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Neil's Emerald Princess Alaska Cruise

Day 1 | London Gatwick to Seattle - Stay at Radisson Hotel SeaTac

The flight was with Norwegian Air Shuttle on a Boeing 787-9 (789) Dreamliner. I was surprised with the comfort and legroom provided in Economy.

The entertainment screen and choices available to you was really good especially when you can pause the film and order a snack, swipe your card and the crew will deliver it to your seat. I was really impressed with the 3D map providing you with a real-time flight plan etc. Upon arrival in Seattle, it was a bit of a nightmare as took 2.5 hours to get processed at US immigration which delayed my planned activities.

Day 2 | Seattle - Stay at Radisson Hotel SeaTac

Today I decided to head to Salty’s Redondo Beach South Seattle for some brunch….OMG, I have never seen a brunch like this before.

You had a choice from eggs benedict to prime rib, from a chocolate fountain to crab legs. Would I come here again and would I recommend it to customers - of course, I would. Visit Salty's 

Then I head to The Seattle Chocolate factory tour. This was both really interesting learning about the history of chocolate and a tour around the production facility and surprising very enjoyable for me was when we had to sample some 6 different chocolates - the things I have to do! Visit Seattle Chocolate

Next up was the Space Needle but sadly the lines were long so hoping to visit the Space Needle on my last day before my flight back to Gatwick. Visit the Space Needle

So I decided to visit the Chihuly Gardens and Glass located within the Seattle Center which also includes the Museum of Pop Culture, the Seattle Children Museum, the Pacific Science Centre plus lots of other attractions and parks. Visit the Chihuly Gardens

After a drink at Hard Rock Cafe in Downtown Seattle, I got the train from Downtown Seattle to SeaTac - one way only $3 and only took 30 minutes.

Day 3

This was the day, this was what I was looking forward to the most – it is cruise time.

I headed to the Port of Seattle – Smith Cove Cruise terminal.

Time to embark the Emerald Princess

The check-in and baggage drop off was effortless and the fastest time I have ever experienced for a large cruise ship. This was my first ever cruise with Princess Cruises so it was all new to me.

Dinner was the gastropub experience that was developed by Ernesto Uchimura. The Salty Dog which takes place within the Wheelhouse bar – I can see why it has been named to have the best burger at sea as it was the tastiest burger I have personally tasted. I would highly recommend this as it provides excellent value for money – only $12USD per person!

Day 4 | Pacific and Inside Passage

More time to explore the Emerald Princess – I was still getting lost at this point!

Took part in a few quizzes –sadly never won but was not too far behind the winners.

Tonight was formal night so everyone made the effort and scrubbed up well and the meal was at one of the main dining rooms – Da Vinci. The meal was really good and service from the dining room staff was excellent

Day 5 | Ketchikan AK

Time for an excursion to the Lumberjack Show as seen on Jane McDonald I would highly recommend this and will be to my customers. Extremely entertaining and a fantastic atmosphere. Visit the Alaskan Lumberjack Show

I then had some free time walking around the town before heading back to the Emerald Princess.

Dinner tonight was in Share by award-winning chef Curtis Stone (Who is on MasterChef Australia) Just WOW this is a foodie’s paradise – 6 courses with a minimum of 2 options per course. This was located in a great location – deck 16 aft of the Emerald Princess. This would normally cost $39 per person for this mouth-watering experience.

Day 6 | Tracy Arm Fjord

The best way to experience the stunning scenery is from the comfort of Princess Cruises - The Sanctuary which is located on the higher deck at the front of the Emerald Princess.

Prices start at $20 per person for a half-day and $40 per person for a full day. However special events such as our experience cost $60 per person but sometimes can be as much as $75 per person.

Despite being up at the crack of dawn (05.30) this was a great location to see the scenery as you pass some icebergs along the way towards the glacier but sadly due to too much ice, we were unable to get any closer as hoped. The staff were on hand to meet the needs of all passengers – from much needed hot chocolate to coffee with the option of pastries.

The loungers were extremely comfortable – think I dozed off at one point as it was so relaxing.

Juneau - Alaska’s State Capital - only accessible by ship or plane.

I just spent my time walking around and soaking up the atmosphere of this scenic city. A visit to the Red Dog Saloon is a must – great entertainment to be had and not too far from the port and very easy to find. Visit the Red Dog Saloon

Other options are sea kayaking or soar to new heights above Juneau by going up the Mount Roberts tramway. The Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway takes you 1,800 feet high and then lets you explore a park offering cultural heritage education, dynamic crafts and some amazing, expansive views. It’s Juneau’s most panoramic and breathtaking view!

Day 7  | Skagway 

This town is like a film set and is nestled between mountains – only 23 blocks long by 4 blocks wide and that’s Skagway.

I decided to do my own shore excursion today. Alaska 360 – Gold panning, husky sled dogs and experience 40 below – that’s -40C and -40F

Sadly the gold I managed to get was valued at less than $13 – not as rich as I was hoping but nevertheless a great experience. Book your tour with Princess

Dinner tonight – The Crown Grill costs $29 USD per person to dine here. I opted to go for the 22oz porterhouse steak- sirloin and fillet steak on the bone. This was another excellent meal and the placing of the Crown Grill is excellent along with the décor and setup.

Day 8 | Another relaxing day at sea

The highlight of the day was winning a quiz with full marks – 23 out of 23 and won a Princess Cruises drawstring bag.

We had a Captains Cocktail party which was for the top tiers of Captain’s circle before we had dinner
This was the last formal night and we went back to Da Vinci’s and the menu was really good as they had my favourite starter – escargot (snails) Later that evening in the Piazza is was the Captain’s Farewell balloon drop – it had to be done on this day of the cruise as our next port of call was late evening arrival.

Day 9  | Victoria British Columbia Canada

Shore Excursion – Whale watching Orca Spirit Adventures – website – Visit Orca Spirit

We had a slight delay in docking in Victoria due to congestion but once we got docked it took a few minutes to get off of the Emerald Princess but did not bother me too much.

Just when you thought you could not top this overall experience we then went whale watching!  This was a truly amazing experience – getting fairly close to the Orca’s was great and got some great photos – I am definitely going to recommend this excursion.

Day 10

After a slight delay disembarking the Emerald Princess we all headed for the Space Needle in Seattle – sadly it was a quick visit but it was worthwhile – the Space Needle will be looking a lot better towards the end of June 2018 as they are refurbishing it and they are planning to put glass floors around the viewing areas.

Transfer back to Seattle airport for my flight home.

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