From New York City; On to Halifax and St. Johns

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Sailing Past the Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty; AMAZING!

Travel enthusiasts,

I’m J. A. Ireland. This is the second part of my articles about of our trip on the Carnival Triumph sailing from New York City to Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. Johns, New Brunswick, Canada.

I have so many fantastic memories of NYC; a city I could travel back to over and over again. Times Square, Broadway, Central Park…the list goes on and on. What a wonderful city; the people are so friendly and welcoming.

After an exciting time in NYC it was time to sail on the Triumph;  ALL ABOARD!

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

Carnival Triumph

After the muster drill; we were in awe as we sailed out of New York harbor past the Statue of Liberty monument on Ellis Island . We read about and saw pictures of the magnificent statue but never saw her in person; amazing!  This allowed a long look and goodbye to our new friend; NYC. This sail-out was a spectacular way to start the lovely northeastern shoreline cruise up the New England coastline.

While sailing on the amazing and beautiful cruise ship, we enjoyed many of the attractions; South Beach Club, The Capitol, Rome Main Lounge… There is so much to do, eat, and see. The food is yummy! The shows are wonderful.

Halifax Fishing Village

Halifax Fishing Village

Our first port of call—Halifax, Nova Scotia. We sailed on a small private flat bottom boat to a quaint fishing village outside the sea metropolis of Halifax, while whale watching. Here we spent time wandering through the small fishing town. We did some souvenir shopping, watched the anglers hauling in the boats laden with their catch, and enjoyed some of the local fresh catch of the day.

Bay of Fundy Lighthouse

Bay of Fundy Lighthouse

We had an enjoyable day watching for Minke whales; Minke whales are the native whales of that waterway.

In St. John, New Brunswick, Canada we enjoyed a bus ride to the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy is unique as the current runs both ways. During high tide, the current runs inward, and during low tide the current reverses and flows back into the Atlantic ocean. The Bay of Fundy is a beautiful waterway to view.

Also on this shore tour, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer rode up on horseback; he was dashing. The very nice officer gladly posed for photos.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

We ended the fun day of sightseeing and Minke Whale watching with a return boat ride to the Triumph. ALL ABOARD!

Minke Whales in Halifax Bay

Minke Whales in Nova Scotia Bay

As we sailed into deeper ocean waters, in Nova Scotia Bay, we saw Minke whales frolicking in the waters edge. They were easy to recognize. They looked like logs floating on the surface until we saw the poofs! The watching soon ended as it became to dark to see in the setting sun silhouettes of the ocean caps.

Time for dinner and another fun evening as the Carnival Triumph began the speedy journey back to NYC.

We had so much fun on our Northeastern Atlantic Waterway vacation that began with an exciting visit to NYC—before sailing out of New York harbor on the Carnival Triumph. It was a fun vacation that we’ll always remember. “I Love New York!”

Thanks for tuning in. Check out my Maxx Zeqster Blog: https://detectivemaxxzeqsterscreepycrawlyamazingadventures.wordpress.com/

May good fortune guide your path. J. A. Ireland.

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New York City; The Big Apple

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Travel Fans,

New York City and Lady Liberty

New York City and Lady Liberty

I still remember circling New York City, while in a holding pattern before landing at LaGuardia airport. I was so excited when I saw Lady Liberty from the air. We’d never been to NYC before. The excitement I felt was in indescribable.  It was like nothing we’d ever seen—anywhere. Soon, we landed and began our long anticipated adventure.

New York City

Downtown New York City

Riding in a New York City cab was wild; there’s no other way to describe it. I’ve never been in a car when the driver did a U-turn in the middle of heavy traffic—crazy! From the airport, we grabbed the cab that proved to be an exciting and rather heart pounding adventure. During the driving into the city, we zipped past tunnels, overpasses, and underpasses. When we were stalled in traffic, our “cabbie” made a 180 degree maneuver and drove us down another side street to get to our destination. “Oh yes he did!” I think he was yelled at, honked at, and “got flipped off” at least 100 times on our journey. Overall it was a noisy and thrilling ride. I’ll just say, “Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” We booked a moderately priced hotel in midtown Manhattan, the Holiday Inn Midtown. It was located very close to the Manhattan cruise port for the next morning’s embarkment. It was the taxi drivers job to get us there from La Guardia.

