Saturday, August 29, 2009

Return to ship

We had a wonderful trip up White Pass, but returned to pouring down
rain. Due to the timing of the trip, none of us had lunch. We retuned
to our suite to find in room tea service with shrimp, crab claws, more
caviar on blinis and lots of scones. I don't think an afternoon
"snack" has ever tasted better. Dad is resting while Mom and I shower
and get ready for dinner. Tonight is informal attire so we'll need to
dress up a bit. We should be departing Skagway in the next 15 minutes
or so.

Train to White Pass

On the train to White Pass



Rain, rain go away...we arrived in Skagway a short time ago. We
enjoyed eggs Benedict in our suite as the rain pours down. The dog
sledding is a "no go" once again. We are extremely disappointed since
this was the one excursion we were looking forward to. We will be
going on the train up to White Pass - all 3 of us will be going. It is
such a rainy miserable day, it might be best just to stay put! Not
sure what else is in store, but we do get to dress up a little as it's
informal this evening. The ship is so nice that we're perfectly happy
to stay right here.


After all hopes of going sledding were dashed Mom decided to just stay
in our suite and enjoy the sites from our verandah. Dad and I decided
to venture out into town. We spent several hours walking around
looking at all of the touristy stores. It's too bad these towns have
been so commercialized. The views are truly the best part. We got back
on the ship in time for me to get to the spa. I scheduled a wonderful
deep tissue massage - it was just what I needed. Mom and Dad stayed in
the room enjoying a cocktail. I came back and opted for some champagne
out of our bar. We all sort of skipped lunch, so we had our butler
bring some canapés - shrimp, caviar, and some hummus. We had dinner
reservations in the Italian restaurant, La Terrazza, that featured the
region of Tuscany. We bad a fantastic meal (of course) that included
antipasti, Prosecco, several other courses and the best part - veal
scalopinni. It was incredible. There was still some time before the
evening show, so we went to the bar to listen to some music. At 10:00
pm they had The Liars Club where we had to figure out who was telling
the truth. The cruise director David again joined us and we spent a
while talking with him. By 12:30 am it was time to call it a day.
Sent from my iPhone

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Discovery

We have discovered the Observation Lounge on Deck 10. It has fabulous
views from the front of the ship and massaging chairs - what more
could you ask for! If we can't find Dad, I'll now know where to look.
They also have beverages, snacks, puzzles, etc. Not a bad way to kill
some time before our excursion. Here's hoping the weather improves
enough for us to go.

Due to weather conditions they are postponing our trip until 12:15.
Let's hope we can go at that time.

Heading off ship

We're in Juneau

After very rough seas and lots of sea sickness we are in calm seas and
docked in Juneau. We have cell signal (very exciting) and are having
breakfast down in one of the dining rooms. Mom and I leave for our
heli tour and dog sledding trip in just about an hour. I will search
for Internet in town so I can post photos and video.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I didn’t post last night because we were up so late, so I am taking care of that this morning. We are on our way to Sitka, VERY rough seas, much worse than yesterday. They say it will calm down when we get closer. We are 4 hours behind EDT. Breakfast has just arrived!

So much for Sitka – the Captain just came on and said we will not be able to anchor due to the rough seas and winds that are 40-50 knots. Guess it’s another fun day on board ship!

