Friday, August 30, 2013

The Great Alaska Quilt Cruise - pt. 2

I apologize for the long delay in posting this so I will make it brief. Most of the draft was completed when I wrote part 1-- eek, 3 months ago. My dilemma was what I was going to say about the promoters of this cruise and why I will never, ever do another quilt related trip with them. Nor can I recommend them to others. 

Our time in Juneau was short because the rest if the day was spent cruising to Tracy Arm and the Sawyer glacier. Late in the afternoon we entered Tracy Arm, a twisting fjord with incredible granite hills on either side and at the very end, the breathtakingly beautiful Sawyer glacier.

This is just a taste of what Tracy Arm looked like. Nope, that isn't Sawyer this point in the cruise, they opened up the very bow of the ship and we layered up and headed out.

All along the way were waterfalls and small fields of snow. The water really was this amazing aqua/teal color. The further in we went, the more chunks of ice we saw too.

There was also another large cruise ship just ahead of us. Made for a few interesting moments as it turned to head out as we were coming in....

Eventually we rounded the last bend and there it was, Sawyer Glacier.

After Sawyer Glacier we cruised on to Skagway, Victoria and then on back to Seattle. We rode the train to the top of White Pass and back. There was yet more breathtaking scenery and lots of fog at top. Being the daughter of a rail fan, I enjoyed it, except when I looked down, wheee. 

Those first few hours after leaving Skagway were truly spectacular. Snow capped mountains, glaciers, picturesque towns like Haines and more unspoiled beauty, as far as the eye could see. I really did leave my heart in Alaska. Wow! I can't wait till we can go back and explore the interior of this beautiful state. 

 This quilting cruise was sponsored by Sew Many Places. We paid a premium  price for it, when you compared the price of the cruise per the cruise line's website we paid $700 for a class. For this we received a tote bag. That's it. Nothing else. When I asked the "facilitator" about a map for the first port of call she looked at me and said "why should I have that for you?" There's a whole lot more I won't go into here. But, suffice it to say, there's not a whole lot of value for your money with Sew Many Places. 

My friend and I went to QuiltMaker's Block Party in Portland back in March. 3 days, 3 classes with 3 different teachers. 3 trunk shows/lectures by famous quilters, 2 dinners, a swag bag that was stuffed with all kinds of goodies and more given out each day. And the price for all of this, $500 plus the cost of our hotel room.  Value, you bet! Had I known before I signed up for this cruise that Block Party was going to be doing a cruise in 2014 you can bet I would have waited. 

Several of us had discussions about this cruise versus other quilt cruises or tours and the consensus was all unanimous, other cruises and tours offered a whole lot more value for your money. When I arrived home I wrote to Jim West, the owner of Sew Many Places. I received a short note back saying that once he returned from Bali he would address my email. That was 3 months ago and I'm still awaiting his response.

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