“The ship is safest when it is in port,
but that’s not what ships were built for.”
― Paulo Coelho
Part IV August 18 – August 25, 2013
(Click on any photos for larger view!)
You know, it’s quite difficult to find a fun quote about a cruise ship. There weren’t any, in fact. Either ship/sailing quotes like the one above, or quotes about Tom Cruise. Clearly not relevant here.
Team “TAG,” aka Three Aussie Girls on exchange in Canada for the year, had already invited me on their road trip at the beginning of the summer (I actually managed to post about those adventures: see Parts I, II, and III). Kindly enough, they also invited me to tag (ha!) along on their cruise ship adventure to Alaska. Who can say no to someone else doing all the research and planning? All I had to do was hand over my credit card number.
As this was my first exposure to the world of cruise ships, to begin with, the final destination was secondary. Well, really, after the initial fun of scooting out and around the Vancouver area, anything not related directly to what the ship had to offer was pretty low on the priority list. A cruise ship is like its own city. When I wasn’t busy wondering, “Where does all the garbage go? What do they do with the leftover food? Where does the crew go when they aren’t working? Is this dude ALWAYS working…in four different parts of the ship at once?” or slightly sea sick, I was reveling in the endless food in, like, 85 different places; games and puzzle rooms; secret nooks; and random entertainment segments every which way you looked.
A bit of exploration was immediately required before we “smart casual”-ed up for our first dinner and tiny dessert.
One morning we actually did have sun, but we still grabbed at least one protective blanket before venturing out of doors. Usually, we only needed four blankets each – one for behind our backs, under our butts, around our legs, and over our torsos – there’s no way the biting wind was getting a morsel of us! Ultimately though, whatever the day brought – an on-shore excursion, a joking lap of the ‘walking track,’ or just drowning in a good book, it was all just leading up to another fancy pants dinner of being waited on like royalty. Completely undeserved, but once the initial guilt wore off, it was pretty juicy.
One evening we headed up to the Crystal Lounge for “Dancing with the Stripes” dance off with crew members and cruisers. I got called up! Unfortunately, my ‘stripe’ wasn’t such a hot dancer so we got voted off pretty early. But hey, nothing like winning a grossly over-sized tight-necked never-to-be-worn-ever t-shirt to ease my disappointment. Ha.
We also booked an even fancier-pants dinner at Murano. It was too outrageous to even explain. Tiniest salt-n-pepper shakers you’ve ever seen. Or maybe the largest wine glasses. Synchronized plate placement on the table, every single course, the availability to melt into every dessert they offered. The delightfully personal attention from our waiter didn’t hurt to enhance to delectableness of the experience either…
And finally, on our last day Lausanne and I took FULL advantage of the outrageous brunch. We breakfasted to gut-busting proportions relatively early, then headed to a secret sheltered little half-inside/half-outside corner on the ship to sorta kinda watch our return to the inside passage and Canada’s waters. Mostly we read, napped, and moaned about how full we were. Troopers that we were though, once we came just off the “full” mark, we headed back to the Grand Dining Room to partake in the lunch and dessert section of the still ongoing brunch extravaganza. How’s THAT for strategic planning? Round two!
So, that was life ON the ship. Definitely seems like a lot of eating. Lausanne and I did go to 7 am yoga every morning! Um…and saw a few shows in the Celebrity Theatre. Well, and considering dinner wasn’t until 9 pm every night, there was definitely pizza or sushi pre-dinner around 6 pm every day also. Oh wait, that’s just more eating. We also got into the habit of drinking (strategically chugging?) Coke as frequently as possible to see who could out-carbonate the other. Very ladylike – therefore we also needed to be strategic in our competition locations.
Stay tuned for the OFF the ship stories and a collection of FROM the ship photogs!