Royal Princess Sails Through Glacier Bay National Park

 

The main reason I chose this Inside Passage cruise with Princess was the full day exploring Glacier Bay National Park by ship. Glacier Bay is one of the least accessible national parks in the United States. With this itinerary, I would be able to see a lot of it from the Royal Princess.

Only a few cruise lines are able to spend a day going through Glacier Bay. It starts in the early morning when a boat arrives with park rangers. They stay on board until late in the afternoon, telling us about the park and everything we are seeing.

Brittany and I got up at 5:00 am. We had decided to start out with as much as we could see from our balcony. We pre-ordered breakfast and coffee delivered to our cabin, so we didn’t need to get out of our pajamas, but we did need to bundle up. We put on our sweatshirts and the warm blankets Princess Cruises supplies to take outside.

After enjoying 70+ degree temperatures in Alaska the previous days, we were starting this day in the 40s. It was also a cloudy so we were afraid we wouldn’t get to see everything. None of that upset us as we set ourselves up for the scenery in front of us. It did not disappoint.

There are no words to describe what we saw, which included whales, sea lions, sea otters, glaciers, waves, and mountains. We also saw some of these breaking as ice melted and went into the water. This has been happening a lot the last decade as our planet warms.  

As we went through the glaciers it continued to get colder. We put on layers and even took out hats, scarves, and gloves. When it got colder and the ship was in a quiet area, we decided to take a break to get pizza from Alfredo’s.

We were still able to watch Glacier Bay from the window and listen to the ranger. The warm, fresh pizza was as delicious as it was on the first day of our cruise.

After we ate, we went up to the theater where the rangers had set up information and were on hand to answer questions and stamp National Park Passports. They also had some merchandise for sale.

We left Glacier Bay National Park around 3:00 pm and it was time to shower and get ready for a very special night. We were honored to receive an invitation to the Chef’s Table Lumiere dinner. You can request it before you sail, but the odds are not good. It is something only done once a cruise and only a half dozen people on the ship are invited to join.

When we arrived in the bar area of the Crown Grill, Executive Chef Fabrizio Fazzini and Director of Restaurant Operations Paul Ciobanu were waiting for us. They had an amuse-bouche of an Alaskan Crab Margarita with avocado and mango waiting along with glasses of one of my favorite champagnes, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label.

 


The chef then took us on a tour of the kitchen, which is actually an entire floor. He told us about the thousands of dishes prepared for each meal. Everything was sparkling clean throughout.


We then headed to our seats. The table setting was magnificent. Wine was poured throughout, including more champagne, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Nikiara by Le Vigne, and an Oremus Late Harvest at the end.

Here is the menu of courses:

Salmon Gravlax and Caviar



 
Fois Gras on Toasted Brioche
 
Seafood Bisque with Brandy Cream
 
Entremet of Lemon Sorbet & Champagne



 
Roast Salmon Fillet (for Brittany)
Veal Oscar  (for me)



 
Lemon Mousse
Chocolate box

See more details about our special dinner on this video I put together…

The gluttony continued when we returned to our room to find a note from Chef Fazzini and Director Cioubanu with petite fours and more wine. We didn’t get too far with it as we were so full from the exquisite meal.


It took a while to fall asleep after all that food, but we knew we needed rest for another busy day as the Royal Princess sailed to Ketchikan, Alaska.

 

I was hosted on this trip, but opinions are my own. 

 

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