For Spring 2021
The Inland Passage
Those that returned their ballots have selected to do at least one
more cruise, and they selected to cruise on May 11th,
2021 through May 21st, from San Francisco to Skagway, Alaska and
back to San Francisco, a ten-day trip on the beautiful Ruby
This is Ruby’s Sister Ship, the
standing at anchor in Alaska
This cruise will be one of the earliest cruises of the 2021 season
into Alaskan waters. Alaska will be ‘waking up’ from the winter’s
sleep and we will be there to see it.
We will sail from the pier in San Francisco and work our way up past
Oregon and Washington, then alongside the western coast of Canada
until we get into the “Inland Passage” that puts us up close to land
in a somewhat ‘protected’ passage all the way up to Alaska’s
Capital… Juneau… where we are free to step off and enjoy the town.
In Alaska we usually dock very close to the towns. People move from
city to city either by water, by float plane, or by dog sled.
Really! This is not an optical illusion:
We were docked in Skagway
Back on ship we enjoy a lovely meal with our classmates as we work
our way on up to Skagway, arriving in the early morning where we
will have a full day to look and feel and taste the real Alaska.
At the end of this experience we are again back on board where at
the next dawn we spend the day experiencing the amazing Glacier Bay
where we are able to watch …and HEAR… the “calving” of glacial ice
cracking away and falling to the water. These pieces of ice are
often larger than a barn. A process that has been happening since
Ketchikan is next… a pleasant experience, like all the other ports
of call. A whole day in each of these ports allow us plenty of time
to find things that you just cannot go home without… things to which
you point and say “Son, that there’s one o’ them schooligags what
Eskimos use t’ fix ther dinner. Got ‘er when we cruised Alaska back
Ketchikan – Alaska’s First City
We are scheduled for a seven-hour stop-over in beautiful Victoria,
British Columbia. They claim to have the best climate in Alaska… uh
huh… we’ll see about that.
We bid farewell to the great Northwest and make a full day’s run
southbound, heading into our berth in San Francisco on the morning
of May 21st. We will each be home for dinner that
evening, unless we decide to stay ‘n play in San Francisco… since
we’re there, already. It should be beautiful that time of the year.
At the pier in San Francisco on a Beautiful Morning
Does any of this stir your travel juices? This will be the fifth
Class of ’59 Cruise, and each and every one of them have been
wonderful experiences. Each and every member of the group has
experienced a beautiful rapport and bonding with people they have
‘known’ their entire lives… without really knowing them. And, let’s
be honest here… we all have changed. Proudly, most have changed for
the good, right? Certainly.
We really hope that you are in a situation where you can join us,
because we want to share this wonderful experience with our entire
You already know how few of us there are that are still able to do
things like this, and no one can predict which cruise will be our
last, but the only guarantee we have is that if you join us on this
run, it will be the best we have ever had. Beautiful ship…
beautiful, natural Alaska… and beautiful people. How can we miss
with that? A really spiritually lifting personal experience.
You will need details. There is time for all of that down the road
but let me fill you in on the most prominent questions that you have
at this time. You already know who… and you know where and when… but
you are asking How Much.
You have a choice of five general classifications of cabin. Each
cabin holds two people. A person that wishes to sail as a single
will have to pay for both people that fit that cabin, so team up
with a classmate, a friend, a family member… make it a wonderful
experience with a grandchild.
Some cabins can support three or even four people, with #3 and #4
paying much less for their ticket. They add beds in the evening
(while you are at dinner) that hang down, so it is mostly kids that
would be doing that. They put the beds away when you are at
breakfast… or out catching your fare for dinner.
A mini-suite cabin will have a folding couch/bed that is OK for a
youngster, but it is not a Beauty Queen… the regular beds are
wonderful, but that couch thing is questionable. Doable but
There are a few full suites that can sleep more adults (on real
beds) as they will have several rooms. Pretty pricey of course.
The lowest prices are the Inside cabins. They have two
singles or a double bed, whichever you prefer. It has a ‘Head’ or
bathroom with a wash basin, a toilet, and a shower. No, the toilet
is not in the shower like small campers. You have a closet and some
shelves, a small safe where you place any valuables and your
passport, a small refrigerator, a TV, a phone, a hair dryer, a desk
and chair, and no window.
