Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday May 28 - Ketchikan

We dock very early in Ketchikan but we are sleeping and don’t even notice when we dock.  I throw on some clothes and head just down the hall to get my latte and bring it back to the cabin.

This morning Jasper Moosejaw our mascot is on the morning show.  I video taped it so will put it up on Youtube and link it here. 

We decide to head to the International Dining room for breakfast and just squeak in before it closes the door at 9:30.   I get to see Irma and introduced her to Bernie and gave her a kiss from Ciska, we catch up and promise to come back and say hi again.

A quick stop in the cabin to grab some items and we are off the ship quickly and walking around Ketchikan.  The weather is amazing, couldn’t of picked a better day.  When closer to the water we encountered a breeze, but when we were inland a bit the sun was very hot. 

We walk over to Creek Street and check out a few stores, I buy a lovely long sleeve t shirt with a Haida design on the front.

We climb up a few stairways, Ketchikan’s answer to the stairmaster.   I want to visit the Totem visitor park which is accessible by a free shuttle near the pier but can easily be walked to as well.  It took about a half hour to walk there. 
Entrance is $5 per person and you can learn more about the Native People of the area and also the totems that they put up and what they represent.  They have numerous totems that are on display and preserved.  Well worth a stop at if you are interested.  And certainly something you can do on your own as well.
We head back towards the pier and stop in to buy some fudge.  Definitely a treat for us as we love the stuff but rarely eat sweets at home, but heck we are on vacation.

Back on board around 1 pm, all aboard is 1:30 and of course there are quite a few people that are late.  I don’t think I actually stated but there are 1800 first time Princess cruisers on board.  That is a lot!  So I am guessing many of them may not be fully aware of the all aboard time, which is always a half hour before the actual sail away time.

We did head right to the International Dining room when we came back on for lunch.  Since it was 1 pm the dining room was full and they said as soon as we entered “table for sharing” which we don’t mind doing but our only stipulation is that it not be a table of 8.  Six being the maximum cause any more than that it just gets too difficult to hear others at the table.  But they don’t have this and we say we will wait then.  But they shuffle us to an area to wait and we wait but we feel bad when they open up a new area just so we can get a table.

I had the mozarrella cheese sticks to start and Bernie has the clam chowder and then for our entrĂ©e we both got the fish taco which had a nice serving of fish in one tortilla with a bit of slaw and lime/garlic sauce and cilantro.  Very good dish.
Now this is what was weird, as we are sitting there the dining room is busy, but of course this is normal.  With the ship sailing at 1:30, everyone comes back on and they are hungry.   It was a lovely meal.

We want to head up for sailaway and so I grab my camera and a jacket and head up top.  Now one thing we have noticed is that you are affected by the weather temperature differently depending on where you are on the outside decks.  At first we went to the main pool area and up to the sun deck and it is windy and it is a little cool on the starboard side.  But if you cross over to the port side where there is more sun it was rather nice.  Then we headed aft to the back pool area on deck 15 and we laid down in the lounger and it is HOT, certainly no need for a jacket, in fact I got a sunburn on my face and chest.  There were numerous people in the pools and even quite a few sunbathing in their bathing suits.

We both are struggling to stay away, and considering we were up late last night we decide to head back to the cabin and have a nap.  Well that nap ended up being a three hour sleep.  When we wake we both comment “well I guess we needed it”.  And we both do feel refreshed.

But it is now 7 pm and if we are going to do dinner we better get a move on.  Now the dilemma is where to go to dine.  We always take anytime dining, in fact we choose Princess because of their great anytime dining option.  We have never liked fixed dining but prefer the variety of dining a different times in different locations and with different people.  Now on the Diamond there is a choice of four different dining venues for anytime dining.  Pacific Moon, Santa fe and Savoy, and also Vivaldi which has fixed seating for 5 pm, but turns anytime at 8 pm.
At first we head to Savoy to see if we can sit in Sandudee’s section but when we get there we are told sorry but they can’t accommodate us but that Vivaldi can.  We said no problem and decide in the end we want to go to Horizon Court so we can eat quickly and head to trivia. 

Horizon court is not very busy and they have quite a few Asian inspired items.  We take as seat near the back deck as it is quieter but it is so quiet that not a single wait staff, even though they are walking around us, asked us if we wanted a beverage or cleared our plate. 

We discuss this and how we notice so far today we have felt that it is almost like we are bothering the wait staff, first at lunch with requesting a table for six or under or for two.  That the wait staff, including the head waiters at the door were annoyed that people were dining in the dining room for lunch.  Then again tonight with trying to get into Savoy and them sending us to another dining room.  Then again tonight in Horizon court where we are ignored.  We thankfully know this is not the norm with Princess but we do say considering how many first time cruisers there are we do hope that they don’t feel the same way cause we want them to keep sailing.  So far this has been the only hiccup we have noticed but nothing serious.

Brett the cruise director is doing a movie poster themed trivia in Explorer’s Lounge and we meet up with friends and try our best but well we just don’t know our movie posters as well as we thought.  But I love this kind of trivia and I am so impressed at how much Brett is out there with the passengers and doing this kind of thing.

Sarge the comedian is in the Princess Theater tonight with three shows.  We catch the 10 pm show and it is busy in there and he is funny, but that is all I will say…. We have seen better and we have definitely seen worse – Sarge is good with his observation humour just don’t understand why there are so many jokes about farting, shitting, and getting things stuck in your butt. 

It is now 11 pm and the ship is dead, not sure where everyone is – the crowd on board is relatively young but I guess they are spread out.  Superfly is playing in Club Fusion, there is a George Michael concert in Explorers, Wheelhouse had a band, there is Movies Under the Stars too.

We walk along the promenade deck and sit and people watch for a bit.  We try twice to speak to someone in Sabatinis about making a reservation, but the first time it was taking too long and we needed to see the show, and the second time we stood at the host station and no one came by for over five minutes so we left.  I guess we have to call the dine line. 

Time for bed, Juneau tomorrow.

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