The boarding process did not take nearly as long as I thought it would. They took our pictures for our ID card, took some photos in front of some fake canvas, ran our carry on bags through the x-ray machine, checked our IDs and, now we are officially on the Princess Coral. We are staying in a mini suite and, we head of to find stateroom 721 on the Caribe deck. We are greeted by our steward and were amazed by how much room we actually had. Even though it had been a long day we were so excited to actually be on the ship. We had some champagne and got ready for the muster drill. The purpose of a muster drill is to prepare passengers for safe evacuation in the event an emergency occurs while on board the ship. You get to drink champagne and then they expect you to remember how to get off the boat if there is an emergency. I think Janet has it down pat. Go to the balcony and jump. Actually the muster drill went off without a hitch and did not take very long. We now know how to evacuate if there was a real emergency. Now it is time to party! We had selected anytime dining, but on the first night you eat dinner at whatever table is available when you arrive at the main dining room. With anytime dining you can eat anytime the dining room is open or at one of the speciality restaurants. You can be seated at a table with other passengers or just get a table for 2. That is what we did most of the time. It was very cool and simple. We ordered a bottle of wine and went through the many courses of food off of the menu. The food was very good. The other cool thing is they will cork the wine you have left over and bring it to you the next night. They keep track of it by your room number. Now in our case we did not have any left for the next night. What a great evening. The next 2 days we would be at sea.
College Fjord and Glacier Bay were our next two destinations. This would be scenic cruising only. This would allow us to utilize our balcony or go to the top of the ship and view the many wonders and the awesome wildlife. Some background on College Fjord and Glacier Bay. College Fjord is located in the northern sector of Prince William Sound. The Fjord contains five tidewater glaciers (glaciers that terminate in water), five large valley glaciers, and dozens of smaller glaciers, most named after renowned East Coast colleges (women's colleges for the NW side and the men's colleges for the SE side). College Fjord was discovered in1899 during the Harriman Expedition, at which time the glaciers were named. The expedition included a Harvard and an Amherst professor, and they named many of the glaciers after elite colleges. Glacier Bay is in Southeastern Alaska.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve includes nine tidewater glaciers, and four actively calve (shed) icebergs into the bay. Wildlife in the area includes bears, deer, mountain goats, whales, and waterfowl. Glaciers descending from high snow capped mountains into the bay create spectacular displays of ice and iceberg formations.
In the last century the bay's most famous glacier is Muir Glacier.In 1879 naturalist John Muir found that the ice had retreated almost all the way up the bay, a distance of around forty-eight miles. No roads lead to the park and it most easily reached by air travel. Despite the lack of roads, there are over 300,000 visitors per year, most of them on cruise ships. Now that you have a little of history, you can not believe how spectacular the Fjords and the glaciers are. The ice displays so many different colors.
While we spent most of our time viewing the Fjords and glaciers, it did not keep us from exploring the Coral and participating in the many activities and events during the first two days. Let's see, we had a class on how to make martini's, played bingo, putt putt golf down the hallways, wine tasting, sampling reindeer chili, and champagne brunch on the balcony as the glaciers passed by.
It is amazing how many things they have for you to do if you want to. You can do as much or as little as you want. I will end this part of our fantastic trip here. I will pick back up as we pull into the ports of Alaska. The adventure so far has been unreal, and we have not even stepped off of the ship yet. Until then, Happy Travlin' Travel Your Way! How is your Cruisitude?