English: Broadway show billboards at the corne...

Seeing The Sights Of Times Square

Our hotel was located on 57th St, close to Broadway, Columbus Circle, Times Square, and the south side of Central Park. Our evening plans were to do some exploring, walk down Broadway to Times Square, and eat some original New York Style pizza.

Broadway -NYC

Broadway -NYC

This was a fun, very memorable evening. We found New Yorkers to be very friendly and helpful; some were quick with directions. We looked like we needed help finding places, thus our maps.

We felt quite safe walking around this area in the evening, even though my family stood out like complete nutty tourists. We happily marched down Broadway, wearing our matching “I love New York T-Shirts”; we looked like a chorus line. Under the circumstances, this was a very unwise thing to do, as tourist books suggested that you try not to stand out while in New York. Oops!

We concluded our evening by swimming in the roof top pool of our hotel with all of the towering New York skyscrapers surrounding us. It’s a fantastic memory that will last a lifetime.

New York City  Sky line

New York City Sky Line

The morning of our cruise, we opened our curtains to the New York City skyline, a bustling city below us, and looked out over the Hudson River, trying to spot our cruise ship. We were just a short cab ride to the Manhattan Cruise port where we boarded the Carnival ship.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE

After the muster (safety) drill and the ship set sail, we stood on the deck, watching the Manhattan Skyline pass by. We sailed past lower Manhattan, Wall Street, and Battery Park. We couldn’t imagine what life’s like for the eight and a half million people who live and work here in NYC.

We sailed into New York Harbor, filled with many ships, past Ellis Island. We spent some time talking about the more than 12 million immigrants who first stepped out on land there. They all arrived in hopes of finding a new life, in a new country.

Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Isl...

Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island

Finally, we sailed past Liberty Island and gazed upon the wonder; the Statue of Liberty. A gift from the people of France; she bears a torch and tablet inscribing the date of the Declaration of Independence signing.  She’s an icon of freedom of the United States; a welcome signal to immigrants arriving into this land. This brought tears to my eyes. It really was something I’ll never forget.

New York City was everything, and more that we imagined; crowded, noisy, somewhat grimy, Broadway, tourists, great Pizza, and very emotional moments. A place will just draw me in. After a visit to this incredible city, I’ll say, “I love New York.”

We had a wonderful visit to a fantastic city on a very memorable Carnival Cruise line trip. We sailed from New York City up the east coast to Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John’s New Brunswick, Canada on a 5-day cruise on the Carnival Triumph.

On my next article I’ll write more about this amazing vacation up the eastern coast line of America on Carnival Cruise Line.

Thanks for stopping by. J. A. Ireland.

 

Healthy Country Blueberry Cobbler

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This is a healthy blueberry cobbler that’s easy to make and delicious. Everyone loves it when I make it.

Ingredients:

¼ cup canola light butter, melted; a bit more will be needed to grease the baking pan.

One and ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup low fat butter milk

2 pints fresh blueberries

Healthy Country Blueberry Cobbler

Healthy Country Blueberry Cobbler

One 6.5 oz can fat free Reddi wip Dairy Whipped Topping for serving on top

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously grease an 8×11 deep, baking pan with canola light butter; then generously flour, covering the entire pan.

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 and ¼ cups sugar, the self-rising flour, low fat buttermilk, melted canola light butter. Whisk well and allow the batter to set briefly.

Rinse the blueberries using a collider and pour on paper towels to absorb excess water.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the batter. They will sink into the batter; that’s ok. Sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar evenly over the blueberries.

Single Serving Of  My Healthy Country Blueberry Cobbler

Single Serving Of My Healthy Country Blueberry Cobbler

Bake for 35 minutes on a higher rack; then remove from oven. Spread 3 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the cobbler and bake for 10 more minutes.

