• Post category:Alaska

En voyage to the Sapphire Princess

Today, we took the Alaskan Railroad train again from Anchorage to Whittier. The journey this time was much shorter. Check in was at 8.45 for a 9.45 departure and we arrived at Whittier about 3 hours later.

This time, it was a panoramic journey. We passed by Alaskan beaches, with the humps of white whales visible in the sea as we passed by. The railroad runs at a leisurely pace, so it is easy to take in the views.
En voyage to the Sapphire Princess - Alaska Beaches from the railroad
Alaskan Beaches from the railroad
Sapphire Princess Alaskan Railroad Marshes
Marshlands

Fascinating Facts - "Showing up Every Day" Program

I was interested to read that the Schools Business Partnership (SBP) is sponsoring a “Showing up Every Day” program in the Anchorage schools with seductive prizes such as a 2013 Jeep Patriot, round trip airline tickets, trips to Disneyland and Apple computers. Students with full attendance can enter for the best prizes with 95% attenders eligible for draws for the other prizes. Attendance rates for high school seniors are currently a dismal 57.8%. The program is aimed at achieving a 90% attendance rate by 2020.
I also read that telemedicine is becoming of increasing importance to Alaskans. I would think it is essential with the huge distance that this state covers. The Alaskan Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) – a non profit organisation – is developing mobile telemedicine carts.

Sapphire Princess - Accommodation Review

There is very little in Whittier other than the port itself. The railroad stops right by the port, so as we turned the last bend of the track, the beautiful Sapphire Princess came into view. Embarkation was swift and efficient. Our luggage was whisked away and appeared in our cabin shortly after we did.

Alaska The Sapphire Princess
The Sapphire Princess - Whittier

Some of the accommodation/transportarrangements on this trip had not been as comfortable as we might have liked and I was really looking forward to a bit of luxury on this last portion of our great Alaskan adventure.   Princess Cruises did not disappoint.

We booked this trip entirely ourselves, directly and did not use a travel agent.  We saved a considerable amount of cash by doing that and splashed some of it on a suite.

 

When I say cabin, that is something of an understatement… We have a large, comfy bed, a lovely bathroom with a deep bath, a lounge area and, best of all, a huge balcony that wraps itself around the front of the ship with a dining table and chairs, 2 steamer chairs and still plenty of room to walk around! Flowers, fruit and a full bar – I could get used to this!

It felt very luxurious to have this much space to ourselves, but it was a great choice because you spend a lot of time on the ship and having our own sweeping balcony right along the side of the ship gives you absolutely perfect views. Booking the suite also gives you some lovely little luxurious treats – like chocolate covered strawberries being delivered to your cabin etc.  Well – you do only live once!

Glacier Bay Sapphire Princess View from Cabin Deck
Room with a View
Sapphire Princess Cabin Balcony
Sunglasses out!
Sapphire Princess Balcony
Sapphire Princess Balcony
Sapphire Princess Cabin Bedroom Sapphire Princess
Cabin Bedroom Sapphire Princess
Sapphire Princess Cabin Lounge
Sapphire Princess Cabin Lounge
Sapphire Princess Cabin Dressing Room
Sapphire Princess Cabin Dressing Room
Sapphire Princess Cabin Lounge
Sapphire Princess Cabin Lounge

Booking the suite gave us the option for a complimentary embarkation night meal at one of the signature restaurants – Sabatinis. They offered a wide ranging Italian themed menu and we decided we would sample what they had to offer. Champagne and canapés were delivered to our cabin and then we dined on artichoke soufflé, signature pasta entrées, lobster, steak and zabaglione. A beautiful meal at a table for two with a superb view of an icy, calm sea. Perfect!