Friday, May 24, 2019

Royal Princess Alaska: Last Sea Day

Well, here we are on the last sea day of our two weeks sailing on the Royal Princess to Alaska and it's a bit of a choppy one.

Today I had the opportunity to ask the Captain and 3rd Officer several questions about the route this ship has taken as we've navigated our way to and from Alaska. If you remember, when we left Vancouver we took the green route
 instead of the much more scenic red route. It was quite disappointing.
Today as we're heading back to Vancouver we are again taking the non-scenic route. As I found out in my questioning today, the issue is with the length of the Royal Princess and the British Columbia marine pilot rules. Currently there is a limit on the length a ship can be when passing through the area. While right now the Royal cannot sail those narrower, more scenic waterways they are working to get clearance at some point during the summer. So sailings later in the season may get the scenic route. Lucky ducks.

I also asked about the Ketchikan approach. Usually when coming into Ketchikan from the south ships take the red route but we came in on the brown route. Another less scenic route.
Alaska marine pilots had concerns about the maneuverability of the Royal Princess, particularly at lower speeds. So as the ship was needing to slow down to dock in Ketchikan it required a different approach - one that would bring her in from the north. Which now makes sense to why when we left Ketchikan on our way back to Vancouver we we were able to leave from the south. I was told today since we weren't trying to slow down the issue wasn't an issue and we could maneuver on out through the scenic south.
I found the conversation (and information) very interesting.

This trip has gone way too fast, and despite my initial misgivings that I wrote about here I am glad we came. I wouldn't hesitate sailing the Royal to Alaska again and again. I wish we weren't spending the day packing and saying our goodbyes to crew. Knowing there is always a next time is what makes it all okay.

My last day of this particular "live from" will be tomorrow as I cover disembarkation in Vancouver, but I'm not done writing about the Royal yet! I'm working on a wrap-up of the trip and on some other things, too. Most of the posts, pictures, and information will be posted once I get home so do keep an eye out on the blog for updates. 

Some of the cruising things coming in the next several weeks:
  • A wrap-up of both the Northbound and Southbound voyages.
  • A review of Sabatini's on the Royal.
  • A write-up of the Royal's Concierge Lounge.
  • Medallion, Medallion, and Medallion. I have both written information and videos of the Medallion operations on the ship. I know everyone is looking for factual, first-hand accounts so I'll work on providing that here and on YouTube. My YouTube channel is here. And if you're looking for the Medallion accessories available on the Royal this month, check out vickieandbernietravel's Ocean Medallion Accessories post here.
  • A review of Share on the Ruby.
  • Updated information on the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver, including their Club Level Lounge.
  • The opportunity to get my Cruising with Confidence eBook for free for three days in June. Check back for the exact dates.
  • Another round of "live froms" in Alaska will be coming up at the end of the Alaskan cruise season. We'll be on both the Grand and the Golden in September. We may also add in more dates on the Royal. 
  • I wanted to get some time to interview Matt O' this trip but that man is crazy busy. (For those interested, he's heading home tomorrow but will be back later in the summer.) If I do make it back on the Royal again I'll definitely have an interview with him right here on the blog for you.
As always, if you have any specific questions you'd like answered or things you'd like to see featured on the blog, let me know. I'm always on the look out for ideas for new content.

Want to know more about cruising Alaska? You can search using key words and come up with a slew of posts, but you can also check out my Cruising Alaska resources section here where you'll find the most recent posts.