The edges should be golden brown; if not bake a few more minutes until done. Cobblers are best if allowed to set and cool for 20 minutes.

When serving, top with fat free Reddi wip Dairy Whipped Topping; then top with more blueberries. Here’s a picture of what my Healthy Country Blueberry Cobbler looks like when the pan came out of the oven and what a serving size looks like.

A simple frosting recipe for the cobbler:

3 cups powered sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

1/4 cup chopped fruit (your choice)

Mix well with spoon(If thin, add a little more powered sugar to thicken) then refrigerate. Apply to top of cobbler when cobbler is cool.

Jack Ireland

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Blueberry Cobbler with Strawberry Icing

My Heart Healthy Baked Alaskan Salmon with Crunchy Pecan Topping

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Heart Healthy Cooks,

Here’s a recipe for baked Alaskan Salmon that my family just loves. It’s teaming with Omega 3’s.

Ingredients:

Heart Healthy Baked Alaskan Salmon with Pecan Crunch

Heart Healthy Baked Alaskan Salmon with Pecan Crunch – Two pieces of my delicious fish

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons canola oil butter, melted

5 teaspoons honey

½ cup Italian bread crumbs

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans; leaving some a bit large

3 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped

7 ( 8 ounce ) fresh Salmon fillets

fresh ground pepper

lemon wedges

Prep work:

In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard, melted butter, honey, parsley, and freshly ground pepper.

In another bowl, mix together the Italian bread crumbs and pecans.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with extra-virgin olive oil non-stick.

Remove the fresh Salmon from the seafood deli counter wrapping. Remove scales and rinse well with cold tap water. Check for any remaining scales. Rinse again.

Cut your Salmon into desired fillets and place each on the baking sheet skin down. Spoon on the sauce. Cover each piece generously. Use all the sauce. Next cover each fillet with the crumbs / pecan mixture by spooning as well. Use all the crumbs to cover generously.

For baking. Ten minutes per inch at the thickest part of the largest fillet is the usual baking time. The salmon should flake when tested with a fork. If not, bake two or three more minutes. My family likes our fish more crispy than most. A rule for us is always to bake five more minutes. I baked my Salmon for 15 minutes. My family went crazy over this dish. Salmon is a very heart healthy protein; it’s high in Omega 3’s. Also, the Dijon mustard compliments the Salmon so well you won’t believe it. I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading. J. A. Ireland.

A Western Caribbean Cruise on the Disney Fantasy

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Greetings fellow cruisers,

If a Western Caribbean Cruise is in your future, you’ll enjoy reading this article. We sailed on the Disney Fantasy to Costa Maya, Cozumel Mexico , and Grand Cayman. We had a wonderful cruise; so many highlights to write about.

SatelliteFallsDisneyFantasy-300x212

Satellite Falls on the Disney Fantasy

For us, the Disney Fantasy is a breathtakingly beautiful ship, with unbelievable wonders.  The service was impeccable, our food and dining experiences were delicious, as with all our Disney cruises. The entertainment was pure Disney “Magic” as well. In all, we had a wonderful time.

Our ship was filled to capacity; as usual. Although, it seemed crowded on the open decks, and at Flo’s, the quick service eating areas, we found some special ways to escape for some adult only experiences. We discovered a lovely, quiet, hideout called Satellite Falls. There is a beautiful waterfall were a person can sit in the water and read; a lot of people were reading their Kindles. There are multitudes of fold out chairs that are covered by an awning for shade. You can see the waterfall and the chairs with awning in the picture. Also, the view of the sea from there is out of this world. This picture shows the blue waters off the shore of Cozumel Mexico. We enjoyed the day at Satellite Falls as the Disney Fantasy parked at the dock at Cozumel.

