Trip Organized by Marla Archer
Trip Recap Written by Rick Archer
Rick's Note: I heard this quote from my
After returning from his
first visit to Alaska in 1899, geographer Henry
If you are old, go to Alaska
by all means, but if you are young, stay
away....The scenery of Alaska is so much grander
than anything else of the kind in the world...it
is not well to dull one's capacity for such
enjoyment by seeing the finest first.
trip was an important landmark of sorts - this was
our 30th Cruise Trip. This is a true milestone. I applaud
my gifted wife Marla for this marvelous accomplishment.
enough, this Alaska Trip was Marla's most difficult
trip ever. Something disconcerting is going on
behind the scenes at Royal Caribbean. Based on
the extreme wait times to get a person on the phone
(30 minutes to an hour at times), the company seems
seriously understaffed. Furthermore, there is
something wrong with their "system". Marla was
forced to correct an entire boatload of mistakes on
a daily basis.
it is doubtful our 58 guests had any idea how
troublesome the walkup to this cruise was. I
give all the credit to Marla - she worked incredibly
hard to make sure all the details were properly
handled before anyone set foot on the ship. Once we
were on board, the trip went very smoothly. Marla is quite the professional.
were a ton of people on our cruise ship from Texas.
I can only guess that the excellent Texas economy
played a role here. In addition, there seems to be a
connection between Alaska and Texas that I can't
quite put my finger on, but it feels like the people
of both states are drawn to each other... big to
surprised by just how friendly the people of Alaska
were to the Texans. I expected them to frown
when I mentioned we were from Texas, but on the
contrary, the people were very nice to us.
Yes, some of them told the obligatory "Texas" joke,
but it was always with a smile. There was no sense
always that way. As we all know, Texans are very
proud of the state size and importance. When Alaska became a state
In 1959, this immediately dumped Texas
into the second spot. At the
time, many Texans were deeply unhappy about their
state's sudden decline in status. I was 9 at
the time and keenly remember all kinds of grumbling.
Since then I have always assumed that Texas and
Alaska were unfriendly.
Alaska became a state, many Alaskans were bitter
about how long it took
a long time for Alaska to become a state. It had
been over 90
years following "Seward's Folly" in 1867.
Considering how the media reported how unpopular
this move was with the people of Texas, perhaps the
Alaskans assumed that Texas opposed their admission
and was blocking it.
surprised to find that just the opposite was the
truth. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn (from
Texas), Senator Lyndon Johnson (from Texas), and
President Dwight Eisenhower (born in Texas) all
pushed for Alaska statehood.
Alaska's cause was helped considerably by the
discovery of oil in 1957. One might say that
valuable find greased the wheels of change
trip was special in an unusual way. We were all
looking for things you don't ordinarily see on
ocean adventures. Everyone was engaged in a spirited
search for whales, wolves, eagles, caribou, sheep,
This was not as easy as it sounds. For example,
there were definitely whales out there in the water.
Unfortunately, unlike Seaworld's Shamu, the Alaskan
whales prefer to appear at random. Personally, after
taking a look at all the leftovers from each meal, I
think the ship should dump it all in the water and
treat us to a whale of a show. But I suppose that is
we are all forced to just sit there staring idly out
on the water hoping and wishing. As for me, I didn't
see a thing. However, I was in the minority. Most of
our group (including Marla), did indeed have whale
sightings. I think it takes a special talent of
sorts; I don't think I am patient enough.
30 Cruise Trips is a lot of trips. Marla and I have
been at this for so long that Marla is now starting
to retrace some of her steps. For example, last year
she brought us back to Hawaii for the second time.
Our previous trip had been
Hawaii 2007. Like
Alaska 2014 was the same idea. We had previously
been to Alaska 9 years earlier in 2005 (Alaska
For me, this second trip to Alaska was much
different than our first trip. The main reason was
"more time". Now that I am retired, this allowed us
the flexibility to turn our one-week cruise into a
two-week visit. First we used several days at the
front end of the trip to explore the beautiful
after the cruise was over, we added a four day
"Denali Extension" to our travels. More so
than any other place we visited, Denali Park
indelibly imparted the impression just how
ridiculously large Alaska is. There were vistas so broad
that they seemed endless. This became the highlight
of my trip.
much to write about concerning our June 2014 visit
to Alaska. Be sure to read the story of our trip to
Denali National Park.
And for the rest, just scroll down.