Next step up is called an ‘Ocean-View’ cabin that is exactly
the same as the Inside cabin except that it has a large window and
you can enjoy the scenes as you cruise… and the whales… and the sea
lions… and the icebergs. No, the last one that was hit was in 1912
or thereabouts. It was in all the papers.
Step three is the same cabin but the window is a sliding glass door
and there is a balcony onto which you can step out and enjoy real
Alaskan air. Some balconies are larger… they all are as wide as the
cabin but some reach out further. There are cabins below them… they
are not sticking out like a diving board. These are referred to as ‘Balcony’
In some locations they move that balcony and glass door out a little
further and add a second ‘room’ between the regular cabin we
described above and the sliding glass wall. This is a
‘Mini-Suite’ and it has a larger ‘head’ or bathroom, a tub with
a shower, the extra room of the extended floor space which holds a
second TV and a couch/folding bed.
And then there are the ‘Full Suites’. These are totally different. A
living room and a bedroom, a tub and a walk-in shower not over the
tub. Lots more room and extra perks.
You can choose the type of cabin you would like, knowing that as you
go up the scale, the ticket price gets higher.
Also, if you select an ‘Ocean-view’ cabin for example, you can
select one in the bow, in the mid-section, in the aft (rear), or
half-way between each of these. But the Mid-section cabin will be
more expensive than the same cabin located in Mid-forward, and even
more so than those in the forward section. The same thing happens
going from the mid-section to the mid-aft and then the aft. This is
true of any type of cabin that you choose. Supposedly the ride is a
little easier in the mid-section, but personally, we usually book
mid-forward and never have felt it was a problem. The Dahl’s booked a
cabin that actually looked out at the wake in the ocean that trailed
behind us and found it to be fine.
The ticket… that is everything. You register your credit card in the
terminal building and they will issue a card that will open your
door, and it will serve as a credit card when you purchase anything
from the ship’s stores, or alcoholic or soft drinks. The Ruby
Princess will have the “Medallion” system working where they issue
you a chip that you wear like a watch, and it does everything,
including opening your door. No card to lose. That card… or
medallion… is what allows you back onto the ship when you come back
from a walk-off into town, so it is important.
The ticket… when you pay for the cruise, you are paying for your
ride, your cabin, as many meals as you can manage to eat (they serve
food 24/7 in more than a dozen restaurants). You will pay extra for
soft and alcoholic drinks if you want them, and they have specialty
coffees you can purchase. Regular coffee is always available free.
If you want a spa treatment or a beauty salon appointment those will
cost a fee. If you sign up for tours off the ship, those will cost
you. And they have several “fancy” restaurants that specialize in
certain things that will cost you $25 or so, which is very cheap,
but the normal dining room meals are very nice and are free… I mean
included with your ticket. There is free ice cream cones, free
desserts in the buffet you can take to your cabin, free snacks,
except you won’t feel like eating them. Don’t eat too much… it can
become overwhelming. The top deck has a running track if that is
needed, plus a whole gym full of exercise equipment. Or, just enjoy
a leisurely walk on the Promenade Deck… deck seven.
The Ruby has several swimming pools, multiple hot tubs, an outdoor
movie with a huge electronic screen the size of a drive-in movie
screen. Remember those? A casino that operates when at sea, a
gymnasium, a kid’s club with stuff, self-operated laundry on each
deck, stores with things you can buy, multiple theaters, stages, and
small-group entertainment all over the ship.
Am I succeeding in talking you into at least considering joining us?
If you would like to experience the previous Gridley59 cruises, take
a look at our Gridley59.com website and relive them.
Click on the 50th, 55th, 57th, and
If you would like to join Rosalee and me on the cruises that we have
taken to Alaska, we are delighted to share those on our website:
On each trip we have taken, some of the classmates have had friends
or relatives or neighbors join them, and we include them into our
group and enjoy their company.
