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An Alaskan Ovation - Ovation of the Seas 9/13/2019-9/20/2019 Alaskan Cruise Live(ish) blog


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15 hours ago, twangster said:

Any word when you might go into Vancouver harbor and under the bridge?

Never did get a concrete answer, but someone in our party was up at 4 am, and we were already docked by then.  At any rate, I was still asleep with visions of sugar plums (or Chop’s filet) dancing in my head.

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Ok, so major props to anyone who can pull off a truly live Alaskan Cruise blog.  There's always something to do or see and you don't want to miss anything! I don't want to leave this blog unfinished so I'll attempt to wrap it up.  Let's see.... I think we're on:

Day 4: Skagway

We knew going in that today was going to be a chillier, dreary day, but such is weather in a temperate rain forrest.

At risk of sounding like a broken record, the scenery coming in this morning was just amazing.




Looking down at the dock, I realized that the ship must have been cleared as there are people now walking off.  Our excursion didn't start until a little later, so we lingered so that there would be less of a crowd when we were ready to get off.


There's a lot of artwork (mostly cruise ship related) painted on the rocks on the side of the mountain near the dock.


I thought the skull was particularly cool



Our excursion today was the White Pass Railway that we had booked through the cruise planner.  You board the train right at the end of the dock, so it couldn't be easier. The White Pass Railroad was built during the Alaskan Gold Rush as a means to get to the Yukon Territory.  During the train ride, the conductor goes into the history of the railroad and the harsh conditions that those who built it had to endure.  It's quite a feat if you think about it - the height of the railway has you going up over 3,000 feet.

With such amazing scenery, this train ride comes highly recommended






One of my favorite parts was looking back at the rail bridge... through the fog, it was quite ominous. 




Since it was cold and a bit rainy for most of the ride, not many people wanted to stand on the platform for pictures.  I took advantage and stood out there for quite awhile taking in the amazing scenery and breathing in the cold, fresh mountain air.

Here's a quick video I shot from the platform


After the ride, the train drops you off into town where there are some shops and restaurants.


I found this building's exterior to be quite unique


Ever a fan of craft brews, I had to make it a point to stop at at least one brewery per port.  We stopped at Klondike Brewing Co. and I've got to say, it was one of the best.  It's a shame that there's probably way too much overhead for them to distribute their beer - you can only get it here.  Their Whipsaw Spruce Ale (one of their flagship beers) is not to be missed if you come to Skagway.


For lunch, we decided to stop at the Red Onion Saloon.  It was a Bordello that was built during the Gold Rush in 1897.  They now specialize in making amazing pizzas.


After dining, it was time to head back to the ship.  The Ovation looked so majestic docked in Skagway.



On the first day in the MDR, I had made a request for savory bites (having never tried them, but heard of their goodness from this blog).  The head waiter promised that the next time we were in the dining room, I would have them.  Today, we were actually in a different dining room, so I asked if the savory bites were available - a short while later, the waiter appeared with these:


They were indeed good and worth the ask!

After dinner we all decided to wind down and relax in the Schooner bar with some after dinner drinks.  From there, it was on to bed.  Tomorrow would be our visit to the Endicott Arm and Dawes glacier and we'll need to be awake early for the approach.


Some extra scenery pics from the train ride:






Stream and trees.jpg

Stream and scenery.jpg





Ghost Bridge.jpg



harbor Seal.jpg


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Day 5 Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier

Waking up early, I quickly got dressed and headed for the Solarium wings to capture our approach into Endicott Arm.

And I'm glad I did - what an amazing sunrise!



Did I happen to mention yet that Alaska is beautiful??


Looking through my binoculars, I spotted the first bit of calved glacial ice floating



As we were pulling in, ever so slowly you could begin to see the fog rolling in


Soon after, you couldn't even see the glacial ice any longer due to the fog




At this point, the captain made the decision to not enter due to seeing lots of ice on the radar.  He said that it was too unsafe to proceed due to the low visibility, so we would turn around and look for whales instead.

Hearing the news, I along with most people were pretty bummed, but that's the nature of cruising!  You can't help the weather.  I decided to drown my sorrow in an Alaskan Amber (I love that this ship offered some local beer selections!)


One last look back at the fog and some floating glacial ice as we turned around:



The captain announced that some whales were spotted on both port and starboard sides, so I took a stroll around to hopefully catch some whale sightings

A look back across the pool deck


There were definitely whales around!


Caught the tail end of a splash again


Scenery from our balcony as I was getting ready for dinner


Tonight's dinner was in Wonderland.  Everyone was eager to try it, and I decided I would be brave and attempt to try everything - I'm glad I did!  It was really good!

Tomato water and crab cones:


Smoked eggs and some sort of prawns?


The garden - the "soil" was made of bread and squid ink


This appetizer was some sort of cold tuna tartare with a.... lemon ice sorbet?? It's the only one I didn't try.  I am NOT that adventurous ?


Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the main courses, but they were really good, especially the terrior beef, and surprisingly the halibut!


Dessert was amazing.  I've heard good things about "The World" so I was really looking forward to it.  It did not disappoint!


After dinner, we went to a name that tune style competition in Two70 hosted by the cruise director, Joff.  It was pretty entertaining.  A few of us hit up the casino later and tried our luck (I'm never lucky). 

Tomorrow would be a sea day and Polly and Sheri realized that they had a sushi making class that overlapped with their All Access tour - they reeeeaaally wanted to the the sushi class, so they offered to let us go on the All Access Tour in their place - such nice friends!


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