By Patti Pietschmann with photos by Richard Pietschmann
If an Alaska cruise is in your bucket list, now is the time to book it. Sure this destination was once a final resort reserved for an older clientele. But now millennials are hopping on board. Much of the allure for the younger folk are the availability of adventurous shore excursions. Most lines offer everything from mountain biking to zip lining.
Even getting to the ship from Anchorage to Seward was special
We’ve made many Alaska cruises. And enjoyed them all. One of our favorites was on Regent Seven Seas Mariner two summers ago. (Be sure to read part 2 of this series). Hower it was tricky getting to the ship from Los Angeles. The connection was tight from Anchorage Airport to Seward. We were worried we’d miss the bus.
But we didn’t. Even though to reach the ship in time meant an early morning flight. The best option was a Delta flight from Los Angeles at 6:15 a.m. We had a plane change in Seattle to Anchorage. The transfer worked like clock work. A RSSC staff was there to whisk us to a bus that would take them to Seward—the nearest deep water port to Anchorage.
We were a bit surprised that it took 2 ½-hours to get to Seward. But the spectacular scenery along the coast of the Kenai Peninsula made the long trip enjoyable. The transportation came with an air/sea ticket.
Embarkation in Seward on the spiffy 700-passenger, 48,075-ton Mariner was a pleasure. Glasses of Champagne were proffered as we climbed on board. Stewards escorted us to our suite. The Mariner is the first all suite, all balcony vessel built in 2001. Our Veranda suite measured a spacious 805 square-feet including balcony.
The ship has every creature comfort. Suites are beautifully appointed. A special perk for writers is a good working desk. And for women a nice vanity. There are also king beds, flat screen TVs, walk-in closets, lots of drawers, mini-fridges stocked with free beverages, robes, slippers, hair dryers, sofas, and tables.
Truly all-inclusive fares
Regent Seven Seas fares are the most all-inclusive offered. The price of a ticket covers tips, most shore excursions, WiFi, laundry in top suites, select wines and Champagnes, top shelf spirits, and all meals even in alternative dining venues such as Signatures and Prime7.
Our cruise was an odyssey of delights. We sailed past ice bergs, glaciers, forests and other fantastic fauna and flora. It ended too fast in Vancouver. We were well fed by great meals in Compass Rose (fresh cod and halibut, caviar, perfectly prepared asparagus and divine desserts).
One highlight was when our female captain steered the ship as up close and personal as it gets to the awesome Alaska Hubbard. We sat, sipping cocktails and savoring the view from the attractive Observation lounge and out on deck.
The RSSC Mariner sails smoothly seamlessly with an accommodating suite crew. Sailing on her in Alaska sitting on your balcony you might catch a bald eagle majestically gliding in the sky or a whale or two. Today in Sitka we are heading off on a bicycle/walking tour so come back for a report on that plus more about cruising Alaska on the gorgeous not so ancient Mariner.
Ready to visit Alaska by ship? Pavlus can set you up.