The only “requirement” that we ask… and of course you don’t have to
do this, but we hope you do… we try to schedule the entire group to
eat at a reserved section of tables for the evening meal only… all
other meals are eat when, where, and with whom you desire. This
gives us one time in the day when we can all connect, and it is the
highlight of the cruise in the eyes of many. We have several tables
assigned to us in one of the main dining rooms, and you sit at any
of them, ending up with different classmates joining you at your
table each evening. We invite your friends to be part of that, but
we certainly don’t push them. As it is, they have all joined in, and
it was great. Just be sure to have them sign up through Suzy as one
of our group, and for each 8 cabins we fill, we get reimbursed for
the cost of a single cruiser, and we split that among all of the
party… them included.
OK… I know… the price. They are expensive. No way around that. We
have used an agent that has done the cruises for Rosalee and me many
times, and she is able to get the best prices that anyone has been
able to give us. We trust her completely. Her name is Suzy, and her
business is … um… “Suzy Cruisy”. LOL. Each time we do this someone
will send me a quote from the internet that is cheaper than Suzy can
provide. That is because on the internet they quote an inside cabin,
all the way forward, up at the highest deck they have cabins, it is
the worst, cheapest cabin, and they only have maybe six of them on
the ship. So please do not be fooled by internet ‘specials’. You
absolutely get what you pay for, and definitely so when on a ship.
Suzy’s quotes are for cabins in the mid-forward part of the ship.
You can ask her for one of the less expensive, or you can ask her to
place you closer to the center of the ship for a smoother ride. It
is your option, and you can ask her opinion… she will be glad to
work with you.
The ticket includes everything. It includes the price of the trip
with all the meals and everything. It also includes tax, and things
that are called ‘port fees’. Also, Suzy recommends you add
insurance, which pays for your cruise ticket if your mom ends up in
the hospital just before we sail, and you are not able to go. Also,
there is no tipping on the ship, but the cruise line does ask for
‘gratuities’ up front. A bit goofy but that is how that industry
does things. It is usually about $14 to $16 per person cruising, per
day of the cruise. So, on a ten-day run, all of the tips are paid
with $140 per occupant of a cabin… $280 for a couple sharing a
cabin. If you tell Suzy you are Okey Dokey before the end of
February these gratuities are PAID for us by Princess. Hint!!!
Here we go:
An Inside cabin is $1960.93 for one… a couple would be $3921.86
An Ocean-View cabin is $2392.93 for one… a couple would be $4785.86
A Balcony Cabin is $2652.13 for one… a couple would be $5304.26
A Mini-Suite is $2965.33 for one… a couple would be $5930.66 total.
Suzy did not send quotes for suites, but there are several
available, and obviously they are more expensive than the
Bonus: There is a very rare sale going on at Princess, and if you
tell Suzy that you want to be included… and send her a $200 (for the
couple) deposit BEFORE FEBRUARY 28TH, 2020… in the
next six weeks Princess will book you at the above prices, BUT
they will take care of the gratuities for you… AND they will give
you the complete Drinks Package, which gives you free alcoholic
drinks, free soft drinks, free specialty coffees, etc. That is worth
more than $60 per person, per day. FREE! AND… they will give you
free internet service. We normally pay for that BY THE MINUTE …
it is tough to get internet at sea. But… it is free if you say yes
So… if you think that you would like to join us on this trip, let me
know. I will give you the paperwork and information you will need to
have so you can sign up. It is that deposit now, and the big money
does not have to be paid until much later… I can give you that date
when we know it. The important thing now is to make the decision
before 2/28/20 and get signed up with the deposit.
If you find later you cannot go, you can still back out up to when
you pay the big money. After that, only emergencies will let you
out, and then only if you have that insurance. It is worth it. It is
already figured into those prices Suzy sent us up above.
If you decide much later to go with us, you still can, as long as
they have any available cabins on the ship. I would not wait too
long though as many cruises sell out early, especially early Alaskan
Cruises… especially cruises that go into Glacier Bay. Access to that
bay are limited.
I do hope that you decide to join us. It is a lot of fun, and a
Let me know as soon as you know what you want to do, and I will send
you what you need to get the ball rolling. Remember… next month… 28th…
deadline if you want the free drinks, free gratuities, and free web
From your Class Committee