Visiting Alaska seemed like an expedition to the North Pole, so I was relieved that we were ‘cruising there.’ Surprisingly, there was no need to stay warm below deck because so much sunshine came through the portholes. I closed my eyes and I felt the warmth of the sun. I opened them and saw majestic snow covered mountains.
The endless mountains of the Inner Passage commanded the attention of everyone on the Norwegian Star so much that the vessel was empty for all shore excursions. As I soaked up the sun at Mendenhall glacier, I cooled my palette with a taste of Alaskan spring water straight from the source. Unfortunately, I could not bring a gallon home. Instead, most of us collected free trinkets from shop owners who swore we ‘brought the warm weather with us’.
Cooling off from the day’s heat was never a problem. In Prince Rupert, evening arctic winds gave me freezer burn. And in Skagway, I literally stepped into ice cold water searching for gold, but only my big toe managed the plunge. None of the residents of the Inner Passage seemed to mind the cold weather as everyone seemed busy playing with their unusually large dogs. My younger sister was eager to pet every husky she encountered. I even caught myself stroking a big furry husky in
Meals were available 24 hours with ‘freestyle dining’, which was a staple feature on both the Star and an earlier
Dodge ball was a good way to work off the food I consumed and fortunately I did not have to play with just my family; I was now a member of the Teen Club. The ‘White Hot party’ was the most exciting teen event. Our group ‘heartthrob’, Chad, did not attend that party but we ‘danced the night away’ in anticipation of his arrival. It did not take long to discover that one of the girls had a crush on him as he engaged in ‘whale spotting’. As it turned out, she was not alone. ‘
The end of the cruise for me was described by my mother as a scene from the television show “The Love Boat.” To my utter annoyance, she kept singing the theme song every time I told her about my adventures on board. However, Chad appearing in the dining room, wrapping his arm around my waist and giving me a heartfelt goodbye, was true to the sitcom’s form. He even promised to ‘keep in touch’ but I have not heard from him to date. I have my fantastic memories, though, that I will never forget!
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