in my life! With a plan to spend three days pre-cruise in San Francisco, I am exploring the city, hotels, the sites and Alcatraz, of course! Air fare to San Francisco is refreshingly more reasonable than flying to Europe, and I have fare alerts arriving in my mailbox daily in the hopes of finding that perfect rate. What’s more, David has been researching the ports and has even made suggestions about excursions – which means, yes, he IS excited about Alaska. Shhh ... don't tell anyone!

 

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I did HAL from Vancouver to Skagway in July with 10 nights by land with two nights in Denali. I had a magnificent time. I even flew up into the arctic circle and landed in Coldfoot and went up to Wiseman to the ice road truckers stop. I would love to go back in the fall about the last week of August.

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