Day at Sea
Our actual first day of the cruise was a day at sea. We generally relax and explore the ship, attend the events and shows onboard and unplug on sea days. Looking through our photos, it appears that we didn’t even take any photos on our day at sea! We had a great time relaxing, exploring and visiting with one-another, and our fellow passengers onboard.
Our first port was Ketchikan, Alaska.
Lovely and quaint Ketchikan hasn’t changed much in our opinion, since we were here last. There’s a population of about 8-thousand folks who live here – but during the summer when the cruise ships arrive, the population can more than double! When we were in Ketchikan, there were at least 3 other ships in port – but it never really felt over-crowded to us (except when we tried to get back onboard the ship!).
Throughout our entire cruise – we had amazing weather. At each port we visited, the locals told us how lucky we were to have such a beautiful day, because the previous day had been rainy and cold. We started joking with the locals that we didn’t believe they actually had poor weather, and that it was just something they told tourists to keep them from wanting to move there.
Since we’ve all been here before, we wanted to take a tour that was new for us. So we went to George Inlet Lodge, to learn about crabbing, and then have a wonderful all-you-can-eat crab feast!
You can see how wonderful the weather was – it was warm and sunny and clear. We boarded a small ship and cruised down to an area about 30 minutes away where the crab-traps were set. We were treated to beautiful sights along the way.
At this point in our cruise, our guide spotted a bald eagle and asked the pilot to stop the boat. She went out on the back deck and made a whistle sound that the local birds have gotten accustomed to – and tossed a fish into the water. He was very far away, but they have such good eyes, he saw it, and came and got the treat. (Sorry the video isn’t very good!)
After our scenic cruise down the inlet – we arrived at a little bay where there were crab pots. Our guide explained to us that they had an educational license to trap crabs in the area – they not only educate tourists about the crabs, but they measure and track the population of crabs in the area and document the information. Our guide was fun and showed us the differences between male and female crabs, and explained that we only eat the males – females are thrown back.
All of the crabs she showed us were thrown back after she measured them and showed them to us. We were told the proper way to safely hold a crab, and a fun way to photograph them.
While we were stopped, our guide tried to feed another bald eagle – the video quality isn’t the greatest, but it was awesome to watch him fly by…
Here’s just some video of how pretty the area was, and what beautiful weather we had…
After our educational trip to see how crabs are caught, it was time to head back to the lodge and have our crab-feast! I think we all agree, this was by far the best crab dinner we’ve ever had. Not only was it fresh and delicious, it was honestly ‘all you can eat’ and we all got our fill! The staff was wonderful – gave us lessons on how to best crack into crabs, and we had a contest on who could create the largest shell-pile! The winners were a family who sang a crab song for us!
We really enjoyed this excursion. We had our obligatory photos taken with the giant crab on our way back to the tour-bus.
Then it was time to head back to the ship. Much to our surprise, there was a GIANT line to get back on the ship. It wound all around the port area. So we decided to do a little more souvenir shopping while we waited for the line to improve.
There was a little bit of drama as we were awaiting to get back on board. We aren’t really sure what happened, the ship’s security got into a scuffle with a man in the boarding area – and the local police were summoned. Shortly after, we heard a passenger being paged to the services desk – and then shortly after that, the captain announced that a passenger was leaving. We *think* that the man was a passenger – and whatever happened, caused him to be removed from the ship – and his wife was called to the service desk to join him onland. We don’t really know what happened though.
Our day in Ketchikan was lovely but short… and now it was time to set sail for Juneau.
As we sailed toward Juneau, we were treated to more beautiful Alaska sights including dolphins, whales and lovely landscapes. The photos do not do it justice!