Sunday, July 22, 2007

Alaska Post # 1

We finished the cruise part of the trip today. Alaska is more beautiful than I would have ever imagined and as much as I hate to admit it, I am having a wonderful time. Of course I must have gained 20 pounds on the cruise but I should be able to get rid of that now. The only part we did not like was the Glass Train Ride from Whittier to Denali. It was LONG!!!!!! I think we were spoiled by all the beautiful glaciers we saw on the cruise so the scenery did nothing for us along the way. After an 8 hour trip, I am finally online and sitting in the lobby of the beautiful Denali Princess Lodge and writing. It is 10:30 but it is still daylight. I am overlooking mountains and rivers and the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. I will try to post some of the pictures when I get home. For now, let me just add in the two pieces I wrote on the way here, when no internet was available. We have a five hour tour of the park tomorrow and Sunday we are going out on ATV's. Oh yes, I actually went in the helicopter, walked on a glacier and took a sea plane over the fjords!

July 14, 2007

We are on our way to Vancouver. No internet on the plan so I am typing in word. I’ll just cut and paste to add this to the blog when I get home. M

My kids took us to the airport this morning. It was nice that they didn’t mind getting up at 4:00 AM to do it. My son volunteered to drive us there to save the $40 cab fare. My daughter came with him to spend a few minutes with us. She didn’t get in until 11:00 last night, in time for us to go to bed. She knew she wouldn’t be seeing us but wanted to spend time with my dad on his birthday (a great idea!) I like my kids to call when they drive anywhere. I am nuts, can’t help but worry. I wanted them to call when they got home after dropping us off. They both refused. I know I could have guilted my son into calling but my daughter is tough. She said “NO CALL” and he went along with her, thanking her for being strong. I guess they made it okay. The two times they had accidents I got calls right away. I’ll call as soon as we land.

We are on an Air Canada flight. I didn’t know that Air Canada was a partner with United Airlines or what airline we were even flying since this is not a trip I really wanted to go on. When we got to the airport I realized we could have gone free or at least upgraded to first class with my husband’s frequent flyer miles. It never occurred to him to ask about them (he was in charge of booking this entire trip). When I think that I could be in first class instead of being cramped in the cattle car section, I want to scream! I want to make another bathroom visit but hate to disturb the friend I am sitting next to. Soon…… When we get home I am going to research a future trip where we can use these miles. I’ll pay the coach and then take the upgrade. I’ve only flown first class once (with frequent flyer miles) but it was great.

More tomorrow when I have more to write or to bitch about.

July 21, 2007

Nickel and Dimes

This trip to Alaska is not cheap. When I think about all the extras that keep getting added on (if you want them) I want to scream.

!. When we got to the airport United Airlines weighed every piece of baggage and charged $50 if a bag was even 0.5 pounds over the limit. People were frantically repacking before they got to the gate. We do a lot of traveling and came well prepared with light suitcases.

2. Airlines now charge $3.00 for blankets and pillows.

3. No food, not even the little bag of Blue Chips that Jet Blue gives out.l

4. The cruise charges $31 for a coke card that gives you access to unlimited soft drinks for the week. Of course the cokes are undrinkable but that is beside the point. My friends bought the card. We bought a six pack in our first port, a smarter move.

5. There was a $3 charge for complementary room service.

6. There was a pay ice cream station open even when the ship was giving out ice cream on the buffet.

7. There was a $15 corking fee to open the bottle of wine my travel agent sent us (we bought a cork screw in town).

8. And now I am writing this on the Glass Train to Denali National Park. The train ride is eight hours (possibly longer with all the stop and waits). Food is extremely expensive. You would think that they could throw some food in at these prices.

Although the cruise was great, I think I am going to stick to land trips in the future. We go to Jamaica, to an all-inclusive every winter. We pay a lot up front but never reach into our pockets again. That is the kind of vacation I like.

1 comment:

ms. whatsit said...

A charge for complementary room service?!? What cruise line is this? Do you reckon that all cruise lines do this? How was your room? About how many people were on the ship. I'm very curious, because an Alaskan cruise is one of those things I would like to do one day.

Those pictures are lovely. I'm glad that you are enjoying your trip more than you anticipated, even if the train ride was long.