When Things Don’t Go Quite to Plan on Your Cruise
aka Residing in Ketchikan
aka There’s a bear in there....
By Guest Blogger, Terri Bettany
Terri recently set off to cruise the beautiful region of Alaska on board Celebrity Millennium, when an unexpected issue caused the cruise to be cancelled. With her plans turned upside down, here is Terri's story of how the issue was handled and how her group tried to make the best out of an unexpected situation...
I recently got the chance to return to my beloved Alaska onboard Celebrity Millennium. Our group was just getting settled in and enjoying the ship, we had the most wonderful meal in one of the alternate dining restaurants Qsine (ordering tapas via Ipad and the funkiest decorations, wow the best alternate dining experience I have had!). We had also, depending on our vices, made friends with the bar tenders in the Cosmos Lounge or the Cafe al Bacio for surprisingly good cruise ship coffee.
After a very rainy day in Ketchikan I was thinking it was a shame we didn't get to see it in all its glory, however, as one of the rainiest places in the USA it was not too surprising. Apparently a few of us must've wished the same thing because a problem with the ships propulsion system meant we needed to return to Ketchikan while they tried to make repairs. Whilst lamenting that we would miss the next port or two, we were excited to be able to see more of Ketchikan, and indeed when unfortunately the cruise was cancelled, we were really able to make the most of it with a tour organised out to Neets Bay.
Our hardy well weathered guide assured us that he had seen bears every trip out for the last 8 years in July and August, but we were going a bit later in the day (OK so that made me a little nervous as normally bears hide from me, but on I went and didn't tell our group that until later). Well - what an awesome tour it was! A remarkably speedy 1 hour 45 minute trip out to the remote Neets Bay and we had our first sighting of a bear that decided it wanted to play hide and seek until we moved a little further on (close to the salmon hatchery) and we saw a couple more. Then out came Big Daddy and not to long after Mama and her two very playful cubs.
The cubs were just as cute as can be and frolicking around until they couldn't see Mum and then running to find her. All the while the bears were having their “dinner” on the chum salmon that were busy making their way back upstream to where they came from. Mama bear even showed us her favourite back scratching tree which was a real crowd pleaser.
The activities of these bears was even photographed by our hardened tour guide / boat driver so we knew we really were “bearing” witness to something quite extraordinary. Now if the cruise had of continued as planned we would've missed out on this experience and as much as it was disappointing to miss out on the other ports of call, this certainly was a unique and memorable experience that I will be forever grateful for. I would also like to thank the crew onboard Celebrity Millennium who did such an incredible job during a difficult and ever changing situation onboard.
Do you have a cruise story where your holiday didn't quite go to plan? We would love to hear from you - just share your story with us here and we can include it on our Cruiseabout Blog!
Terri is part of the Cruise Product & Support team at Flight Centre Limited and has a passion for all things cruising. Having cruised Alaska several times, this was certainly a unique experience, unlike any other cruise she has taken in the region.