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August 31st 2015
Published: August 31st 2015
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Well helloooooo everyone. We're back with internet again after a wonderful 7 night cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. Please do yourselves a favour and book a cruise on this ship. She is big and beautiful. The staff were fantastic. The ports of call were great and apparently we lucked it again with great weather in every port, which was out of the ordinary even for the Alaskan summer. We found out that a Disney cruise about 2 days behind us was battling 3-4 metre swells and rain. The Radiance was so stable and the water so calm that you didn't even know you were on a cruise until you looked out the windows. Even Noel loved it AND he won the James Bond trivia and the Beatles trivia all by himself. We are now the proud owners of Royal Caribbean backpacks and caps....woo hooooo. Cutting back to only 3 meals a day is a bit of a drama though. JUST JOKING. The food was great and the service, OMGosh if only we could get that always. In Icy Strait Point we had booked a (very expensive) whale watching tour. We did get to see 2 humpback whales but they were just lolling around eating close to shore so it wasn't too exciting however, what was great, was a pod of orcas, which the boat crew said is unusual as they are solitary creatures other than mums and bubs being together. They hung around for ages and swam right under the boat! Another awesome thing was the Hubbard Glacier. So big and calving all the time. They call it "white thunder" and that's exactly what it sounds like. Only thing that spoiled it was the gloomy foggy morning so visibility was not great.

The only major problem we have had on the trip (and it wasn't even that bad if you're an Aussie only the Yanks were all freaking out) was getting into port on the last day. The port in Seward is on wooden piers and because there were 50 knot gale force winds the harbour master closed the port and wouldn't let our massive 100,000 tonne ship tie up at 5 am. Everyone was up before six waiting for early disembarkation. Boring, boring, boring just sitting around for .......8 hours!!!! Yep. Docked at 1 pm and didn't get off until 2.30. We then had a 4 hour bus trip and 45 minute animal refuge stop before checking in at our Anchorage motel at 8.30. Problem was I had booked the motel so that we could have an afternoon sleep before heading to the airport that same night for a 12.30 am flight to Seattle. So after a massive 45 min cat nap (remember I was up at 6am?) we head off to the airport. Noel and I, well me really, have this "thing" with airport security. So far in our travels over the years we have been pinged for putting in our carry on luggage a toy dart gun, fruit, scissors and now a swiss army knife. I bought it for Andrew in Skagway because a) it had his name on it and b) he likes knives. As soon as the security officer said "do you have anything sharp in here that will hurt me?" I remembered that I had not packed it in the checked bags as I'd intended and fessed up about the souvenir. She said I could hand it over or post it to myself. What a great idea. Posting it! Yay, problem solved. Until the postage guy tells me that my teeny, tiny knife is going to cost $50 to send to Australia!!!!!! That's $50 US everyone so about $65 Aussie dollars. Guess where the $10 knife ended up?????? That's right. Someone in security needs to find a friend called Andrew and give it to him. Maybe they'll put it on ebay and I can buy it again for $10 again with free postage?????? No, I don't think so either.

Anyway after the hassle with the knife we get on a plane for 3 hours. All the babies and kids were great. However there was this one #@**^ woman who hacked her lungs up so hard the whole trip. I couldn't tell if she was coughing or vomiting. It was so freaking annoying. No sleep still but we did get to see the Northern Lights from the air which was pretty cool after missing it on the ship due to night time cloud cover.

We drove around rainy Seattle for a couple of hours after landing at 5 am Seattle time, which was 4 am Noel and Margaret time due to a different time zone. We were getting pretty delirious by now so headed to our apartment. I asked for a parking pass so we could crash in the car, instead of crashing the car and were lucky enough to get a nice check in person who let us into our room 6 hours early at no cost. YAY. Sleeeeeep finally. Had a lazy day doing washing and lunching at Sizzler. Much cheaper in the US.

So today was a fresh day and we drove up to the Boeing factory north of Seattle. What a good tour. Watching all the different planes get assembled was really amazing even for a technically challenged person such as myself. Then we were off into Seattle city where we went to the Underground tour. We had a great guide and the tour was funny and interesting. Thank you Pam Lines for the heads up on that one. We both enjoyed it.

After only 1 day of exploring today we are back at the airport tomorrow to fly to Los Angeles and then pick up another car to drive to Anaheim. Dinner tomorrow night with Arvin, the airbnb guy that James stayed with in Anaheim last year. Tuesday will be Disneyland and Wednesday is California Adventure Land. Thursday is San Diego and the last 5 nights of our holiday. Can you all believe it???? The holiday is nearly over already. CRAZY.

Thank you for reading my blogs. I'll try to send one more before flying home. Hoping you are all well and happy. Noel says "hi" too. XXX

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