Alaskan Cruise: Day 3

Here’s an overview of Day 3:

Date:  Monday, May 12th

Itinerary:  Juneau, AK for most of the day

Highlight:  Seeing a glacier for the first time

Favorite eats:  Fish & chips and candy

Drink of the day:  Alaskan Brewing Co Raspberry Wheat Ale

Weather:  Sunny and overcast throughout the day (very comfortable temperature)

Day 3 was our first port day- our first stop and get off the ship day.  I was excited to do some land exploration instead of all the ship exploration we’d been doing, and I was even more excited to visit Juneau, Alaska’s capitol!

Our morning started out… interestingly.  And looking back on it now, it’s actually pretty funny. We were told to set our clocks back an hour due to the time difference in Alaska.  Well, our cell phones didn’t have service and therefore didn’t automatically adjust with the time change- and they were the only clocks we were using- we didn’t have any watches or anything.  So before we went to bed the night before, my hubby said (yes I’m totally throwing him under the bus here, hehe) – “Make sure you set your alarm for an hour earlier.”  I didn’t even think about it- and simply set the alarm on my phone for 5:15 a.m. just like he’d said. When my alarm went off in the morning, I was groggy and confused.  It was still dark in our room.  And I knew that in Alaska, it would be getting light out by 5:15 a.m. I started thinking about how I’d set my clock for an hour earlier, and told Marty that I didn’t think that was right. But I was all too confused and tired to know for sure, so we kinda talked about it back and forth until we realized… oh. em. gee. It was 4:15 in the morning, Alaska time!!  Well, actually by the time we figured it out it was more like 4:30 in the morning. SO, we got to go back to sleep for awhile.

At 6:30 a.m. our coffee and fruit/pastries arrived promptly to our room.  I sipped down a couple cups of coffee while we got ready. Here are some of my favorite snapshots from our early morning:

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We went to the dining hall for breakfast, the one time we had breakfast there instead of the buffet. We realized that the menu is basically the same, but you have to wait for the food rather than just get it yourself. We were seated right by the window which I enjoyed. I had a ham and cheese omelette which was really good, and fresh fruit.

After breakfast we simply hung out on our balcony in the morning sunshine as we got closer and closer to Juneau. We were on the Juneau side of the ship, so the view was awesome from our balcony as we arrived.

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That is Juneau, Alaska.

When we went to get off the ship, there was a pretty large line of people waiting to disembark. We would’ve waited until it died down a little, but our bus to the Mendenhall Glacier was scheduled to pick us up shortly after we arrived in Juneau.  (It ended up being late though anyway.) So, after waiting to get off the ship we waited some more for our bus to arrive. It’s a little bit chaotic as huge clumps of people are looking for their excursion’s sign and vehicle. When our shuttle bus finally arrived, it was a welcome sight.  I was SOOO ready to go experience Alaska! We had a really nice guy as our bus driver who looked a bit like a young Ryan Reynolds. He told us all about Juneau as we drove through it. The drive to the Mendenhall Glacier was about 30 minutes which was plenty of time for lots of funny stories.

Pulling up to the glacier was awesome. You can see it from quite a distance, so my excitement was growing. We were surrounded by snow-capped mountains and green trees. When we arrived, I wanted to run straight to the glacier. There was a short hike to the waterfall that got you closer to the glacier- thankfully- because I clearly had energy to burn.

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The weather was a tad chilly, but after our hike we were warmed up completely. I even took my jacket off on the hike back. The waterfall, Nugget Falls, is really cool.  It’s HUGE! And very powerful. You get to be right up by it too, with the water spraying and misting you if you get too close.

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After our little hike, we checked out the visitor’s center. There was a short fifteen minute video they were showing in a theater room that had some great clips of Alaska. We caught that and then walked through the rest of the center. If you’re wondering about the cost of visiting the Mendenhall Glacier, only the visitor’s center has an admission price. (And whatever transportation you need.) So you could visit the glacier for free if you didn’t go into the visitor’s center, which I would’ve been fine with. I did get to touch 200 year old ice though, which was cool.

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After our two hours at the glacier was up, we headed back to the bus, and then back to town. Our bus driver had gotten the “okay” to drop some of us off downtown. By the time we got off the bus, we had worked up an appetite and decided to walk around until we found a good spot for lunch. I really wanted to go to the Alaskan Brewing Co but it was too far away. (Boo!) We ended up eating at a place called The Hangar which was right on the water with great views of the seaplanes taking off and landing on the water. The restaurant itself wasn’t fancy- kinda had a diner/bar feel, but I’m really glad we chose it because the fish and chips were amaaazing! I mean, I could go for some more right now. I did get my Alaskan Brew Co fix though- I ordered the raspberry wheat ale which was great! I could go for one of those right now too. My hubby tried the Amber, which was also really good. So all in all, we had great views, great food, and great beer. We definitely scored for lunch.

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After lunch we did some walking around, looking in some shops here and there. We visited the statue of Patsy Ann, Juneau’s greeter dog- which, of course, made me miss my pups. (A given for any time we travel.) We didn’t find any souvenirs we had to have but we did go into a candy store, where I got to fill up a bag with random candy to take back onto the ship. That was all the souvenir I needed :)

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When we got back onto the ship, guess what we did? We fell asleep! For a long time! We missed dinner, and ended up having to go to the buffet for late night snacks. (Thank goodness the buffet is open 24 hours.) We went back to the room, cause we were too exhausted to do anything else- and my love watched a movie while I fell back asleep. I don’t know when we turned into such party animals…

All in all, we really enjoyed Juneau. Come back soon to read about our visit to Skagway, Alaska on our fourth day of the cruise!

xoxo,
Kayla

Comments

  1. What an amazing trip! I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska. It sounds like you guys had fun. The photos are amazing. I’m stopping by from Twitter. I hope you guys enjoy the rest of your trip.

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