Princess information says embarkation starts at 12:30, we assume they will be letting pax on a little earlier and leave the hotel at 11:30 for the very short drive from downtown to pier 30. As we get to the pier, we find the police doing a poor job directing traffic. Two ships are tied up here, the "Oosterdam" as well as the "Diamond". The last 200 yards to the pax terminal seamed to take 10 minutes, taxies, cars, buses and shuttles all going for the right hand lane to spit out their riders as fast as possible. As we stand on the sidewalk, we are confused as to what is happening. There is a line of about 200 people, all with their luggage, yet there are porters standing idly with empty carts. We get the attention of one porter who in short order picks up out three checkable bags and takes us past the line to the front of the cruise terminal. We there show our tickets and identification to a Princess worker, takes custody of our luggage and then directs us inside the building. We tip the porter and get the low down on the line of people, which is a bit longer now. All these pax are personally riding heard on their bags up to the one security scanner for that line. The people using the services of a porter use a different scanner, to save the price of a tip they are standing in the sun for an hour. We are directed into the building and get into the check in line, which moves quite quickly. Show the ID again, a credit card and the tickets and two minutes later were on the very long pax gangway that zig zags up to the ship On day 3, wake up with the ship in Alaskan waters. Watch the shoreline pass by the balcony about 120 yards away. I get to see my first iceberg; it has only taken 54 years. We were amazed by the number of crew who turned up at the rail with cameras and binoculars, this was the first time they had ever seen snow. Day 4-The ship docked at Skagway,We are taking a bus into Canada and taking the White Pass Railway back to Skagway. A quick tour of a still sleeping Skagway, then head North for almost a hundred miles. Jokes, stories and even poems with frequent photo stops make the trip fly by. We started at sea level, go up through forests, to ice fields at the summit, back to forest and even a small area of bare sand called the Alaskan desert. The turnaround point is a called Caribou Crossing, which is a jumble of restaurant, stuffed animal museum, Husky dog breeder and miniature golf course. Sounds like a tourist trap or a dump, and looks questionable from the highway, but the food is great and the people running it are wonderful. There is a steam locomotive that is still in use, but you will more than likely get two or three diesel engines to take you. Ice, snow, frozen lakes, forests, waterfalls, streams, rivers, trestles, bridges and tunnels, quite a trip. As excursions go, this is on the expensive end, just under $200 a head. But as far as value it is worth
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