Cozumel Pier and Disney Fantasy

Cozumel Pier and the Disney Fantasy

Many people exited the ship and explored Mexico for the day. The dock makes it incredibly easy to come and go as many times as you want.  The food, shopping, and spirits in Cozumel are not to be missed. Señor Frog’s is close by.

The beaches are restful and breathtaking.  In the past, we’ve spent the day exploring  the beautiful city and relaxed on the tranquil beaches. Cozumel is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. Today we relaxed and enjoyed the day at Satellite Falls; and the incredible view. The view really was spectacular; as you can see.

I have so many memorable highlights to share of our week aboard the Fantasy.  Another fantastic memory is the Spa.  Part of my family enjoyed spa treatments at the luxurious Senses Spa, and enjoyed  spending time in the Rainforest room. The treatments were relaxing and spectacular;  the Rainforest room was relaxing and entertaining. Disney brings spa treatments to a whole new level; of course they do.

senses spa

Senses Spa

Mickey's Pirates of the Caribbean

Mickey’s Pirates of the Caribbean

Our evening of dining experiences were exceptional in the character dining rooms.  One of the best meals in the regular dining rotation was Pirate Night. Many families, along with all the staff, dressed as pirates for the fun dinner. The menu is Caribbean.  We thought the Caribbean Jerk Ribs were yummy. “Rrrr me maatee!”

The Pirate Party later on deck is a spectacular, not to miss show and fireworks. Disney is the only cruise line that has fireworks at sea.

We also enjoyed reservations at the Italian inspired, Palo restaurant, and the elegant French restaurant, Remy, enjoying a three-hour dining experience.

At Palo, we particularly enjoyed the variety of fresh breads, cheeses, and seafood at the buffet. That’s only the beginning; the food keeps coming to the table. Every time we finish one item our server brings us something else. There’s also Italian Pizza; yum. For the main course I ordered the lamb. Every time we eat at Palo I order the lamb; it’s heavenly. Also, Palo’s wine and champagne list is exceptional.  The servers are truly Italian and love to talk about their home country; Italy. Our dining experiences at Palo are so memorable that every time we sail on a Disney Cruise, we make a dinner reservation at Palo. One point to make; for men, a blazer is required. Also, there is an additional charge.

Remy on the Disney Fantasy

Remy on the Disney Fantasy

Palo Seafood Buffet on the Disney Fantasy

Palo Seafood Buffet on the Disney Fantasy

Our  evening at Remy was exquisite. We enjoyed a small room to ourselves  where the French servers brought us one sample after another and explained the meaning behind each dish. The French delicacies kept coming along with their names and explanations.The wine and champagne list here is exceptional as well. Finally, when we were over stuffed, our French server rolled in the cart that was full of french chocolate and cheeses. The samples were so delicious we couldn’t resist even though we had no room left. We had never tasted so many rich flavors. The meal lasted the entire evening as advertised and was romantic; also as advertised. If we sail on a Disney Cruise Ship that has a Remy restaurant, we always enjoy an evening of dining at Remy. Also a point to make; there is an even stricter dress code and an even higher extra cost for this exquisite French restaurant.

Buena Vista Theatre on the Disney Fantasy

Buena Vista Theatre on the Disney Fantasy

We enjoyed all the Disney Broadway style musical production shows of Aladdin, Wishes, and Believe. Our family’s favorite was Aladdin.

We attended many of the movie showings in the Buena Vista Theatre; it was beautiful, as you can see.

There were six movies showing on a random schedule, including Iron Man 3 and Oz The Great and Powerful.  We particularly liked this one.

Aqua Duck

Aqua Duck

On our last day we rode the Aqua Duck; as it took me that long to get up my nerve and the lines were short. This was the first time during our sailing that the wait to ride was less than ½ hour. It was a very entertaining and thrilling ride, sailing high over the deck and ocean, in individual rubber rafts.

There is so much to write about; several articles on our various highlights will follow.

This vacation was wonderful, the weather was beautiful, and we had a fantastic time.

