Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Coral Princess Northbound Cruise and Land Tour - Day 1 & 2

The Coral Princess Northbound Cruise and Land Tour
Embarkation and the Ship

After the last cruise I took on the Norwegian Breakaway, it was almost a relief to be on a smaller ship once more with the Coral Princess.  This time however, would be the first time we wouldn't have a balcony.  Yes the room was a wee bit smaller than I'm used to, but with the small porthole window (which was almost always dirty from sea spray) it brightened up the space, but hey,  we were going to be in Alaska so it's  not like I would be spending much time other than sleeping there.

Finding the port was just as easy the embarkation process. After dropping off your luggage curbside and a couple of quick lines (there's even ice cold water and paper cups for your convenience on a cart) to pick up your door key/credit card for all ship purchases you're on board before you know it. 

 The Crab Shack is only open during certain sea days, check the Princess Patter to see when.

A sample menu for Sabatini's.

Anytime dining, dining room.

The Horizon Court.

Princess Theater

The next day was a sea day, which was also the first formal night, I decided to skip out on the fancy extravagances that a formal night entails and get my geek on with a Movie-Under-the-Stars viewing of X-Men First Class

And for anyone curious, here's a sample Princess Patter from the cruise.

                      Up next, the third of my Alaskan adventure in the coastal town of Kethickan. Stay tuned!

Seattle Day 3

Seattle Day 3
Pike Place Market - Amtrak

After a quick complimentary breakfast (which I got via a Priceline.com deal) with the not-so-friendly barrista of the Historic Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee House and checking my luggage for the day,  I headed to Pike Place Market on what felt like the busiest and hottest Friday of the summer.

Getting there in the early morning, the market was still crowded and as hectic as I'd imagine it to be. Some places within and surrounding the market were calmer than others, and browsing all the shops that it had to offer was at times a little tiring with the huge slow moving crowds, but fun nonetheless. For quick and cooling snack, I stopped at the Chocolate & Ice Cream Delight to try a cone of homemade honey lavender ice cream, which was delicious, and of course I had to stop and take a load off with a bottle of Pike Place Naughty Nellie beer and enjoy the air conditioning.

The original Starbucks 

And here's a quick video to show you just how crowded and crazy a Friday can be at the market in the summer.

Unfortunately I can't figure out to make this bigger and to display it in the full 1080p on command, so make sure to enlarge and select 1080p!

Eventually I went back to the Panama Hotel, collected my bags and walked the three blocks to King's Street Station to meet up with my folks for an Amtrak train headed to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to start the second half of my journey to the north west.

Oh and a tip to any cruisers who decides to the train into Vancouver before embarkation (and this is coming from someone who had to take Amtrak frequently when I was in college), never count on it being on time, always count on the train being 1-2 hours late. Lucky for my parents and I, our train ran a whole 4 hours late!

Sunset from the train.

Up next will be embarkation day on my sea and land Alaskan cruise on the Coral Princess.