Wednesday - At Sea

We were awakened by the blowing of the fog horn on Wednesday. We opened our curtains only to find ourselves in very dense fog along a fairly narrow channel, however, we were soon in open waters. Our butler brought our breakfast about 9:30 – lots of smoke salmon, bagels, and cream cheese, after all, we are going to Alaska! After breakfast we noticed that the ship began to “roll” pretty significantly. Mom and I were staggering around while trying to unpack and get our suitcases put away. I will say it was very challenging. Thanks to the many grab bars in the bathroom, we were able to take our showers without incident. By about 11:30, the motion had gotten to both of us pretty badly. Dad was back taking his after breakfast nap and sleeping like a baby. Fortunately I had brought the motion sickness pills that I acquired on our trip last fall and Mom and I both took one. Those things do the trick, but make you quite drowsy. Dad and I went down to the pool and grill to get a light bite of lunch. They have great burgers and I had a Panini. We ended up sitting with the couple who is next door to us. He is from Sweden and she from Denmark but they have lived in BC for 45 years. They were wonderful to talk to and discuss travels. They have done a number of Uniworld river cruises such as the one we did in October. They recently returned from the Passau to Budapest route. After finishing our lunch, we brought a burger back to Mom in the room. It was then time for Mom’s hair appointment since it was the first formal night. I went up with here since she was pretty “wobbly” and stayed for her appointment. When we returned to the room it was just before time for tea. The 3 of us wandered down to the other end of the ship to enjoy tea time with a wonderful pianist. They had every type of little sandwich you could imagine and sweets galore. They do have scones, but they are different from what I’m accustomed to and their clotted cream is different. I have found a new tea that I love called “Paris”. It was getting close to 5 by the time we returned from the room. The motion sickness had subsided as had the seas, but we were still drowsy. All 3 of us took a nice nap, but had to wake up to get ready for dinner. Tonight we were dining with Staff Captain Fabrizio Rota from Italy. We were all dressed in our formal attire and make our way to the dining room. We were seated at the Captain’s table with 2 other couples, 1 from California and the other from Vancouver, but who were traveling together. The Captain joined us for a really wonderful dinner. We started with a scallop gratin of some sort, but it was delicious. We then had our caviar with buckwheat blinis, it was also served with a shot of vodka (wish I had known that since I had ordered champagne as my “go with”), but it was really wonderful. We had a soup course, then our sorbet and finally our entrée of filet mignon with fresh horseradish. Dessert was a cherry compote of sorts. The executive chef came over and introduced himself and we took a picture (yes, I am making a really weird face). The dinner and conversation was all so wonderful we were there until 10:15, and the evening show had already begun. We made our way to the Athenian Lounge where we caught the second half of the Broadway musical review. We met the cruise director, David Lawton, as we left the lounge and he ended up joining us in the Panorama Lounge (on our deck) for after dinner cocktails. We talked with him for hours and he even took me out on the dance floor a time or two. He is from Wales and has a thousand stories. We sat around talking until about 1 am, so it was time to return to our suite. We all had such a wonderful evening, but it was time to go to bed. We had to do a few things such as make our breakfast selections and get our laundry together (how great is complimentary laundry service!). We were too concerned about staying up late as we gain an hour tonight. We will be 4 hours behind EDT. Until tomorrow…

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Arrival on Ship

(Having trouble uploading pictures since we are on open waters, will try later).

Getting our luggage to the ship was as simple as calling the bellman and he picked up our bags and took them away. Getting to the cruise terminal was as simple as taking an elevator down from our guest room to the “CS” level. We went through customs and then boarded them ship. As opposed to our trips on the QM2 and Oceania, check-in was actually handled at the reception desk on the ship as opposed to the mass arrivals in the terminal. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and escorted to the Panorama Lounge where we enjoyed the view of Vancouver and awaited our suite being ready. Within 20 minutes someone came down and brought us our keys and escorted us to our cabin. Our suite is gorgeous complete with 1 ½ baths and separate living and sleeping areas. We did all of our “oohing and ahhing” over it, but it was then time for lunch. We joined a small number of guests in the dining room who also decided to board early. They have wonderful wines paired with each meal and you can have champagne at every turn – what more can you ask for! We had a lovely lunch – Mom and Dad started with the seafood medley, while I had the smoked duck. For entrees, Dad and I both had the halibut while Mom went with the Oriental stir fry. The food was excellent. We returned to our suite and Dad promptly took a nap while Mom enjoyed the verandah. I took care of a few items including getting some CDs for our stereo and setting up some spa appointments. Our butler Joaqui stopped by and introduced himself a little later in the afternoon.
Unfortunately, Dad woke up from his nap and was quite sick to his stomach. The rest of the afternoon was spent taking care of him. He ended up staying in bed the rest of the days and missed the departure and dinner. I did go out by the pool for the bon voyage party to see all that was happening. They had live music, all types of hors d’oeuvres including shrimp, chicken satay, antipasti and of course anything you would want to drink. I didn’t stay long and came back to join Mom. Since Dad had lost all he had eaten, we did get him some crackers and ginger ale that seemed to help. He was resting, so Mom and I went down to the dining room about 7:15. We were definitely on the early side for dinner. Mom opted for the grouper while I went for the beef. We had an amazing white chocolate mousse dessert with praline crunch. We finished our dinner and returned to the room about 9 pm. Dad was doing better and we sat up and talked a while. We were cruising along very smooth seas which rocked us to sleep. Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday Morning

