Highlights from My Adventure of Your Life Cruise to Alaska

*Thank you to Oprah Magazine and Holland America Line Cruises for hosting this trip of a lifetime. #sponsored #liveyourbestlife #omaginsiders

I’m pretty sure that if you follow my blog or my social media then you know I recently went on one of the Holland America Line cruises to Alaska. This cruise was one of the Oprah Magazine partnered cruises that includes a variety of Adventure of Your Life activities. This cruise did not disappoint! Again, if you followed my social media (Instagram in particular) then you were able to follow along. I posted every day in my stories so you could see the amazing adventure that we were on. It was like you were right there with us, so thanks for coming along! If you missed it, you can still go to my Instagram and click on my Oprah Magazine/HalCruises Highlight reel.

My husband and I were able to go on this adventure cruise together. We looked forward to it for many months. We were able to upgrade our room to a Verandah cabin. This was important to us to have a room with a balcony to be able to sit outside to enjoy the beautiful scenery with coffee or cocktails depending on the time of the day. This was definitely one of our best decisions.

Oprah Magazine

What better place to read the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine than on our balcony taking in the beautiful Alaskan scenery.

As an OMagInsider, which is a brand ambassador for The Oprah Magazine, I knew that there would be many opportunities to participate in experiences unlike any I’ve had before. I was able to participate in activities that I either 1. Never tried before or 2. Were totally out of my comfort zone. I’m so grateful for these opportunities. I approached every experience with an open mind and a grateful heart.

Seattle

Seattle was our embarkation port. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to spend there because we got into Seattle in the middle of the night before the cruise. However, we were able to hit a few of the “must-sees” of the city including the Pike Street Market. We had a lovely brunch at a cute place called Red Cedar and Sage (highly recommend) before heading over to our home for the next seven days, the Eurodam, one of Holland America Line’s beautiful ships. The check-in and boarding process were effortless. Everything is well orchestrated making the experience delightful.

Luggage Forward

This baby weighed 81.1 pounds going home. Oops!

Upon entering our cabin I was thrilled to see that my extra-large suitcase containing everything I needed for the cruise was carefully placed on the bed. I was in New York City for an event for several days before the cruise and I didn’t want to travel with this heavy suitcase. Holland America partners with a company called Luggage Forward. They picked up my suitcase from my home (through UPS) the week before the cruise and I never had to think about it again. I highly recommend doing this when traveling so that you don’t have to worry about the airline losing your bags or having to deal with the whole luggage issue altogether.

The cruise started with a happy hour with some of the Oprah Magazine staff and the OMagInsiders. The first evening’s show was a quick overview of some of the activities for this Adventure of Your Life Cruise. I was more than ready to dig right in. This post is a small portion of the highlights of my Adventure of Your Life Cruise.

OMagInsiders and Oprah Magazine staff

Just Breathe

There was an activity called Just Breathe which was led by Sara Auster. She did sound bath meditation sessions. I’ve never done any type of meditation before. To be honest, it was a little bit difficult for me at first. The moment I close my eyes my mind starts to go in all directions. I have so much going on in my life that I start to make lists and such rather than focusing on the task at hand. By the third session I started to “get it.” I was able to focus on my breathing. There was something about the experience that put an extra pep in my step.

Sound Bath with Sara Auster

I really loved the Just Breathe sessions that were held poolside in the mornings.

My husband and I had delicious meals in a variety of the ship’s restaurants. I may have eaten a few too many desserts (because who can resist). We watched some of the evening shows and lost a few dollars in the casino. I got to shop til I dropped in the onboard shops (again, because who can resist). They had some of Oprah’s Favorite Things from the past year available for purchase as well as some fun Oprah gear in the O Shop.

Alaska cruise meals

All of the food we ate was superb!

I was able to meet and spend time with two amazing ladies who are also OMagInsiders with me. Amber is an amazing travel writer and mother to 5 who is always on the go. Taura is an incredible songwriter and gentle soul who always has a smile on her face (even when she’s seasick). Go check out their blogs and read about their experiences on this Adventure of Your Life Cruise as well.

#OMagInsiders

#OMagInsiders

Adventure of Your Life Cruise

First stop was Juneau, Alaska. It was our only rainy day.

Glacier Bay Alaska

Glacier Bay, Alaska

Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan, Alaska

brown bear Fortress of the Bears

You can get close to real life brown bears at Fortress of the Bears, a refuge center for rescued bear cubs in Sitka, Alaska. It was amazing to watch the bears interact with each other.

O’s Reading Room

O’ Beautiful

I could talk about beauty and makeup products all day long. I was so lucky to be sailing with Brian Underwood, Beauty Director for The Oprah Magazine. Brian held several sessions onboard that included 1. his product picks for the Fall Beauty Awards, 2. lessons on skincare and finding what’s right for your skin and 3. a before and after beauty transformation reveal with celebrity hair and makeup artists who were on board.

O'Beautiful Fall Beauty Picks

Amber and I, along with a few of the other cruise passengers, got to participate in these transformations, . We all got new haircuts and had our makeup done. We modeled on stage for our fellow passengers to see. It was a little bit out of my comfort zone to be standing on stage, but Brian made it so that it seemed like we were old friends hanging out.

My before picture

My before picture backstage in the green room. Caught devouring one of many desserts…

after makeovers

Amber and I backstage after our transformations.

hair and makeup transformation

The big reveal!

Butchart Gardens Victoria, BC

One of my favorite places to visit was Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. I LOVE flowers and photographing them.

beautiful flowers at Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

I couldn’t believe my eyes. This place was amazing!

As you can see, the Adventure of Your Life Cruise was nothing short of INCREDIBLE! I felt emotionally refreshed and renewed stepping off the ship. I thank the Oprah Magazine and their staff for the opportunity to sail on Holland America Line’s cruise to Alaska. It’s something that’s been on my bucket list for a few years now. The last Holland America Line “Adventure of Your Life Cruise” with Oprah Magazine activities for this year will be in October, 2018 sailing from Ft Lauderdale to the Caribbean. I hope you’ll book that one and get to experience the adventure for yourselves.

11 Comments

  1. Avatar August 30, 2018 / 5:02 pm

    I love this so much, what a neat experience and your recap is fantastic!

  2. Avatar August 30, 2018 / 6:39 pm

    I loved following along on your Alaskan journey Stacie! Alaska is on my bucket list for sure- it looks so majestic and serene at the same time. Looking forward to our Girls Getaway Cruise this January! #Omaginsiders

  3. Avatar
    Candy D
    August 30, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Beautiful scenery to say the least.
    I’m jealous!

  4. Avatar
    kathryne
    Twitter:
    August 31, 2018 / 2:34 am

    Bet you had a grand time and to be associated w/ the great O, that’s amazing! I’m so happy for you!

  5. Avatar August 31, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    Having done this one last year, I know what an incredible experience it was. I didn’t take in the Butchart Gardens though and I definitely regret that!

  6. Avatar August 31, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    Thanks so much for writing this post Stacie. You include so much detail, and pictures, that I could really imagine the great time that was had. I only hope to attend one day! : )

    Elaine

  7. Avatar September 1, 2018 / 5:15 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing time! I cannot wait to go on a cruise myself! Never been!

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