We smiled as we left the ship, walking past the cast members and Mickey Mouse waving us off the ship, saying “See Ya Real Soon.” I’m sure they will. I thought as I inwardly cried. I wanted to fork out my card and sail for another week. It was so much fun. Writing this article makes me want to book another cruise. I hope you book one too.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy cruising. Ja

TANGY TILAPIA

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Orange Glaze Tilapia

Ingredients:

Six large pieces of fresh Tilapia Fillets

One orange

A dash of fresh pepper

One quarter teaspoon of garlic powder

One and ½ tablespoon basil

Two tablespoons red wine vinegar

One tablespoon caraway seeds

One tablespoon olive

One tablespoon ginger

½ cup orange marmalade jelly

Preparation:

Orange Glaze Tilapia Fillets

Orange Glaze Tilapia Fillets

First I zest my orange; then juice. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. I mix all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and whisk well. Spray a large baking pan with canola oil non-stick spray. I place my Tilapia fillets evenly on the baking pan then spoon on the orange glaze evenly over the tops of the fish. I coat evenly until each piece is covered completely. I’m baking my fish today for ten minutes. We like our fish crispy on the edges. Here’s a picture of how my Tilapia looks when baked and ready to eat. Yummy!

Thanks for stopping by.

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland

ALASKA; Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm Fjord

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The Fjords Are Like Being In A Dream

Humpback Whale in Glacier Bay

Humpback Whale in Glacier Bay

When we booked our Alaska cruise, we didn’t know what to look for. Some people will choose to sail on their favorite cruise line.  Others say to book for the port adventures, or onboard adventures. For many the question will be, do I want to see Glacier Bay or Tracy Arm Fjord? Both are enchanting and dreamlike, but different experiences.

When we cruised through the Tracy Arm Fjord, the ice, mountains, nature, and waterfalls seemed close enough to touch with the stunning Sawyer Glacier as a conclusion.

Glacier Bay National Park,  with it’s vastness, huge bald eagles soaring high over the mountain tops,  glacier carved mountains, and streams ragging down the mountains.  After getting a wide perspective of Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm Fjord’s vastness, we were able to see more of the small details.

Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park

Glacier Bay National Park– Our day in Glacier Bay National Park on Holland America’s Zaandam was breathtaking. We were blessed with a nice sunny day, with temperatures in the mid 50’s. We cruised through the St. John’s Inlet, and viewed the magnificent John Hopkins Glacier. Even though it was partially dirt covered, its majesty and splendor were breathtaking.

We were approximately 6 miles from it, but due to its vast nature; it looked to be only a quarter-mile away. Imagine our amazement when we were informed that we were 6 miles away from this giant natural wonder. As we gazed upon her beauty and splendor, we could see the light blue ice, which marks her timeless journey that began on the Fairweather Range on the eastern slope of the Lituya Mountains. John Hopkins Glacier, like many others in Alaska takes a journey that requires several hundred years to complete. Also, during our dreamlike cruise, we were filled with the wonders of hundreds of smaller glacial formations and picturesque waterfalls.

Alaskan Mountain Goats in Glacier Bay

Alaskan Mountain Goats in Glacier Bay

We spotted, with our high-powered binoculars, many cream colored mountain goats that are living very happily on the rugged slopes of the snowy mountains. They are actually very easy to spot, high up on the mountainside due to their cream color. The cream color contrasts with the white snow and the green vegetation of the mountain side.

This very picturesque journey through the seemingly narrow channels of this unchallenged and vast ice wilderness will leave any traveler with perhaps the best memories of a lifetime. Glacier Bay National Park will live in our hearts. It was a glorious day.

Tracy Arm Fjord– During our day of sailing through the majestic Tracy Arm Fjord, the weather was more typically Alaskan. We were bundled in layers, as the cold drizzly rain fell from the overcast sky. Fog engulfed the ship at each turn along the fjord and gave us more unexpected surprises with it.

7935 Near Tracy arm fjord, Alaska

Tracy Arm Fjord

We sailed on this cruise with Disney Cruise Line on the Disney Wonder. As the Wonder turned into the vast entrance to the breathtaking Fjord, we were immediately taken in with her heavenly beauty. The vastness of her incredible size was unfathomable as we slowly sailed through her still waters.

