Blog # 7 Does Princess Cruise Lines really own Alaska?

Of course Princess does not own Alaska, but there is that rumor. They do own most of the stores in towns they frequent, they own Lodges and lots and lots of busses to bus around their clientele and even a railroad to give tourists a train ride out to their lodges where everything you see, do and buy is their product. I am not badmouthing them, oh no, just showing you how you can be smart and build a conglomerate within the travel industry or most possibly any industry you are familiar with.

Wait and get a grip. PRINCESS OWNS ALASKA? Preposterous you and I say, I agree, but not totally.  Before much more is said, I suggest you look up Princess stock under the title, Carnival Corporation and watch it for a while. I am not, hear me now, NOT telling you to buy, just look under Carnival Corporation traded on the N.Y. Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol CCL. If in London the ticker symbol is CUK. A big birdy called Google told me that if you buy some shares, you get special sailing perks and shipboard credit. Do not quote me. You can also look and see how many cruise lines are under this umbrella. So, this is interesting.

Princess owns the waterfront stores in the towns they visit and hire out of the state personnel to run their Alaskan stores, It gets to be a little over the top in my book. The prices when you travel are up everywhere, but when you own everything your cruisers go, then, you may charge what you like and they will buy. We found it hard to buy anything with the Princess upgraded prices.

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Our trip took us deeply and unknowingly into the Princess Conglomerate. After our lovely cruise, a Princess bus took us to the Princess Railroad Line, where food and drink was for purchase, during the entire 9-½ ride through the wilderness of Alaska to The DENALI PRINCESS LODGE where once again you are stuck out in the wilds with a number of Princess owned restaurants and Princess owned local tours. By the way, as a sideline, the mosquitos were as thick as fleas, for real. Everyone was swiping and swatting for dear life and not the life to the mosquito.  There were unusually large amounts of bombarding black mosquitos in the wilderness of Princess.  All of the outside events were complete with a thick smell of deet filled sprays and swatting. Where did you get the spray? Yeap, the Princess Lodge souvenir stores.

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This is not intended to be rude to a very good business and a smart conglomerate. It is to tell you that with all of that business know how, they also know how to make everyone in the crowd feel special and safe. The ship personnel have wonderful qualities and personalities that shine out. Everything runs smoothly. The ship is spiffy clean and kept that way. The food is good and their specialty dining is fabulous. They will go out of their way to help you with your requirements if able. They are there to make your stay with them fine enough for you to boast to your friends. They do deserve a round of applause. So clap, clap, clap, and clap.

Come and Enjoy Orcutt Ranch and Horticultural Center

Orcutt Ranch and Horticultural Center: Open daily from Sunrise to Sunset.

This property is a most wonderful respite quietly sequestered at 23600 Roscoe Blvd. in West Hills, California is a retreat from the teeming urban environment most of us find in our daily lives.

I am not an official recruiter for Orcutt Ranch, but I do recommend you spend some time there.  It is not a big investment of time for a huge return from nature and ancient fauna and flora.

Admission to this historic 25-acre Orcutt Ranch and residence is free and isn’t that a lovely courtesy?

Orcutt Ranch was formally called: Rancho Sombra del Roble, which means, “Ranch in the shade of the oak.” If you park your car in the parking area and begin your walk of the grounds, you will fill your senses with trees, some 600 – 900 years old; you will encounter community gardens, citrus orchards, an old Spanish style home, an old well maintained barn, beautiful rose gardens, and an especially wonderful moment is to stand in and amongst the bamboo forest. If the wind is up the sounds of the bamboo forest take on orchestral tones. Consider having your wedding or special event at Routt Ranch.

If you come to Orcutt Ranch in July you are encouraged to pick ripe Valencia oranges and white grapefruit. A slight charge will be incurred.  This is a secret. If you stand under an orange or grapefruit tree in the orchards, soon a ripe fruit will fall very close to you. No one is looking. Peel it and bite;  juice rolls down your chin and your eyes roll back with the sensations of such a pleasurable taste treat. How can you be charged for a gift the tree has dropped into your path?

There are plots of land to the side of the ranch that can and are rented for $120 per year. Many renters grow vegetables year round in the ranch’s community gardens.

Since I am in no way connected to Orcutt Ranch I am free to tell you the lessons I learned from my visits to this lovely hideaway.

First, there are lessons from the trees. If they could speak you say, what would they say?  If you listen you will hear six and nine hundred year old truths that sound as modern as today. They will tell you, “Let nature take its course.” They will tell you to become more and more adaptable and mutable. Figure out a way to survive. They will say, “Age breaks down structure.” It poses pulls of gravity and may need some holding up with braces and wires to hold parts into their places.

And then, you witness the gnarls of time, a sight you see in all walks of life on the planet. Our bodies as we age need lots of tweaks, touch ups, grips, clutches and embraces. The lessons include resilience of time. We do not have as much time to learn these lessons, as do the trees, so we must preserver and survive during the time we are permitted. Ancient plant life shows sustenance from the earth and the process, which keeps all living things alive for a prescribed parenthesis in time.  If you try and alter the time lapse, I think that would negate the lessons. Altering nature gets into Biotechnology, which takes more time to study and discuss.

Secondly, there are lessons in history on this ranch. Time has moved along and if we preserve the past we will more fully enjoy going back in time for whatever time we have allotted.  Historical visits rejuvenate and elevate our consciousness.

Visiting Orcutt Ranch and the lessons you learn will be different, from mine, but no less rewarding. They will enhance the time spent at the ranch and will make your day! Each time you visit you will learn new lessons and leave with a newly formed enlightenment.