Good morning from Vancouver! We woke up early to get a start on the day. We have had our coffee, packed up, and are ready to call the bellman to pick up our luggage. As I went out on the coffee run this morning I saw that our ship is in fact docked (a good sign)! I am posting this as our last post prior to embarkation. We should be on board about an hour from now.

After arriving into Vancouver at about 4 AM EST we decided to sleep in this morning taking advantage of the fact that we didn’t have anything planned. Some of us awakened as early as 6 AM local, others decided to catch up on their beauty rest. We finally managed to go down to the restaurant around 10 AM. There we encountered a very expansive buffet. I think we all ate our weight in smoked salmon, but then again, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do up here? We enjoyed a most leisurely brunch followed by taking in the gorgeous harbor view from the terrace. We actually ended up spending several hours out there sunning ourselves and watching visitors from a docked cruise ship. By mid-afternoon it was time to take care of a few items, namely picking up a forgotten iPhone charger (can you imagine) and a curling iron for Mom. Dad and I were the ones to go exploring in the city, taking a cab to the Pacific Centre shopping district. Since it was the middle of the afternoon, we needed a little “pick me up”, so we stopped at a local coffee shop and had something to drink. By the time we returned to the hotel, it was time to get ready for dinner. Since everything is so spread out, and we wanted to avoid having to take a cab, we decided to have dinner at “Five Sails” here at the hotel. I was prepared for typical “hotel fare”, but as we arrived and noticed the 4-star rating we knew we were in for a treat. As with my previous blog, we are all about the food! I think we all agree, this is one of the best meals we have ever had. Dad started with the “Yin Yan Foie Gras” and I can honestly say that it was spectacular. Mom and I also had appetizers and we each had a different entrée. Dad had the trio of lobster, scallops and halibut, while I had the grilled lobster, and Mom had the Char (a salmon like fish). Across the board it was delicious. We also tried a local Chardonnay from Cedar Creek. Again, one of the best Chardonnay’s we’ve ever had – very light, not too oakey, all around great. We concluded with dessert – a lemon mille feuille for both Mom and I while Dad had the chocolate ahh!, and yes it was. It was just the perfect dinner, perfect view, and perfect company. We are now back in the room anticipating all that is to come!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Can anyone say fourth meal? Had a need for some pizza and ice cream
during our 2 hour layover in Phoenix. Only about 30 more minutes until
we board our flight to Vancouver.

It's happy hour!

Here we are at the airport, lots of luggage in hand. Few issues with the passports at check in, but we are now sitting at the gate. Hunter was kind enough to drive us down and drop us off since we have a "freakish" amount of luggage. Now Mom and Dad are working on the Sunday crossword and I am enjoying the free wifi. Less than an hour until we board our flight to Phoenix. Then, on to Vancouver. It will be abour 4 am to us by the time we get to the hotel. A long day ahead of us, but we are all looking forward to the trip!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who needs this much luggage for a two week trip?! Well, at least there
are 3 of us this time.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Well, it's finally time for another trip and I am planning on posting as we head up to the Land of the Midnight Sun. The countdown is underway!