Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Question: Have any of you been cruising?  

We hadn't and  I really wasn't sure what to expect!... It soon became very clear to me as we boarded that everything is ENORMOUS!!

Boarding this large ship along with 2000 of my closest friends was a process .. .very well managed I might add!  We moved and shuffled and were bemused by this new experience.  

Once on board,  we were delighted with our cabin which was at the extreme rear of the ship (the Stern) on the left corner.  We had a lovely deck and the stateroom was spacious.  We soon learnt that nothing happens quickly on-board ship! We had problems with the drainage in our bathroom - the basins emptied very slowly and I had managed to "lose" the key to the lock on my suitcase! It only took 4 hours for someone to come to my rescue!  The drainage was repaired the following day.  

The beds and bedding on this ship were superb... and we slept in such comfort.

Leaving Vancouver area

Meals and the booking of meals was a learning curve in itself.  There are two sittings for dinner at both Vista 1 and Vista 2 Restaurants!    The first sitting is at 5.30pm and the next at 7.30.  We opted for the second and booked mostly for 7.45pm.  I can only marvel at the vast quantities of food prepared on this ship daily.  The food was quite good and there were a couple of "select" restaurants where one could eat after paying $10.00 per person extra.  

The Lido is a vast Buffet style dining room where all meals are served daily as there were many, many people who preferred to eat self-served food, given that they could return to the buffet as often as their appetites would allow them to!!   

We had breakfast in the Lido and arrived early in order to find a table next to a window and avoid the crowds!  There was a fair selection of fruit, an excellent selection of bakery products and lots of different cooked breakfast options.  The coffee was undrinkable but luckily we discovered The Observation Cafe which was on Deck 10!!!  Needless to say,  we would walk the length of the ship and head up to the 10th floor for a decent cup of coffee... Did I say "cup"?... I meant paper cup!!

The library in the Observation Lounge

The Observation Cafe is housed in the Observation Lounge and library, on the 10th Deck at the Bow of the ship.  We loved this area as it was reasonably quiet,  and aesthetically pleasing.  Tan leather lounging chairs,  books, magazines and the smell of coffee...  There were doors from this area to the Observation Deck where photographic opportunities had to be scrounged for!  Our day in Glacier Bay was particularly difficult as everyone with a camera hugged the railings and one had to ask for a spot exchange in order to take a photo!!

There is a daily schedule of events posted in the 'post-box' of each stateroom.  Specials at the Spa,  live concerts,  art auctions,  card games,  bingo etc are just a few of activities one could participate in on board ship.  I did sometimes get the feeling that we were a captive audience,  and that a certain amount of "hard-sell"  was metered out!  For example,  a "Five minute make-over"  talk was nothing more than a ploy to get us to buy cosmetics!   There was Ross,  the tour director who made numerous announcements over the intercom system each day informing everyone of what entertainment was available!

I opted for sight-seeing mostly... and what sight-seeing there was.  In the next post,  I will talk about Alaska.

The beauty of the Inner Passage through Alaska

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