Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 23 Back to Reality - What do you mean I have to cook

Back in Seattle

Yup the trip is over, all good things must come to an end. We aren't really in any rush to get off, our shuttle isn't picking us up until 10:30.

We get our final bill at our door, and once again there is another error. Seems that we keep getting charges from other people. You see when you buy something on board, no matter what, you show your card and they write your folio number down and enter that into the computer. On three occasions our number is entered and each time we have to go down to the pursers' desk and ask them to pull the bill and it is obvious that it is not our signature. This last charge is funny because it is from the night prior, from Skywalkers at 9:15 --- and we weren't even on the ship at that time, we were still in Victoria.

We eat a last breakfast in the Horizon Court, and gather our stuff and head to the Dining Room -- our gathering place for Platinum Members waiting for our time to disembark.

We find Paul and Yvonne, and shortly thereafter Rose and Jerry join us, then Karin and John.

We reminisce about the cruise and all the fun we had. We talk about future cruises and how we can all try and sail again together.

We are sailing with Jerry and Rose, Karin and John again in September on the Island Princess thru the Panama Canal. And now Yvonne and Paul are joining us on the Ruby Princess in January in the Caribbean.

Disembarkation was quite easy and efficient. However once again the parking lot is a disaster, similar to the week prior when we got off the Star Princess.

Lines for taxis are all the way back to the entrance to the port, about 250. We go to the location of where our shuttle is to be, and we are having trouble figuring out where to line up. After about 15 minutes we find our contact and inform him that we are here. The shuttle arrives about 15 minutes after that and we all board, the bus is full, in fact three couldn't get on but the rep put them in a taxi and covered the cost.

Here is a sample of the crowds.

Here is a shot of the queue of the taxis trying to get into the pier. The problem is that there are two lanes that turn into one and then it begins to back up. We later found out that friends who got off first thing had no problems at all. So if you are in need of getting back to your car, or the airport quickly I suggest you get off first thing.

We made it back to the car just before noon and were on the road. We got back home just after 4, and started the wash!

Another trip done... and it was a good one. We never thought we would do Alaska, but we can say now that we are glad we did it. It was truly beautiful, but I do think many parts of B.C. are just as beautiful. But for a week of rest and relaxation where I didn't have to cook or clean for a nominal fee and to sail with great people -- well I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Thanks for the memories everyone.

May 22 Beatuiful Victoria

Last Day - But Victoria First
We sleep in and have a relaxing morning. Bernie goes down to the duty free to pick up some booze! Love the fact we are just driving home, so we stock up.

Today we are attending a get together that Richard, the Cruise Director has organized for the Cruise Critic group to meet the officers. We all gather in the Wheelhouse bar at 11, where a few of the officers are in attendance.

Bernie and Claudio the Passenger Services Director

Me with Marilyn from Cruise Critic, a wealth of information!

Claudio with two lovely ladies.

Adam the Assistant Cruise Director

Karin and I with Captain Foster

Here is Richard with his new feather boa as a reminder of us.

Jerry and his new hat. It was good for a laugh

We say goodbye to Jose, till the next time.

We weren't getting into Victoria until later, around 7 pm and neither of us felt like dressing up and heading to the dining room so we went up to the Horizon Court for a quick meal. Up there we ran into Jeanie and Harry and invited them to join us ashore in our beautiful Capital city.

Here we are -- arriving in Victoria.

Now the port is a short walk to town, about 15 minutes thru lovely residential areas. You can easily catch a taxi, and there were quite of few tours too. We chose to walk as it was a lovely evening.

Lovely Karin with a blooming Clematis

Our Parliament building

the lovely ladies

The Inner Harbour

Stunning artwork at the Victoria Conference Centre

Making friends with a local moose.

Jeannie is caught dancing in the streets.

Where to?

John's comment was in the US their lighthouses are on the water... smart !

Funny place for a canoe.

We take everyone to the pub that Bernie and I went to after we just got engaged that night. Now this was a while ago, but the pub is still there. It is tiny and crowded. We sit and enjoy a beer, but we are tired.

Time to head back to the ship. We all walk back, and we don't really want to go back, there is so much going on in Victoria tonight and I feel like we are teenagers having to get back for curfew.

The Parliament buildings all lite up.

Back on board now just before 10 pm. We sail at 10 and we need to get our bags out. So we head to the room and pack.
Hard to believe we are getting off tomorrow.

May 21 Ketchikan


We are up early and it doesn't look that nice out. In fact it looks like it could rain. So off we go with our rain gear on, note first time we have used it.

We both decided to just head out on our own and wander the streets. No set plans, mainly picture taking for me, Bernie not sure, just make me happy I guess.

It is a pretty town, the locals are very friendly, and the people are busy selling tours and bus trips. But we are not really interested. We are only here for the morning and since it looks like it could rain we stay close to the pier.

We run into Claudio and he recommends a good espresso place just around the corner, so you know where we are headed. After our coffee and taking some shots. The rain starts, lightly at first but then it really starts to come down. Bernie is tired so he heads back to the ship. I still want to wander so I head out and check out things.

I walk into a beautiful pottery shop and purchase a lovely bowl as a souvenir. Unfortunately the bowl doesn't survive the trip home, it broke on the shuttle to the car park. Wasn't meant to be. But trust me it was a lovely bowl.

I really like this place, very laid back, very artsy, and the people are so very nice and seem to be truly happy to see the tourists.

You can take this tram up the hill for nice views. Sorry didn't take the tram as I am not really into that, plus not sure if you would of seen much with the clouds.

The stores along the walkway were interesting full of fun things from the area, lots of artist studios.

These statues sat on top of the pier's pilings. Very nice, very cleaver

The panoramic view of the other side of Ketchikan from the ship.

Run into Rose and Karin as they get back from the "shopping" experience. They show off all their free stuff they got from the coupon book. They are so cute.

We get invited to join Richard the cruise director for lunch. Our friends join us and we have an interesting lunch. Richard is very nice and easy to talk to and seems to be interested in all of us and how our trip is going. I must say it has been very nice to have a more mature Cruise Director... I was tired of some of the young ones that I just couldn't relate to. Oh no I guess I am getting old.

The afternoon is spent relaxing. In fact I think we come across Paul in the Promenade bar around 3 and we join him. Then Yvonne joins us, then Jerry and Rose join us, then Karin and John. Needless to say we sat there for 2.5 hours. Here is one of the waiters shaking up my martini.

Doesn't that look divine? And it tasted good too. Time to go get ready, tonight is formal night and the Captain Circle Party. We all arrange to meet just prior so we can enjoy it together.

The feather boas make another appearance.

the guys joking around

here is our gang

The feathers started to go everywhere.


For the Captain Circle party drinks are complimentary and I think we sampled one of everything. And I do think I enjoyed them.

The drinks tasted better with a few feathers added.

After a few drinks

Paul with one of the "can can" girls, oh no sorry that is his wife Yvonne

But she is friendly

Poor John

After the party we decide we all better get some food in our tummies as this alcohol needs something to absorb it. So off to the dining room and a table for 8. Of course Jose is there to take care of us again.

Here is Jose taking the shell off my lobster.

I should help him, he is working so hard. He was truly the highlight of our trip.

Karin gets her raspberry Creme Brule, courtesy of Jose, in fact he brought one for everyone. Very nice touch since it wasn't on the menu.

We are all getting tired now, and we start to nod off one after the other.

The day is over, tomorrow is our last day on board!