Friday, July 22, 2011


It was finally time to get off the ship and go to a port of call. Our destination was Skagway. We got on a bus, but our first stop was to a recreation of a miner's camp called Liarsville. The name came from the fact that when the gold rush happened, the press came this far and didn't want to go on to the other gold sites, so they let it leak that there was gold here. There wasn't any, but the ruse worked. We saw a cute skit and poems about the Gold Rush. It was here that we panned for gold. We each got a pan with sediments and gold already in it. We were shown how to do the process. It was fun. The actors helped us get all of our gold. I was very disappointed we didn't do it in a stream where where gold was natural, but as the man said, "there's no gold in Skagway." I ended up with several sequin sized pieces of 18K Klondike gold from Canada.

We went on to the main part of Skagway and in a visitors museum and bookstore, we saw a film about the treacherous trip the miners made up a very long hill to get to the gold site.

The next time we left ship, we went to Juneau and got a catamaran to take us whale watching. Of course, everyone on board wanted pictures of the whales. Me too. I went to the head of the boat when they spotted their first whale and then I moved quickly to the outside area so I could see better. This first whale put on a show for us. He breached and did a sort of flip. The guide was excited. She said this wasn't the time or place they usually did this. I did see it, but not as well as I could have because I had just gotten to my spot and was trying to get my camera all zoomed up and ready when the whale performed. Still, what a sight. I got a great tail shot later that is my pride and joy. It looks pretty good when I had it cropped and enlarged a bit.

Well, that was exciting. We saw 6 whales in all. I got some great pics and had a wonderful experience.

Next time, one last excursion before we leave the cruise.


  1. Oh, how exciting!! Especially the whale sightings. When our kids were young, we went on a whale watching expedition out of San Pedro bay in Los Angeles, and it was so much fun.

    I'm happy you got to take this trip, dear.

  2. Oh, how awesome to see whales in their natural habitat! The closest I've been to a whale was at Sea World. :)

  3. I heard somewhere that the excursions are the secret hidden cost to a cruise -- $100 for each port, usually? I can't remember where I heard that. I do know my parents opted to just stick near the cruise ship when they took their last cruise. They did one tour of an island but there wasn't even anything on the island!

  4. Hi Steph - Our excursions were somewhat more than $100 each, (my husband says $125 average) but the things we did were the highlight of the trip. Unless you just love the idea of a cruise ship (and some people do), I'd wait until you can also do a few of the trips off the ship.