Glacier Bay National Park

Thursday, Scenic Cruising 6:00 am – 3:00 pm

September weather: Average temps of 55°/42°F. Average precip of ?”.

Plans for this day are simple: marvel in awe at the scenery, hang out with my friends, play some games, maybe read a bit.

This shows how the mountains in the background came in and out of view as the clouds moved

This shows how the mountains in the background came in and out of view as the clouds moved

The Day

We had a lazy day for our Glacier Bay cruising–lazy and hazy and rainy. We woke early in hopes of enjoying fantastic views of Alaska’s glaciers. The weather, however, was not cooperating. At a little after 6:00, we had breakfast and then, disheartened by the fog, decided to return to bed and nap. I know that I woke every hour or so, and looking out of our window, could clearly see, well, nothing. It was so foggy we couldn’t even see the water.

This is a accurate picture of the weather--the views were often so covered by fog we couldn't see the mountains.

This is a accurate picture of the weather–the views were often so covered by fog we couldn’t see the mountains–and it was a big improvement over the morning non-view!

We eventually woke again for real and saw a glacier out of our window. The view motivated us to head towards deck to get a closer view. As we left our cabin the ship was turning so went up on the port side on deck 15. It was foggy and actively raining so people weren’t lingering after taking their photos–it was just too cold and wet.

We took some pictures, took some pictures for other people, and drank some hot (not hot enough) chocolate with Grand Marnier and Irish Creme. Picturing taking for others was funny–everyone was handing off their cameras, iPhones, and iPads for other people to take pictures of them. There was one family of three nearby which was trading off pictures with their iPad, each one taking a picture of the other two. They were thrilled when I offered to take one for them that had all three of them.

Us in Glacier Bay
Us in Glacier Bay
We bundled up pretty well–Alaska is cold in September.

There were National Park Rangers on board, and we asked one of them about the dark dirty looking area that was to the right of Margerie Glacier. She explained that it was the Grand Pacific Glacier–and in the 1750s, it covered the entire bay. The entire area we were in was once the Grand Pacific Glacier–and in the last 265 years, it had receded, and being as dark as it is, doesn’t get anywhere near the attention the nearby Margerie Glacier does.

From the ship
From the ship
This gives an idea of how close we actually were to the glaciers

Spa Visit

The Spa was having a special–Toe to Top for $139. It included a full body massage, a head massage, and a facial. When I asked Stan what he thought of me booking it, he called and booked it for two as a couples massage. A couples massage isn’t that different from single massage, except that we were next to each other.

We arrived at the spa, where they took our cruise cards and gave us robes and slippers.  (The woman had to go to go a closet to find slippers for me, which was sort of surprising, since my feet are a pretty ordinary size.) We went to the locker rooms and changed into our robes and went and sat in a serene waiting area. There were forms, but we weren’t asked to fill one out, so we didn’t. That confused Michelle and Nicole. Their confusion started when I didn’t answer to “Mr and Mrs”, and then increased when they picked up a form and it belonged to somebody named “Gary”.

When we got to the massage room, they asked us questions for the consultation and why we’d come in. The massage was great–only once did I have to ask Michelle to lighten the pressure. I heard Stan ask Nicole at least twice. The facial felt wonderful–and my skin still feels nice today (following day).

Afterwards, of course, they started in with the sales pitch. That part really annoys me. I didn’t want to ruin my relaxed mood with having to repeatedly decline things, so I just said (and it took twice) that we enjoyed the service but weren’t interested in products. They also asked us to finish filling out their consultation form–we decided we didn’t see any reason to, so we left them incomplete. Then we changed and returned to our room. I remembered to pick up my cruise card from the front desk–and asked for Stan’s as well. It’s just as well I did, since he’d forgotten and would have had to go back to get his if I hadn’t claimed it.

It was a relaxing day–just what we needed after busy days in port!

Trip Home  |  Ketchikan  |  Juneau  |  Skagway  |  Glacier Bay  |  College Fjord | On the ship | Train to McKinley | McKinley | Denali | Fairbanks