Alaskan Cruise Post 2: The Carnival Spirit

Tuesday, July 05, 2011
This is my third Carnival cruise.  This is my favorite of the ships.  It's the nicest.  It's longer and narrower than previous boats (because of the need to weave through narrow glacier carved mountains), but more elegant than some of my prior boats, though they were all nice.  I've never taken any other cruises, and I know there are some definite differences, but I think the thing about a really can't go wrong.  They are all nice.  This isn't the difference between Motel 6 and the Ritz.  It's a cruise, it's nice pretty much no matter what liner.  Carnival is great.  Big rooms, great shows, funny comics, and fantastic amenities from golf courses, slides, (heated) pools, spas and gyms with an ocean view. 
Casinos, more food than the state of Rhode Island consumes in a month, coffee bars, free room service, 24 hour pizza and ice cream, and views...views....views.
The rooms host a channel that tracks the boat's progress.  I like to keep track of everyone.
 We had a balcony room on the back of the boat on this journey.  I usually don't bother with the extra expense because we spent most of the time in ports, and the rest of the time in open ocean on previous cruises.  With this trip up Alaska's inside passage, we only spent pieces of two days without a view of the land (and a little bit of a rocky boat), the rest of the time there was land, ice bergs, glaciers, bald eagles...
 ...sunsets, well, as much as the sun ever sets in Alaska in the summer.
 And whales. 
 Humpback whales, and killer whales, and a naturalist on board to point out the animals (we figured out you can hear the deck announcements on a TV channel, and she announces animals and land formations as we pass them). 
 We spent most of one day on the back of our balcony (the thing about the aft of the ship if you can see both sides, the balcony is extended, but it is noisy).  I ordered room service, sat, took pictures of seals, and slothed my way through Alaska's fjords, more on this in a future post...well, more on Alaska and the seals, that's probably all I'll say about my laziness. 
Except chocolate cake while you float through ice, yes please.  They clean your room twice a day, turn down your sheets at night, leave mints, and towel animals.  Towel animals are pretty much my favorite thing.  All included in the original price of the cruise, unless you are a drinker, then you've got another bill coming, fortunately, my Mama raised me Baptist for moments, and trips just like drink bills, except for my bottomless bubbles card-diet coke....
Every night includes formal dining (if you forgo the buffets) of steaks and fish, crabs, and lobsters, but really, I go for the molten lava cake. 
The first cruise I went on a didn't know what to do with myself.  I'm sort of a go go go kind of gal, and then I was trapped in a moving vessel for days on end, and relax just isn't a vocabulary word I dust off and use very often.  I've learned to love cruises because they take you multiple places it would be a headache to get to otherwise.  The Spirit took us on a week long journey from Seattle to Tracy Arm up to the Sawyer Glacier, on down the innar passage of Alaska to Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Victoria, Canada.  I've been fortunate (and determined) to see a lot of the world.  I LOVE Alaska.  I was ready to send for my puppies and stay in Skagway.  Tomorrow begins my post-a-palooza on all the great stops.  In the meantime, I'm planning my next trip move to Alaska. 


Alices Wonderland said...

They say if you travel you should go to Alaska last, because nothing will be able to compare and you will be disappointed with everywhere else after. We took that same cruise...and I will go back--again, and again, and again.

clg0513 said...

thanks for these posts - we are doing this exact cruise in less than a week..... just trying to figure out what kind of clothes to pack :)

Christy said...

Alice....I agree! I have six more states to go,!
CLG-layers really are the way to go. Every day we were there the low was about 50, the high was 65. The only day I felt cold was the day we were at Tracy's Arm. I wore pants that day, a tshirt and a jacket. A lot of the people wore winter coats. There are plenty of places to look at the scenery from the inside of the boat if it's too cold. We sat on the balcony all day, and I was fine. When we were in Skagway it was sunny. I wore capris and a tshirt and carried a really light jacket and I took the jacket off b/c the sun was hot. Ketchikan is also muggy if it's even remotely hot and you wouldn't need a jacket. Capris, tshirt, and a light jacket were my outfits most days. You probably also want to bring a rain jacket. I think it rains most days. It only rained when we were in Victoria, and I think that's usually a drizzle, but....all this to say, I really didn't need winter clothes. One fleece and a light jacket just in case would be what I took next time along with a combinations of pants and capris. If you go on one of the water tours (whale watching or glacier)....wear the pants and the jacket. If you are going around the city etc, the capris will be fine. You are going to be there a great time for whale watching b/c the salmon were all about to spawn!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I love cruises, but I've never been to Alaska. Curious which 6 states you haven't been to. I have two to go... Alaska and Washington.

Christy said...

@ Gwen-I'm lacking the states in the tip of the US on the East Coast-Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Conneticut, Mass., ...and....hmmm, but I'm planning on seeing those next summer. :O)