I was going to put all the pictures in one blog and as I went through them all I decided I needed to do it a day at a time... so get ready for a travelogue!!
We got to Seattle about noon on Saturday the 23rd of August. The skies were blue and the air was warm. We grabbed a taxi to go the 20 miles or so from the airport to the Seattle Port -
Our taxi driver knew right where to go and it was such a thrill to see that big ship sitting there waiting for us to board.
We had our papers out and ready and there was hardly any line at all and we were on board before
you even knew it. As we boarded they were handing out glasses of champagne to everyone - we asked if they had anything nonalchoholic and they no, so we passed. First thing we did was head for our staterooms to get rid of our carryon's. But when we got there they were cleaning the rooms, so we carried our small bags with us and headed up to the 12th level to eat some lunch. The buffet was tasty and there was plenty of it. We didn't even go all the way through the line. We found what we wanted and sat down and ate.
After we ate we wandered around the ship a bit to hopefully figure out what was where and then headed to our rooms. Dad was in a stateroom right next to us so that was really handy. We took a little nap as it was going to be a while before the ship sailed. When we were ready to head back upstairs for the farewell party Dad told us to go ahead without him and he would find us. So Ed and I headed up to level 12 and 13 for the embarkation party.
Amazingly enough Dad did find us - somewhere in the middle of 2400 people!! And that was just the paying guests. The crew numbered another 1100!!
We started the picture taking. The first picture of the Seattle skyline and space needle and the picture of Mt Rainier Ed took. Actually most of his pictures turned out better than mine. But I took this one. We were sitting out in the sunshine on deck 13 - it is open to deck 12, that is where the swimming pool and hot tubs were. You can see the water slides (the big yellow things) Those are our feet in the foreground!!
About five pm we headed out...but not to sea!! It seemed like we sailed for hours before we actually hit open sea - or at least the shores were not visible anymore - probably by 8 or 9 pm. Seattle isn't as close to the ocean as I always thought - In fact we sailed North towards Vancouver and then headed west somewhat and then North again as we traveled through what is known as the inside passage. We went to the show that night which was an introduction to alot of what was going to be presented in the next week. Our rooms were right next to the Stardust theatre - it was a huge and beautiful theatre - all done in plush red velvet. The rooms had good acoustics though and we couldn't hear the late shows at all from our staterooms which made us happy. The main dining room was the Versailles Room and it was gorgeous. Very gold and ornate. Full of old art (like Blue Boy, pictures of Kings, etc.) The rest of the ship was very modern. In fact too much modern art!
This is what the inside passage looked like to me on Sunday. Ignore the dates on these pictures as it was a couple of days into the trip before I realized I had the wrong date in my camera. It was rainy and cloudy and dreary and gray and I thought - OH NO!! IS THIS WHAT OUR WHOLE TRIP IS GOING TO BE LIKE?
Sunday afternoon I was out for a walk while Ed rested and Dad was reading and I had found an icecream bar with delicious hard ice cream - it was open daily from noon to five pm and each day they changed the flavors they offered. Yummy treat. As I was walking on the 12th level of the ship someone said - oh, look - dolphins. I rushed over to see - there were only about 20 of us that got to see a school of ORCA's jumping through the waves. They weren't dolphins at all but there had to be about 40 of them jumping and diving and even though I was way high in the air I could see their beautiful black and white coloring - we could only see about four or five at a time but they were well spread out over the ocean . I didn't take this picture - I googled it, but this is what they looked like.
It cleared up later on in the day on Sunday though. This is a picture out of our stateroom window. I thought I was going to miss the balcony but it was too chilly to have enjoyed it like we did on our other two cruises. 85 degrees is nice on a balcony. 59 degrees is NOT!! Ed hadn't been feeling very good since we got on board and I finally talked him into going to see the doctor Sunday about 5:45 - his UTI had turned into a prostate infection and he got to have a catheter inserted (FUN!!) for 24 hours and was put on Cipro for three days (BIG DOSES!)
The formal night was on Sunday night and Ed and Dad had not wanted to dress up for it (mainly they didn't want to pack a suit for one night) so we found another fun little restaurant to eat in. Fish and Chips - and it was good. Actually, the way Ed felt that night he wouldn't have enjoyed a big meal anyway. We didn't go to the show that night - I kind of wish I had gone alone. Ed wasn't feeling well and Dad was too tired but it was "The Music of the Night" - the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The ocean was very calm for most of the trip - I don't think the waves ever got over five or six feet - most of the time it was about 1.5 meters ... much better than Hurricane Noel was last year in the Bahamas.
Well - that's enough for the first two days. On Monday morning we arrived in Ketchikan, Alaska - more on that in my next blog.