Alaskan Cruise: Holland America’s Oosterdam, Tracey Arm

Alaskan Cruise
Entering Tracey Arm.

This morning started out with being another hour behind, which puts us four hours behind EST. I woke up at six wide awake (my body thought it was later. Breakfast in the Lido area wasn’t that bad. Since we were still 48 hours into the sailing the crew members had to serve us still.

The fogged stayed in all morning and it had us all worried that we wouldn’t be able to see Tracey Arm or Sawyer Glacier. I went and checked out the port shopping talk after breakfast and learned from the port lecturer that because we stayed in the United States, anything we buy from the Alaska ports we don’t have to declare on customs. That is probably obvious to most people but it was one of those things that kind of slips your minds until you are reminded. So many things for me to learn on this Alaskan Cruise!

Chris Owen and I had lunch in the Vista Dining Room at noon to give it a shot. It seemed a little understaffed but in their defense, right at noon, half the ship swarmed the main dining room. For lunch I went with the pepper pot stew, maple salmon and a second entrée of fish and chips. All were great. The fries served on board are steak fries, my fav!

I came back to my room to edit some interviews and wasn’t even paying attention outside until Chris called me and told me to look out – sure enough we were inside Tracey Arm. I ran up to deck nine, a place that I remembered aboard the Zuiderdam when we sailed the Panama Canal – no one was up there so it was great. The wind chill was crazy and cut you like a knife. Luckily I brought my sweatshirt.

My first impressions of Tracey Arm were breathtaking. Everyone told me that it would be like a postcard everywhere you go and it sure enough was. You looked on the port side there was a huge snow-topped mountain range, you looked starboard, same thing. The fog just disappeared like someone flipped a switch. It was very cool. Our way into Tracey Arm was quite scenic as we passed waterfalls, mountains that towered the ship and lots of floating ice. The captain was telling us that there are two Alaskan harbor pilots that board the ship and stay on the ship for a couple of days. I guess they take shifts navigating us through these areas.

Alaskan Cruise
20oz Porterhouse in Pinnacle Grill.

From when we entered Tracey Arm, made our way up to Sawyer Glacier and back out was about a six hour process. When we approached Sawyer Glacier we were creeping super slow before spinning around really slow. There was a Norwegian ship waiting to come into our spot.

Dinner tonight was in the Pinnacle Grill. There’s a $20 fee to eat in the Pinnacle but it’s worth every penny (they serve lunch for $10). I had the 20oz porterhouse steak, jumbo shrimp cocktail, French Onion soup, and crème brulee. The dinner took about two hours and afterwards I came straight back to my room. So. Much. Food!

Tomorrow morning I am taking a helicopter to a Glacier and doing a hike.



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