The Busline On Water
by Your RV Life and Travel Editor, Coleen
(Traveling on the Alaska Marine Highway)
Coming Into Port at Ketchikan, Alaska
We'll soon be coming into port at Ketchikan, Alaska. If all goes well, I should have internet access and be able to post this.
After finally boarding on Tuesday afternoon, the trip so far, has been uneventful. That's a good thing. Last year, we had 18 to 20 foot seas -- comparatively, this trip is smooth sailing.
Let's dispel a myth. This isn't a luxury cruise. When we told people we were taking the ferry, some have responded that they, too, have cruised and then they went on to extol how fun it was. If you are thinking of taking this ferry as a vacation cruise, I'd suggest you rethink your plans. It is a means of transportation -- it is not a vacation filled with entertainment and fine dining. Think of it this way -- it's like taking the busline, only on water.
We get car deck calls several times throughout the day. These are 15 minutes breaks when we can tend to the critters. Animals are allowed on the ferry, but must remain on the car deck. It works well, as our boys have their own beds, in our vehicle where they are accustomed to riding.
We are eating some of our meals at the restaurant on the ferry. We brought snacks along to eat for other meals. The cafe food is good, and compared to most Alaska restaurants, is reasonably priced. Still, we save a lot by bringing some of our own.
Before we left, I assembled snack foods into gallon-size zip-top bags. For each day, I put together a dry bag and a cooler bag. The dry bags have packets of oatmeal, granola bars, crackers, nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, and chocolates. The cooler bags have yogurt cups, hardboiled eggs, raw veggies, and cheese. When we go down for deck-call, we can quickly grab a bag or two, and we are set.
The ride is mostly peaceful, but not glamorous. Seasick hasn't been a major issue this year, though we did take motion sickness pills the first night. One family with three screaming brats that run wild around the ship are oblivious to the comfort of others. Phone service and internet access is intermittent, mostly not available.
Some of the scenery is beautiful. The Northern Lights were out dancing in the sky last night.