Not a camping trip, but man did we have a great time. I was a few months out from surgery, so we weren't sure how my energy level would be as we went through the trip. It turned out to be a good thing we canceled one of our hiking excursions, as I wouldn't have been up to it. Since I slacked & it's been so long since the trip (I'm actually writing this in Feb 2018 - oops!), I'll just post some highlights.
* We LOVE Vancouver. It's such a great city, with plenty to do. This trip, in addition to a lot of walking, we did a seaplane around the city, which was pretty cool. We also went to the aquarium, which was a great way to spend a morning.
* Pre-cruise, we stayed at the Pan Pacific & man did it make getting to the port easy (since it's AT the port).
*Post-cruise, we stayed at Fairmont Vancouver Airport in Terminal Hotel. It was really nice just to be at the airport & relaxing. We should've spent the day exploring a bit more, but I was tired after the cruise, so we just relaxed and spent the day watching tv and chilling out.
* We had been on basically this same cruise with another line 6 years earlier. It was nice to get out and do other things - some of which hadn't been options on the other line for various reasons.
* I love a Disney Cruise. Having to be gluten free (for medical reasons), I know I'll ALWAYS be ok on a Disney cruise. There's no guessing - and it's amazing.
* On the "at sea" days, go out on the deck or be on your balcony. We saw SO MANY humpback whales this trip. At one point, there were so many, we had no idea where to look next. They were everywhere. Best "free" excursion - whale watching without the extra fee.
*Don't be afraid to split your party up for excursions. This is the first trip where I felt so strongly that I wanted to do a certain excursion and Jon had absolutely no interest, that we split up. I was a little nervous about it, but it turned out to be a great idea!
* In Skagway, we did an excursion that allowed us to take the White Pass Rail - starting in Fraser, BC - and then do a hike in the Tongass National Forest. We got to have lunch on a beautiful river and hike (albeit at a much faster pace than we normally hike!). If you ever get an option to do this and you're able-bodied enough to do it, DO IT! I was really worried about this particular excursion so close to my surgery, and it did wipe my energy, but it was 150% worth it.
* In Juneau, we originally had a hike planned (as an excursion). We decided to cancel it before we went on the trip. I was EXHAUSTED after the hike in Skagway and needed an easy day. We ended up taking the tram up Mt Roberts, which we hadn't been able to do the previous trip. After a few pictures and a tiny (0.1 or so) "hike" on a dirt path around the top of the mountain area right at the center, we came back down to town. We walked around town a bit, grabbed lunch, Jon got coffee, and then we headed back to the ship. Nice an easy day.
* In Ketichkan, Jon went on a Bering Sea Crab boat excursion. One of the boat captains was on Deadliest Catch at some point. He said it was a really interesting trip.
* Also in Ketichkan, I went on a snorkeling excursion. It. Was. Awesome. The water was 62 degrees, a little murky, and just so much fun. I mean, how many people can say they've been snorkeling in Alaskan waters?
* Sometimes it pays to be out on your balcony when it's an "at sea" day. We saw a bunch of dolphins playing in the wake of the ship near Vancouver Island.
* One night, our friends, their parents, and their other set of friends decided to do Palo for dinner. We had done it before and opted out. We got to have dinner with just the oldest daughters from each family - it was so much fun. Both girls are funny, nice, and generally just awesome young adults. We genuinely had fun having dinner with them. The girls basically ordered 2 of each course. It was the only night they did it and they really enjoyed it. They both tried things they wouldn't have normally and were great food critics. We laughed quite a bit. Lesson? If your friends ask if you mind having dinner with the oldest "kids", do it!