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Staff Travel Diaries - Seattle Round Trip to Alaska

Staff Travel Diaries - Seattle Round Trip to Alaska

Alaska has always been a ‘Bucket Lister’ for me. From the moment I started working in travel 17 years ago I have longed to go and see the beautiful scenery and wildlife it has to offer. In addition to this I was excited experience a holiday which was not based purely on sunshine, sunbathing and cocktails.


We flew out to Seattle with Norwegian Air, Gatwick to Seattle direct and spent two nights in a lovely airport hotel getting an opportunity to experience Seattle and all it had to offer. Seattle is a funky, lively and hedonistic city which has loads to offer as a home port. I was surprised to how I felt like 2 nights was not enough time to really see everything I wanted to see. This city is more than just the Space Needle; we went to a chocolate factory, a Brewery tour, went to the Pike market and had a lovely walk through the gardens, shops and bars at the pier front. As excited as I was to get on board our ship I felt like I wasn’t quite finished with Seattle.


We arrived at Seattle port in high spirits; this was a trip of a lifetime which we couldn’t wait to start. What a start it was, we were whisked through embarkation, within half an hour from arriving at the terminal we were on board and sniffing out our cabins. The cabins are amazing! Really spacious and everything you could want – we were in an inside cabin and it felt roomy even with the beds made up in a twin configuration. After unpacking and resisting the urge to collapse into the comfiest 'At Sea' bed I have ever sat on we got ourselves to the bar to watch Seattle fade into the distance behind us as we headed for Alaska.


Alaska turned out to be everything we wanted it to be and more. The views were amazing, we saw Eagles, porpoises, whales and glaciers. Each quaint little port town had its own unique feel – most felt like we were stepping back in time. If you like Diamonds then Alaska is the place to shop! If you don’t like shopping then Excursions is the way forward. Between us we took a cable car up a mountain, Kayaked through the Glaciers, swooned over the Lumberjack show and Whale watched as part of the Princess Cruises excursion programme.


Our on-board experience with Princess Cruises matched our spectacular surroundings – as Elite members we were given priority boarding and disembarkation, our own little queuing system at guest services (excellent when you lock yourself out your cabin wearing just your PJ’s at 6am), discounts on our on-board purchases, evening nibbles and cheap cocktails at our exclusive Elite members area and most exciting of all…… free laundry services!!! (Is it sad to be excited over this???)  Even without these little perks, Emerald exceeded all of our expectations. Speciality and traditional dining venues were exquisite, perhaps too exquisite; I have still been too scared to weigh myself since coming home!!


On sea days they offered loads of activities – Quizzes (we won!!), cookery classes, Zumba (not for me) Gym classes (definitely not for me) Art exhibitions and lectures. My favourite thing? Lying in a hot tub, with Eagles soaring above us in the snow-capped mountains on either side of us.  At nights we danced, ate, drank, watched movies under the stars (not for the faint hearted in Alaska, I wrapped up with 9 blankets and still couldn’t feel my nose at the end of the Greatest Showman) and saw amazing productions in the vast theatre on board. Princess Cruises were superb, they ended the cruise with a spectacular balloon drop on our last night and any cruise line which offers an opportunity to have a cuddle of a Huskie puppy on board a cruise ship is a winner in my eyes. 


I cannot put into words how amazing this destination was and Princess Cruises know just how to compliment it, as we sailed into Tracy Arm Fjord they offered expert commentary on what we could see.  We added a special touch to this by spending the morning in the Sanctuary – a unique area at the front of the ship offering mattress topped loungers, hot chocolate (with a wee bit of added Baileys to heat you up) Mimosas, ear warmers and rugs.

I will never forget my amazing trip and could go on and on about what a memorable experience we had. Alaska you were wonderful, and Princess Cruises? Minus the Jet Lag, I definitely came back new.


Kirsten Pritchard



  • 20th June 2018