Often people talk about last minute cruising but it really isn't possible. For most people you need to travel to the departure port and for that you require a bit of advance notice. Also most ships are sold out well before a cruise nowadays. Not to mention that the manifest of the passengers is require way in advance and ships usually cut off sales about four days prior.
In May I knew I had two great friends who were on the Diamond, Peter John as Captain Circle Host and Ciska Smit who I really wanted to see. The Diamond was going to be doing a round trip Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver (the only one of the season). Now those that know me know I like Alaska but it isn't on my preferred spots to cruise as I would rather visit warmer, more foreign ports. Plus I live in British Columbia, I see eagles, bears, mountains, ice often.
So when the price was too good to pass up I had to find a friend to go with. Bernie was going to be out of town in Cape Breton visiting his family so I message numerous friends trying to find someone. Was just about to give up when an acquaintance of mine that I use to work with -- Tracey -- said she would go. Perfect!
We booked an obstructed ocean view cabin on Emerald deck for a great price. The trip was booked 17 days prior to sailing. Which was just in time to put in my stock benefit request, which requires two weeks notice.
The cruise itself was wonderful, and to spend time with my friends on board and to meet new friends, like Theresea and Dana made the trip GREAT.
For the ports I had planned nothing. Since this was an extra trip I didn't want to spend too much money on fancy tours.
In Juneau Peter, Ciska and myself went to the Red Dog Saloon and had our duck fart and then we went to a few stores and bars and had a fun time, but boy I am not as young as I use to be.
In Skagway I was really tired this day, I didn't sleep well the night prior and was up at 4 am. Originally I had planned to head out with friends but when I knew I needed a nap or else I would be too grumpy I told them to head out without me. Later in the day I walked into town and visiting the National Park office to watch a great video and then participated in the free walking tour of the town. Learned quite a bit and enjoyed the fact that I was participating in a walking tour with a local. After the tour I wandered and took lots of pictures and then stopped and had a nice sandwich and cupcake at a recommended stop.
For Ketchican Ciska and I had planned to go for a meal of crab with some of the other crew members. The food was okay and the place was packed and boy you can sure get your fill of crab here. After lunch I wandered the town looking for the infamous pottery store that I visited a few years back. I found the exact location but today it is a book store! I asked the owner if she knew where the pottery store went, she pointed me in the direction but there was no pottery store anywhere nearby. Later I wandered thru some of the stores near the pier but they were all so crowded that I just couldn't wait to get out of there.
In all the trip was a nice break away and was so nice to spend time with friends I hadn't seen in awhile. But one thing I learned I never want to sail without my Bernie again. We both love cruising and we both enjoy each other's company so much. Every night even though I had lots of people to hang out with and was rarely alone I missed my life partner.