Four months ago, 158 of us – mostly from across Kansas – embarked on the journey of a lifetime aboard the beautiful Carnival Legend, bound for the wild and awe-inspiring waters of Alaska. I’m excited to finally share our trip with you, so buckle up and take a ride with us. It was unforgettable!
I’ll start off by saying how much fun it was to be with so many Kansas Farm Bureau friends and family. Our entire group was pretty like-minded so it was very easy to visit with anybody in our group. I even heard that the very first night at the hotel, the lobby was loaded with farmers who were VISITING. Now that’s really hard to believe, I know, but I’m pretty sure it’s true. I heard they kept it up until the wee hours of the next morning, too.
By the way, those red shirts were the best idea EVER. Not only did this help unite us as a group by allowing each of us to know who we were before we really knew who we were, but it also made a big statement to the other 2850 passengers on the cruise ship. If someone asked what you did for a living and you said “farming” or “ranching”, they immediately came back with “Oh! Are you part of the Kansas Farm Bureau group that wore all those red tshirts??” YEP.
We started our journey in Seattle, Washington where we were greeted at the airport and got to enjoy some local sights. My favorite was the Pike Place Market! It has been around for over one hundred years and features incredible fresh produce, flowers, handmade crafts and the famous flying fish market! LOOK OUT!
Then it was out on the open sea! Everyone who cruised with us had their own balcony and I heard several people say how much they enjoyed sitting there, taking in all the Alaskan views. Pat and I had a good time doing the same thing, especially when we were coming into a new port.
Speaking of Pat, our first real vacation together was great! BDP and I didn’t kill each other – we actually only had one (tiny) little disagreement throughout the 10 days we were constantly together. We might even do it again next year…
It was fun sharing all of the adventures with him, and when it came time to work, we were side-by-side again – the BEST way to be! He helped me prep for the class I got to teach on the ship. I thought some folks might be taking salmon home from Alaska, so I taught them a Jammin’ Salmon Class, geared towards Home Cooks. This was a private class, just for KFB Cruise attendees, and we had about 50 people there. Many more signed up, but lots of people said they didn’t come because they were sea sick. Those in attendance, really seemed to enjoy the class and I couldn’t wait to get home and cook up my salmon!
The staff on the ship were very accommodating. Pictured above, Chef Daniel welcomed me into his kitchen to prep for our class, and let’s face it… the food on the cruise was fancy and delicious! It was grand to have someone else doing all the cooking and cleaning (and upon returning home, it was hard not to be eating every 5 minutes!) The ship was beautiful and there were so many areas that were fun to snuggle up in and just relax. We enjoyed playing pitch and having drinks during social hour, and everyone who worked on the ship was more than courteous. If you’re debating about cruising, I say do it!
We learned a lot about humpback whale behavior and their habitat. They have small boats that can get you pretty close to the whales in a short amount of time. The owner of Orca Excursions, Carol, is a former Newton, KS native, so we took her a “From the Land of Kansas” cutting board! Such a small (but very BIG AMAZING) world.
After whale watching, we went to the Salmon Bake – everything was delicious and it was great fun to walk around the area near the creek (chock full of salmon swimming everywhere) and up the hill to the waterfall. I was in awe. The whole Alaska experience made me realize even more how BIG God is. His beauty is unparalleled and his creatures are just so cool.
I also enjoyed how everyone from bus drivers, to tour guides, to wait staff was so knowledgeable about their Alaska and it’s culture, economy, weather, wildlife, and attractions. Everyone we encountered was very approachable and friendly, and WANTED to share their knowledge with us to make us comfortable and welcome.
Our next stop was Skagway. There we got to cruise the channels of the Chilkat River, and although we didn’t spot any moose or bear, we did see some Eagles and the scenery was spectacular despite the cold and rain. I cannot say enough how the vast wilderness of Alaska was incredible and almost hard to comprehend!
Our final port of call was Ketchikan where we went salmon fishing! Catching 3 silver salmon and 1 pink salmon that morning was one of the big highlights of the trip for Pat and me. We had our salmon processed and shipped home for the boys – they got food instead of tshirts!
This was indeed a trip to remember. We are so thankful to Cyndi and Lonnie Morse for organizing an incredible trip. And thank you to Kansas Farm Bureau for helping set up this wonderful vacation with all of our *NEW* friends, family and farmers. We can’t wait to do it again!
SPEAKING OF DOING IT AGAIN: REGISTER NOW FOR HAWAII 2016!!!
Our next Friends, Family, and Farmers Cruise is all aboard for August 11-19, 2016! This time we’re trading in jackets and salmon for swimsuits and pineapples as we set sail for the beautiful islands of HAWAII! We would love for you and your family, friends, and farmers to join us! Learn more on the Hawaiian Cruise 2016 tab above or go straight to the registration page HERE. The registration deadline is February 12th. Hope to see you there!