The mountains appeared to be only one quarter mile high from the cruise ship deck even though we were told they were 4-6 miles high. Slowly sailing along, we saw more cream colored mountain goats walking on the sides of mountains and bald eagles soaring majestically above. Sea otters and seals were also plentiful. Seals were lying on the floating, blue ice chunks from the calving glaciers.

Seals on Glacial Ice

Seals on Glacial Ice

While standing on the cruise deck we felt as though we were experiencing another world.  A world that was untouched by man and by man measurements. Objects appeared a half mile away but were actually seven or eight miles away.  Alaska is so big. It’s vastness is something one must experience from a cruise deck or other means to understand.

We began to see large chunks of blue glacial ice, from a calving glacier, floating by in the calm water. Often times we could spot a seal lying on the floating ice, watching us curiously as we sailed by. With each turn of the fjord, we could feel that we were going to experience something very special.

While approaching Sawyer Glacier, we noticed that the ship was sailing even slower. As we were now approaching a large field of floating blue ice, we began to see more seals, moms and their pups. To determine safe passage, the captain had to very slowly navigate around these large chunks of blue ice. This is there home. We’re the intruders. The captain was very slow and cautious.

Sawyer Glacier

Sawyer Glacier With Humpback Whale Fluke

Reaching Sawyer Glacier at last, our cruise ship remained a safe distance, as to not disturb the hundreds of seals sunning themselves on the solid blue ice bergs that were calved from the glacier. As we viewed the awe inspiring creation of nature, we were captivated by the vast splendor of this famous glacier. We were stunned when we were informed that the face of Sawyer Glacier was over six miles wide, and 300 to 400 feet tall. To us, it seemed only a fraction of that size. This was a further testimony to the vastness of these incredible Fjords. We watched as Sawyer Glacier slowly calves many small and large pieces. We heard the crack, like thunder, and down the ice crashes into the freezing waters below. I remember standing there in awe as the calving continued. The journey these glaciers make down from high in the Alaskan mountains takes several hundred years concluding by slowly calving in the fjords.

The cold rain was still coming down. I had a coffee mug in my hands. But this moment was not to be missed. We realized that time and distance have no meaning to a glacier. One hundred years is merely an instant, and for this vast untamed wilderness, several feet can equal many miles. Our senses are rendered useless as we span this heavenly, unimaginable land. We were standing on the deck  watching, while taking it all in for about 45 minutes.  Our ship was just quiet. People were quietly captivated and immersed in their own reflective experiences.

Disney Wonder in Tracy Arm Fjord

Disney Wonder in Tracy Arm Fjord

Slowly, one by one, people started leaving the deck. The ship slowly swirled around and began the slow, still awe inspiring, journey back through the Tracy Arm Fjord. Even though the deck was practically empty, we stayed top side to enjoy the magnificent splendor even more. This is when life long memories are created. The deck was all but deserted when we finally went in to warm up. And regrettably. Sailing the Tracy Arm Fjord was truly another world that we sailed through. We remember staying on deck to soak in every possible moment of this heavenly, magical, mesmerizing sight. It too, was a glorious day that will live in our hearts.

Is a cruise inside Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm Fjord in your future? Often times the decision of which fjord is decided by which cruise company a person chooses. If you shop Alaska Cruises you’ll see what I mean.

If you want my opinion, from the perspective of a Disney Castaway Cay Gold Club Member, experienced traveler, fantasy / fiction / spiritual author, chef, blogger, with a family. In my opinion, either choice will provide you with a heavenly vacation and fill your minds with awe and wonder. Alaska is a world of it’s own; it’s a place you can visit over and over again. As we have. If you are planning an Alaskan Cruise, and I hope you are, you will leave this Yukon paradise with memories that will last a lifetime. Guess what? Just as we have, you can always ad more. Thanks for stopping by. Ja