Thursday, August 14, 2014

Alaska and the Yukon - Anchorage to Seward, AK

July 20
Anchorage, AK to Seward, AK, Embarkation Day

Today we take the train down to Seward and board the Statendam to start our seven day cruise to Vancouver.  The luggage had to be outside our door by 8:00 AM, but we didn’t have to catch the bus to the train depot until noon so we had a leisurely morning.  One bad thing was Val woke up not feeling well and it looks like she has a cold.  After leaving Val’s camera open all night in hopes it would dry out, we were happy to see that when turned on it was working again.  Our happiness was short lived though, when I inserted a memory card it gave us an error message to reinsert.  After doing this numerous times with several different cards we gave up and faced the reality that the camera wasn’t going to work.  This was very disappointing for Val as we have several more photo tours planned on the cruise, her luck isn’t running too well this morning.

A farewell picture of Anchorage from our balcony.
She spent the rest of the morning resting and I went out and walked around a bit before packing and heading down to the hotel lobby.  We said good-bye to our journey host Anita who did an amazing job keeping things organized and making things so easy for us, thank you so much Anita.  The train was running late this morning so we were delayed boarding the bus, but we soon were on our way.  The bus drove right to our train car and we were soon on our way southward.  This was the same route we took yesterday, but instead of stopping at Spencer, we will be taking the train all the way to Seward.

Our train car was not full so we were able to get good seats at a table all to ourselves, which made it more comfortable.  The skies were cloudy and overcast as we left Anchorage, but it looked like better weather ahead.  The scenery along this train route is just so amazing I would rate it better than what we saw in Denali.  I have to clarify this a little as the Denali scenery was spectacular, but it was more sweeping vistas whereas we were immersed in our surroundings as we traveled through them on the train.  After we passed the Spencer stop where our rafting trip started yesterday, we got a good view of Spencer Lake and Glacier.  After Spencer the train went up into the mountains with spectacular views, waterfalls and rivers.  By this time the sun was also out so we had blue skies and sunshine.  What an amazing train ride, best described through pictures!

I've seen more eagles on this trip than I've seen in my entire life.
The Spencer Glacier where we were rafting yesterday.

We arrive in Seward.
Just before 5:30 we arrived in Seward and the train stopped right in front of the ship.  They unloaded the train one car at a time and we were in the first car so we were quickly off the train, through security and on board the ship shortly after arrival.  Val was feeling worse so it was a good thing there wasn’t much hassle.

Our first sighting of the Statendam as our train arrived.
We were the second couple off the train and quickly made our way through security and check-in.
When we got to our room we were really amazed, this was by far the best room we had ever had (and probably ever will have) on a cruise.  The Pinnacle Penthouse Suite is the largest room on the ship and has almost 1300 square feet of space including the balcony.  There is a dining room, living room, kitchen, two bathrooms, a large walk-in closet, a large bedroom with a king sized bed, and a balcony with table, chairs and a pair of lounge chairs.  It made us feel a little self-conscious to have such luxury, especially since we didn’t have to pay any extra for it.  Anyway, we’ll take it for the next seven days and enjoy it.  Here is a little tour of the Pinnacle Suite.

The dining room.
The living room.

The bedroom and vanity area.
The bedroom and bathroom / closet entrance.

Val and I each had our own sink.  There is a huge walk-in closet to the right/

The kitchen.
There was a desk in the living room where you could look out on the balcony.

The balcony had two lounge chairs.
And a table and chairs.
Val went straight to bed, but we did have to go down to the muster drill at 7:30, but after that she was done for the night.  We weren’t very hungry for dinner so we skipped it and just had some fruit that was in the room.  Tomorrow is a sea day and the next day we are in Glacier Bay which is also a sea day so hopefully Val will feel better by the time we get to the ports.

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