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Alaska Cruise: Day Five

June 24, 2010

Day 5 on The Pearl: Cruising Glacier Bay

Today was a very exciting day on the ship. We cruised through Glacier Bay — a natural waterway from Alaska’s Inside Passage to the tidewater glaciers located in Glacier Bay National Park.

In the early morning hours, the National Park Service park rangers boarded the ship and provided a narrative about important aspects of the park as we cruised along. It was spectacular.

As its name implies, much of Glacier Bay National Park is water. Most of the land within the park is mountainous, covered with dense rain forest, without any roads or trails. Some have ventured to hike, raft, or climb the mountain, but most visitors to the park witness its beauty and wildlife by boat or cruise ship.

Our tour of the park lasted most of the day as we sailed along slowly. Great photo opportunities in the quiet morning. Dave and I dragged the kids out of bed, not wanting them to miss the approach to Margerie Glacier.

With ear-muffs, blankets, and heavy jackets in tow, we set up camp on the top deck so we wouldn’t miss a thing (…along with 400 other excited passengers with cameras hanging around their necks).

The chill in the air was forgotten as the ship got closer and closer to the glacier. At one mile wide and 250 feet tall, Marjorie Glacier is a sight to see. The glacier also extends another 100 feet below the water line. To provide a comparison: the Statue of Liberty is 307 feet tall.

The ship stopped at the glacier for about 30 minutes as anxious photographers watched and waited for the glacier to calve. Calving is when the ice breaks away from the glacier and it happens often, and when it does it sounds like thunder and firecrackers going off nearby.

The majesty of the glaciers and the mountains were overwhelming. Nature at its finest. Eagles and sea lions were also in abundance during our tour in Glacier Bay. A beautiful park and feel very grateful for the opportunity to witness its beauty so close!

Ah, the spa
The temperatures were a lot cooler in Glacier Bay than they were in Skagway, so a trip to the spa was next on our agenda. We spent the better part of the afternoon there. Whirlpools, therapy pool, sauna, steam rooms, and the heated stone lounges were awesome.

After warming up, Dave and I snagged a double lounge chair that was set up in front of the huge picture window. With a view of majestic ice-capped mountains in our view, it was the perfect place to take a nap.

Out on the town
After the spa, we got ready for our evening “on the town.” A trip to our favorite martini bar, where I chose the most amazing, new-favorite martini called “Sex at Sunset.” YUMMM! With Amaretto and Fangelico and a dash of sour and some other alcoholic splashes, and voila: Sex at Sunset. I think I liked it even more than a Cosmo.

We met the boys for dinner at Indigo Main Dining Room. A steak dinner, with red wine and cheesecake for dessert, was the perfect end to a perfect day. But there’s more! There’s always more when you’re on a cruise ship.

After dinner we took in the late night show at the Stardust Theatre and then it was off to Bliss Ultra Lounge and Nightclub for some late, late night music. Bliss is a lounge that is inspired by all things spherical and out of space. The room is colorful and flashy, and as nightclub-ish as you will find at sea or on land. Very cool. Note the vibrant colors, lights, and the large bed in the picture below. The Pearl offers comfort like no other. Nap at the bar if you like…it’s all about relaxation!

The band on stage played all the favorites right out of the 80’s. Lots of dancing and laughing followed. Then it was time to call it a night.

Another day (and evening) in Alaska had come and gone.

Photo credit: Dave Morrison

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