Our Alaskan cruise was scheduled to leave from Whittier and end in Vancouver, so we had to fly to Anchorage to begin. We were unable to book the land package to Denali, so we just added a couple extra days in Anchorage. Besides, it would be too stressful to travel the same day the cruise ship left, even though their schedule would have allowed it. What if something went wrong and our flights got delayed?
So we get to airport at 5:00 in the morning for a 7:00 flight to Minneapolis to find out our flight was not delayed; it was cancelled. Not to worry, Delta already had us confirmed on a flight leaving the same time the next day. The next day? If we wanted to leave a day later we would have booked it then. Turns out we could get to Anchorage today, just not on Delta (bonus) and not through Minneapolis. So we flew through Chicago and Seattle and our flight to Chicago was leaving at 6:30. I see why they want you there two hours ahead of time.
In Seattle we had time to eat and discovered they served an Alaskan ale that was decent. Our one land excursion for the cruise was to visit the source of this brew at the Alaskan brewery in Juneau. This was going to be a great trip.
We arrived in Anchorage without any further problems. Our travel advisor has booked us at the Captain Cook right downtown Anchorage. Nice place. Our room had been remodeled from two previously separate rooms so we had a living area, a sleeping area, two TVs and two bathrooms. Suite.
Anchorage has several micro-brews, so we found a couple within walking distance and had fun at those. The weather was perfect. We could even see Mt McKinley on the horizon, which we were told was rare for that area.
We took advantage of the weather and rented bicycles. (While we were waiting for our bikes, we were talking to Continental pilot behind us in line and he said he had been flying into Anchorage for three years and this was the first time he had even seen the airport as he landed.) We jumped on a bike trail that ran along the coast (Anchorage has lots of beautiful bike trails with easy access from the city.) On our way back, we had to stop for a moose that was blocking the trail. It was so unexpected that neither of us got a picture of it before it sauntered away. It was awesome.
We had a great time in Anchorage, but it was soon time to board the ship, or rather board the buses that would take us to Whittier to board the ship.