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Old 21 Oct 19, 07:33 PM  
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Melanie R
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Glaciers & Glowtinis - Day 5 Skagway

I was once again awake early, but progress was being made as it was 6:30 rather than the earlier starts I had been having 😊

I was pleased that I was awake as today I had an early tour and had to be off the ship and at the meeting point by 7:45, so because of this I was quickly up and dressed and heading to the balcony to be met with the good news that my weather app was incorrect and today was dry!

It was lovely and warm for the time of day, a little overcast but dry so I was in good spirits as I headed to breakfast. I had opted to skip the main dining room this morning in favour of the buffet as the service in the dining room is slower than I needed today (not a criticism, just a longer process!). I wasn’t all that hungry so just chose a croissant and a nut pastry and went to find a table. I had no sooner sat down before I had a waiter at my side offering me a hot drink – I accepted and asked for an English Breakfast tea which was served up almost instantly!

I enjoyed the pastries, then checking the time collected my bag and went to find which deck we were exiting from today. The signs all instructed me to deck 6 so I took the lift and headed to the security point. Everyone was being advised to take care as the gangway was very steep – they weren’t kidding! I have no idea why they hadn’t chosen deck 5 as that would have made far more sense, but I work I finance not on ships so I’m happy to accept they had their reasons 😂

Once off the ship I was struck by the similarities to my favourite Norwegian port of Flam – and today I had an excursion booked on the White Pass Railway which I was expecting to be similar to the spectacular rail trips I have enjoyed from there. It was so similar that as I walked alongside the ship I could see the station and the waiting train!

The first train of the day was specifically for Princess guests and as I checked the time I still had 15 minutes to find a decent seat. As I walked alongside the train, the first carriages were packed and I really wanted a window seat on this trip so I kept walking until I got to an emptier carriage

there was only 2 people in here and I could see the guard was lowering the platform to allow a wheelchair user to board with his wife.

I took a pic from the doorway to show just how close to the ship the station is 😁

That made 5 of us so far in the carriage and for some reason nobody else then joined us, so as we pulled out of the station, I was expecting people to start to make their way along the train from the previous packed carriages so they could have more space – then I heard the guide over the mic telling us all we were fine to access the outdoor viewing platforms at the front and rear of each carriage, but we were not allowed to cross over them to go to different carriages - that meant we had an entire carriage between the 5 of us, with 2 viewing platforms to share!

We were given all the safety announcements and told each carriage had it’s own stove for heat (do not touch – it’s hot) and that there were cases of bottled water which we could help ourselves to (they were included in the price). We were also asked to be considerate of our fellow passengers in terms of access to the viewing areas so that everyone could have a chance to take some pics – really sad that people have to be told this, but there you go. The trip was a 2.5 hour round trip up the Yukon trail and would do a loop at the top so that it didn’t matter which side of the train you were sitting on, the journey back would give views of the opposite side – not an issue for the 5 of us!

We had a brief chat about where we were all from, the husband and wife were British, the mother and daughter were American. It was quickly obvious that the gentleman who was in the wheelchair and the American mother were both planning to stay inside and seated for the whole trip, so there were only 3 of us who would be heading outside to use the viewing areas – I was seated at the back, the other 2 couples were more to the front, so I ended up with the rear platform all to myself! The adjoining carriage was full and there were people jostling to take pics so I definitely made the right decision on where to sit 😂

I took soooo many photos today, but these are just some of them 😂

I spent the journey wandering from my seat to the outside area – the only downside was that once outside you couldn’t hear the commentary of the history of the trail and the reason the railway was actually built – and this was fascinating to listen to. The guide was called Tyler and I’m guessing he does this trip at least twice per day, but still managed to make it sound fresh and he was so enthusiastic! We also had a guard walking the length of the train to check everyone was ok – we were also told she was happy to answer any questions people may have. We were given lots of notice of points of interest ahead so that we had time to go outside to take better pics and we also had a map showing all the points of interest which was easy to follow.
There were several points during the journey where the track curved and you could see the rest of the train either ahead or behind depending on where you were seated.

Tyler also pointed out to us a bridge which we would be crossing! My friend Rachel (of Glowtini Girl fame) is terrified of heights, so I couldn’t resist taking this pic to send to her showing the scary bridge 😂

As we climbed higher up the mountain, the clouds started to close in giving some really atmospheric scenes – particularly of the “ghost bridge” which is luckily no longer in use as it disappears into the mist and is now in disrepair!

We crossed the border as we approached the top of the trail so were technically back in Canada, but as the train doesn’t stop, no passports required 😂

We completed our loop and started to make our descent, and the guard then started to head back through the train to see if anyone wanted to buy any merchandise – there were DVDs & baseball caps on offer – I would have been tempted by a book of the history of the trail, but sadly not on offer, so declined – there was at least no hard sell here.

I spent most of the return journey outside taking in the stunning scenery and waterfalls and taking endless pics 😂

As we were getting close to the end of the trip, we were told the train would be making a stop in Skagway for those who wanted to have a wander around the town, or we could stay on to be taken back to the ship. It was a 10 – 15 minute walk back from the town to the ship along a straight flat path, so I had no hesitation in getting off to have a wander around the town.

They had lots of little souvenir shops, a train shop and some decent jewellery stores as well – I made for the train shop to see if I could find a book about the history of the railway, but nothing took my fancy so I picked up a couple of fridge magnets and headed back out.

I took this pic and sent to my dad

he does enjoy a drink 😂 I enjoyed wandering around in and out of the shops, but it does feel very “false” and totally just for the tourists 😳

I have since ordered a book from Amazon as I really would like to know more about the history before my next visit (because I’m definitely going to go back )

I was starting to feel a little peckish by now due to the early start, so decided to make my way back to the ship for some lunch.

