Getting Closer

Getting Closer
Getting Closer

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cruising Alaska Day 6 and 7 at sea

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Yesterday we enjoyed a sea day.  Tonight we will dock in Victoria, but not until 7PM, so I would say this qualifies as a sea day as well. On sea days, the time just rolls by, and before you blink, it’s time to dress for dinner.  On this cruise, both formal nights have been held on sea days, which is really quite nice.  By morning yesterday, we were in the North Pacific, west of the Queen Charlotte Islands, and shrouded in fog.  The fog persisted all day, and it was chilly, so not really conducive to hanging out on the deck.  Mo and I had a late breakfast, wandered around the ship a bit, listening to the pianist in the Atrium.  We spent some time in the casino, where I actually won a tiny bit of money.  We knew it would be a late night, so took it easy, playing cards in our stateroom enjoying the view of nothing, but still enjoying our balcony.  There are a lot of scheduled activities on a cruise ship on these sea days, but I do love most the chance to do just about nothing.  I get very few real “nothing” days at home in my regular life.

Day7_VictoriaEven though it was chilly in the afternoon, the sun tried to warm the fog a bit and we decided to try a swim.  We are on the 12th deck, and the terrace pool at the back of the ship is on 12 as well.  We discovered that we could leave our room and travel all the way to the back of the ship without having to go into a public space at all.  The hall emerges within feet of the pool.  It was perfect for us, with no one else in the pool.  It was also pretty nice to make a run for the room and the hot shower after our swim.  The water was heated, and is fresh water, which is nice, but the wind was still really cold.  It did feel good to get in a bit of a swim, though.

We dressed early for dinner, and took our cute little printed invitations to the Captain’s Circle cocktail party.  Since we are two time cruisers with Princess, we are now part of this elite group.  The captain informed us later that this elite group numbers more than 10 million, so I guess it’s not that elite.  We had complimentary rum punch and cute little canapés while we listened to the captain tell his story, and applauded the cruisers with the most cruise days on princess, a couple with 440 days at sea!  Gee, that would be a year and a half of continuous cruising.  They were pretty old, so maybe they have had 20 years or so to rack up those days.  It would have been interesting to see their trips.  The third place couple were fairly young, but only had 150 days or so.  I guess you would have to really like cruising to get into a group like that!

July10_atsea (1)There were door prizes as well, and we wondered a bit how much longer the program would last and what we should do next.  Calling out the names of the winners, suddenly there it was, “Ms Sligar?”  Mo won a bottle off champagne!  What fun that was for us, and they eventually delivered the bottle to our dining table and then we took it to the stateroom.  The formal dinner was excellent, with lobster and shrimp and beef wellington for Mo. The prawns were nearly as big as the lobster, but even as a shrimp lover, I was delighted with the lobster.  Yum!  We went to the casino to win a little bit more and then to the last production show of the cruise, “Do You Wanna Dance”.  Once again, this show was truly excellent, with great dancing and costumes, and lots of lights and glitz.  I loved it.

I so love the dress up nights, as much for watching all the other folks as for dressing up myself.  It’s fun to be shiny and glitzy and have a chance to wear rhinestones and sparkles and not appear ridiculous.

Today has been another quiet time in the cabin, punctuated by a meal here and there. After morning tea, we started watching a movie with Sandra Bullock, “The Proposal” and couldn’t get away for breakfast until after ten.  Of course, the Neptune deck “Taste of Alaska” buffet was scheduled for 11:30 so I had just over 90 minutes to get ready for more food.  Finally this ship came through with the carved fruit, ice sculptures, and fancy production.  The Alaskan salmon was poached, delicate and perfect, the sushi was fresh and tasty, and I do love having all the pickled ginger that I want with my sushi.  Mo and I shared another Alaskan Summer Ale with our meal and then headed back to try to finish spending our casino money. 

On this ship, if you win, you have to cash out to your cruise card.  This could be really dangerous, since there is a green button on the slot machine that is called “charge to your cruise card”.  Stay away from THAT button.  If you win, you cash out to your cruise card casino account and the money is waiting for you the next time you put in your card.  I had 6.95 left in my casino account that I really needed to finish off, so plugged in the card to play.  After a long time, I had to decide to give up since I couldn’t seem to lose.  I cashed in my casino card just an hour before the cruise casino official closing with $70.00 to the good.  With the champagne for Mo and the winnings for me, it turned out to be a winning trip!

This afternoon we are slipping into the quiet time of packing for disembarkation tomorrow and finishing up our day.  Our landing in Victoria awaits, but it’s a bit of an afterthought, especially so late in the day.  We haven’t planned much, but hope to enjoy the city a bit before getting back on ship by 11 for our final sailing to Seattle.

Ahh, something else I forgot to mention.  In the past I have had a lot of trouble with being sea sick.  The last couple of cruises have been easier, and on the last one I only needed a patch for a very short time.  However, after getting terribly ill in Key West on the trip to the Dry Tortugas, I bought some sea bands.  They work by applying pressure to meridians and are said to work for morning sickness as well.  I am a huge fan!  They really DO work, and  no drugs.  I will keep them with me always, not just for cruises, but for busses, and any other time I might get motion sickness.  What an amazing thing!