Just back from the September 15th sailing on the Dawn Princess. It was the last Alaskan sailing of the season. What a incredible experience. Alaska was all we had hoped it to be and the Dawn Princess was a wonderful vessel.
We flew into Anchorage a day early and rented a car. We spend some time in Anchorage walking down the coastal trail, earthquake park, walked out to the bridge with the Salmon and stopped at Glacier Bay Inn for the seafood chowder.
We then drove up to Talkeetna around midnight, it was a very easy drive and the road system was great. Since it was so late when we got there we pulled over at the scenic overlook and slept for a few hours in the car. We woke up around 4 and decided to go for a short walk about. It was so beautiful the moon was so bright and the stars were so incredible we could actully see "moon shadows". We drove up to the Talkeetna Lodge around 6:00 to see the sunrise. What a beautiful lodge with a roaring fire and great coffee, we sat out on the deck and just were totally wowed by the sunrise. There was also some nice hiking trails around the property that we enjoyed.
We had a fly over scheduled for 10:00 so we went into town early and had breakfast at the Roadhouse, I loved that place the cinnamon rolls were to die for. Great atmosphere. Our fly over was with Talkeetna Aero Services, Doug was our pilot. It was so clear and the sky so blue with no wind it could not have been a more perfect day to fly. We used the oxygen and he let my DH sit in the co-pilot's seat. Hating to leave Talkeetna we knew we had a ship to catch so we started the drive. Once we were through Anchorage and on the Seward Highway it was so fantastic. There were hiking trails and scenic turnouts everywhere. We could have spent several extra hours on the drive. We were so glad we made the decision to drive as we pulled over often for short hikes and picture taking.
We arrived at the port just as the train was unloading and several of the buses, but they were very efficient and we boarded within 15 - 20 minutes. The Dawn Princess was really lovely. We had booked an inside cabin as we knew we would never be in it. The ship was very clean and our cabin was little but very funtional with great storage. We spent most of our time on the aft decks or sitting in the hot tubs. It was great! We had the personal choice dining I would never use traditional again. We requested the same waiter every night his name was Arnold and he was fantastic. But the nice thing was we could dine whenever we wanted and we always were able to sit alone which was great.
I will continue with Part 2 later.