Although it was still a little overcast, the sun was trying it’s best to shine through, and it was still warm enough to sit out, I decided to head to the pizzeria rather than join the queues at the buffet, and enjoyed a slice of pizza and a refreshing cocktail sitting around the pool. When I had done with the people watching, I realised I hadn’t brought my kindle out with me today, so decided to spend a couple of hours on the balcony with a good book. I was still hungry, so I got another slice of pizza and headed to the buffet to pick up a cupcake for desert – they were chocolate chip flavour today and were lovely! I also got a coffee from the buffet to take back too and enjoyed the rest of my lunch sitting on my balcony with my kindle and chilled for what was left of the afternoon – it was already 3pm by now.

This was the view I had for the day

After a couple of hours, I freshened up and got changed ready to head to the dining room for dinner. I must have hit a busy time tonight as there was actually a queue, and I was seated in a different area for a change. My server tonight was Jane, and she was lovely, very attentive and happy to chat whilst still being efficient. I placed my order – I had opted for the baked potato soup and the gourmet burger (both of which were delicious) and ordered another seabreeze cocktail to go with it – I had really enjoyed this the last time I had it, so decided to stick with it tonight 🍹 I was also served a strawberry sorbet in between courses tonight.

Jane was asking about my solo travels, and I found myself explaining I had cruised before when I was still with my ex, but this was my first solo cruise – she then told me she was new to Princess and had transferred from Royal Carribean as she worked there with her ex, and wanted to move following her break up, so we bonded nicely over break up stories 😊

I was very well looked after, and before long I was studying the desert menu – Jane recommended the coconut and pineapple cake (which I had already decided to have) and I also ordered a cappuccino to go with it.

This cake was soooo good – if I hadn’t made the decision to get back to Slimming World following my trip, I would have been enquiring about the recipe – if you’re on a Princess ship and it’s on the menu, you won’t be disappointed!

As I was enjoying my coffee, the lady on the table next to me leaned over to chat as she had heard me explain about my solo trip and was interested to hear how I was finding it – we had a lovely chat and as I was getting up to leave, she complimented me on my perfume and asked what I was wearing - my mind was a total blank as I didn’t remember putting any on tonight, when I realised she could smell the fabric softener from my top! A colleague at work always smells lovely when you walk past and I had asked her about her perfume when she told me she used Lenor perfumed fabric softener and gets lots of comments, so I switched the brand just before I came away 😂

I was on a roll tonight for compliments – as I got in the lift to go up to collect my kindle, the man in the lift with me smiled and said “that’s a nice top”. I think I need to wear this more often 😂

I collected my kindle and headed for the International Café to sit and chill for a while – the theatre was showing the ventriloquist for a second time so I was giving that one a miss! They had some musicians playing in the background, and I enjoyed a cocktail from the bar and happily read for a while, before the Captain made the announcement we were setting sail for Glacier Bay and there would be scenic cruising during the sail away. I checked the time and decided it would be a good point to head back to my stateroom and chill on the balcony watching the scenic sail away – I think the captain had neglected to look out of the window – I’m sure the scenery we were cruising past was stunning, but it was hard to tell in the dark!

I took some pics anyway, then picked up my iPad and headed back outside to finally watch Iron Man 3 to the end.

Tomorrow would be the day I was most looking forward to, and the reason I was on this specific cruise – Glacier Bay National Park.

I had ended my trip notes for the day with the simple sentence “life doesn’t get much better than this ♥️“ so I think it’s safe to say it had been a good day!

Edited at 08:50 PM.
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Old 21 Oct 19, 07:44 PM  
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Another great and interesting day. Thanks for posting.

On our train journey from Anchorage to Denali NP, there was a guide also called Tyler!
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Old 21 Oct 19, 08:53 PM  
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Oooh I went to Flåm in June and it does have similarities
Mitch xx
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Old 21 Oct 19, 09:12 PM  
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Glad the weather picked up for you. You seem to have just the right mix of exploring and relaxing.
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Old 21 Oct 19, 09:29 PM  
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Really enjoying your cruise - lovely day today, amazing views and sounds so relaxing. And cocktails obviously

DLP Aug 2004 SQL, Dec 2007 HNY, Dec 2008 DLH
WDW Aug 2011 POFQ/RPR, Aug 2014 - HRH/POFQ
August 2014 trip report - Er, where's the rain?
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Old 21 Oct 19, 09:30 PM  
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Sounds like a fab day
I’m looking forward to this excursion next June !
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Old 21 Oct 19, 10:35 PM  
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Oh that dessert! 😍😍

The scenery is stunning! (and that's saying something for a girl who lives in Scotland and who takes scenery for granted).

Really looking forward to hearing about tomorrow's trip.
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Old 22 Oct 19, 08:17 AM  
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The train ride looks lovely, particularly when there are only a select few in your carriage! Fabulous photos too. The food and drink all look delicious; especially the pineapple cake.
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Old 25 Oct 19, 12:27 PM  
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Some awesome photos from the train trip Mel and wow, the station is really close to the port!

Another fab day!
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Old 25 Oct 19, 04:45 PM  
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What a lovely thing to say, (about life not getting better than this) 💜 so pleased to read how much you are enjoying your solo trip, you are very brave.
And all the compliments! Get you
So many beautiful photos from today, glad the train trip went so well, the scenery is stunning!
Have to finish by saying your burger looks blooming fantastic and a nice cheeky cocktail, very nice.
I am just home from my little five nighter, and will do a bit of a trip report, when I finish washing!
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