It was a short walk to town from the dock. I walked through town and headed for the first destination on my itinerary, the Gold Rush Cemetery and Reid Falls. It was quite a walk to get there (almost two miles from the dock). However, it was quite pleasant and scenic, passing first through downtown Skagway and then through a residential area.
Gold Rush Cemetery and Reid Falls
The Gold Rush Cemetery was fascinating. The graves are scattered around a wooded area. The headstones and markers are not maintained, giving the cemetery an appropriately creepy, historic atmosphere. The monument to Frank Reid, who killed the villainous Soapy Smith, reads "he died for the honor of Skagway". Behind the cemetery is the trail to Reid Falls. The trail up to the falls starts out flat and slightly inclined, but became rougher and steeper closer to the falls. Fortunately, you can hear that the falls are nearby, which motivates you those last few yards. The falls are quite magnificent and there is a bench where you can rest and admire them.
I then walked back to town and visited the Skagway Museum. Although their collection is small, it is quite interesting, with sections focusing on the Gold Rush, World War II, and Native culture. Two short films were offered; the one on Skagway and WWII was particularly interesting.
Shopping in Skagway
I shop shop shopped my way down one side of the street, heading south back toward the Klondike Gold Rush NHP Visitor Center. I found the selection of shops to be much nicer than in Juneau. The ratio of quality stores to touristy stores was greater, although there were still the ubiquitous jewelry stores. My favorite shops were Richters Jewelry & Curio Shop, William & Anthony, and Corrington’s Alaska Ivory Gift Shop.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park Visitor Center
The Klondike Gold Rush NHP Visitor Center did not have much to offer in the way of exhibits, but the film, “Dream of Adventure, Dreams of Gold”, was excellent. Ranger-led walking tours of Skagway are available from the visitor center.
Murder Mystery Dinner
I returned to the ship after 3:00 pm, ready to get off my feet. I had time for a short rest before attending a Murder Mystery Dinner at 5:00 pm. Those of us who had signed up for the dinner met in the Bliss Ultralounge and received our instructions and scripts. We then proceeded to the Summer Palace dining room and enjoyed our dinner, acting out the mystery between courses. I played to role a famous New York model and I was not the murderer. For dinner I had spring rolls, caeser salad, tilapia in coconut sauce, and a baked apple in pastry. The food, the activity, and the company were all delightful.
Sea Legs Showgirl Revue
After dinner I headed for the Stardust Theatre, where I watched a showgirl dance review show called Sea Legs. It was more prancing about and posturing than dancing. I enjoyed the female singer and the beautiful costumes, but other than that it was mainly a showcase for legs and bottoms. The men enjoyed that, I’m sure!
Day 5 - Glacier Bay National Park
This morning the ship entered Glacier Bay National Park. I took advantage of room service and had a light breakfast in my cabin. It was simple coffee, juice, and a small muffin, but it suited my needs at the time. I was able to look out from my balcony and enjoy the gorgeous Glacier Bay views, including Reid Glacier.
Glacier Bay from the Bridge
I was fortunate to be invited to view Marjorie Glacier from the Bridge, along with about a dozen other fortunate cruisers. The ship slowly made its way towards the glacier, then stopped just under a half mile away from the glacier and made a very slow 360 degree rotation. Everyone, no matter where they were located on the ship, had ample opportunity to view the magnificent blue-white glacier and some local wildlife. A National Park ranger came on board and made a presentation, which could be heard over the ship’s loudspeakers or by tuning into your cabin TV. He also answered questions. The Captain and the crew maneuvered the ship with tiny adjustments to create currents that moved larger icebergs away from the ship. Ice bergs, both clean and dirty, floated all around. The water was very still and overall the atmosphere was one of chill and quiet. We spent about one hour at Marjorie Glacier before exiting Glacier Bay. Viewing the glacier from the Bridge of the Norwegian Pearl was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Massage at the Spa
As the ship headed back out of Glacier Bay, I enjoyed a hot stone aromatherapy massage that was wonderfully relaxing. While waiting for my appointment, I enjoy a fabulous view of the La Plugh glacier from the windows of the women's locker room lounging area, which is on Deck 12 forward. Incredible!
Lunch at Cagney’s Steak House
After my massage, I took in a late lunch at Cagney's. I had crab and jicama dip, a shaved turkey sandwich with apple celery salad on a multigrain baguette, and Boston cream pie. This was one of the best meals of the cruise so far!
Dinner at Mambo’s Tex Mex Restaurant
After an afternoon of relaxation in my cabin and a shower, I enjoyed a Tex Mex dinner at Mambo's. I had bean and cheese taquitos, chicken fajitas, and cinnamon churros with chocolate mousse. During dinner I enjoyed a window view and saw several passing herds of seals.
Magic and Comedy Show at the Stardust Theater
That evening I took in the 7:30 magic/comedy show in the Stardust Theater, featuring Bob & Sarah Trunell. The magic was utterly cheesy, but it was still funny and entertaining.