Thursday, July 31, 2014

The After Effects of a Cruise

Well, the after effects...... no one waits on you, no prepared food, no made bed, no chocolates on the pillow, no chocolate covered strawberries, no tiara events, no soothing rocking to sleep, no moving views while eating breakfast, no lovely places with scenery just going by, no smiling people at your beck and call, no one to pick up your towels in the bathroom, bummer.

And then there is dis-embarkation sickness.  I had never heard about this before.  Many people get varying degrees of sea sickness AFTER they get home on dry, still, land.  All three of us have had it.  It feels like you are on a boat swaying.  All of us feel like the land is moving WAY more than the ship ever did.  It is slowly going away but still gets you when you are not expecting it.  I especially feel it when I put my head forward, then, Whoa!!!

It can last up to a month.

I have started a new project......A whole outfit for Jen for the "New York Society Tea" in San Francisco in December, from chemise to bustle dress.

The easiest is the chemise...  photo tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cruise ends, boo hoo!

This morning we headed down to our last breakfast in Sabatini's with our wonderful window.  Our wonderful servers offered to take a picture of us.

Well, we go back to reality today after such a wonderful cruise.

We docked at 7 am and after breakfast we headed to the Wheelhouse lounge.  One of the perks of having a suite was that we get to relax in the lounge until our "color" is ready to disembark.  I have to say, getting 3000 people off a ship within a few hours must be a real trial for all those managing it.  It went off perfectly as far as we could tell and so easy for us.

We left the ship and went to a giant room with all the luggage.  The luggage was arranged in areas by color, the color of your embarkment time.  You just find your color area, then find your luggage within this area.  Word to the wise....Tie an unusual colored ribbon on you luggage.  Especially if your bags are black!!  With tons of bags if you have something to differentiate yours you will be able to find yours a lot quicker.

We left the building and went to the taxi area across the street.  Then we had to wait just a bit for a BIG taxi to take us and our 6 large suitcases.

The trip to the airport, getting on the plane and the ride home were uneventful except for the fretting that those that had made the cruise so easy for us, Noel and Catalina missed the flight and weren't coming home with us......who would be putting the chocolate on our pillows, and what about our chocolate dipped strawberries????  It is going to be a BIG let down!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A fun evening in Victoria!

Going through "customs" in Victoria was quite a let down.....they didn't even look at our passports let alone stamping them.  Bummer, I was looking forward to another stamp in my passport.

As you can tell, the sun was pretty low and right in our eyes.

We had originally planned on taking a pedi tour (a tour in a little seat pulled by a guy on a bicycle) through a fancy neighborhood in Victoria with beautiful gardens, then for a tour through "The Castle" (quite a beautiful Victorian house).  Unfortunately those plans were squashed because we docked so late that "The Castle" was closed and the pedi's were done for the day.  Luckily we knew that before we left home or we would have been very disappointed.

Instead, we walked through ordinary neighborhoods admiring houses and gardens. We found ourselves at this cute little community on the water, sort of like Sausolito.  The houseboats were very cute and well taken care of.  It was lots of fun exploring the area.

We wanted to get to downtown though, but it seemed a long way to walk. Then we came across these cute little water taxis....

So off we went without hardly waiting at all!  When we docked right across from the Empress Hotel we had a lot of fun checking out the artistic planters and taking all kinds of "selfies".

Behind us is a planter of fish in their underwater home.  The use of plants was fantastic.
 Lots of selfies......we were pretty silly that night!

We headed downtown and I found a pretty neat store with native american art.  I bought a silver bracelet engraved with their symbols.

And of course we had to have our picture taken with the moose!

After wandering around a bit, we checked out the Empress Hotel gardens, and more selfies!!

Checked out the Government Buildings which looked rather festive.

Then decided to take a taxi back to the ship.  It was about 10 pm but not very dark!

Our bags were gone for tomorrow's disembarkation.  So it is pretty final...tomorrow, we have to leave our lovely Golden Princess!  We will be docking at 7 am in Seattle.

Monday, July 28, 2014

cruise 11 - Victoria!

After our nap...

We packed everything up, so sad.....bags went outside the door to be ready for us at the dock in Seattle when we disembark tomorrow.  Only what we absolutely need for tomorrow morning is in our carry-on bags.

We had our last dinner on the ship, unfortunately Gale wasn't at our table tonight so we didn't get to say our final goodby to her.  She was a great tablemate and perhaps we will voyage with her again!

But we did enjoy our dinner with Handsome Joe and his Beautiful Deborah!  What a great couple!

Joe and Catalina
 And, as every evening, we enjoyed our dear Catalina and thanked her so much for taking such good care of us.  She did keep us laughing, too!

Deborah and Gayle

We are docking in Victoria and have to be back to the ship before 11:59 pm or we turn into shipless Cinderellas!

They told us we had to take our passports with us as we have to go through customs.

See you on the other side!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cruise 10 - On the way to Victoria

Off to Victoria!

Cathy and Jen decided to go swimming at the Sanctuary Pool.  I relaxed on one of the lounges there, read and watched my girls in the swimming pool....took me back to when they were kids!

 The sky was so pretty I just had to take a picture!

Just like when they were little!

We went back to our cabin for a nap and to get ready for dinner.

Tomorrow morning we will be waking up in Victoria!!

10,238 steps, 7 stairs


Friday, July 25, 2014

Cruise 9 - Ketchikan, Alaska!

As we headed to Ketchikan, I really enjoyed our window suite.....
Don't tell anyone at Princess, ok!!  But really, I would do away with the desk and put a couple chairs.....I like to be close!

It was really foggy as we were coming down to Ketchikan, but then it all lifted and it was beautiful!
Homes and docks across from the town of Ketchikan

We had ordered breakfast in our rooms so we could get ready to explore Ketchikan.
We took our time because we knew there were a lot of people wanting to visit and go on excursions.
Ketchikan dock

People coming down the gangwalk to go into town.
There were some interesting scenes to paint if there was time.

As we went into town we saw lots of tourist shops but they were not at all aggressive like in Skagway.  We decided to head to Creek Street.

In the late 1800s Alaska gold towns grew in the most available places near where gold was found.  Like Juneau, Ketchikan has mountains closely parellel to to the water.  The land right next to the water was developed first and later when women started flowing into the area, the only thing available and close to the population (men) was on the edge of the mountainous area.  They had buildings built on the bottom side of the mountain and on piers in the creek that ran along the mountain.  This group of buildings was the "red-light district" of Ketchikan.  Today they are tourist shops but with better quality than the junk shops.  A lot of them have art objects created by native alaskans.

At the end of Creek Street you can see the Golden Princess at dock.   
 We shopped some more then headed back to the ship.  The ship was leaving at 12:30 pm.  Taking our time we arrived back with plenty of time.  We headed up to the Verizon Dining Room for lunch.  When we finished eating we had plenty of time watching people coming back to the ship.  We were hopping to see a few "runners" (people that have to run to catch the ship as it is leaving....check on youtube, there are some pretty funny videos.  But we had a shipfull of responsible people and all boarded without running!

Ketchikan was a really cute town and I really enjoyed it!

The Golden Princess and the Amsterdam
There were 3 ships (2 Princess Line and Holland America's Amsterdam) always following us at a discreet distance.   I have to say, from the outside, the Amsterdam does not look as well taken care of, compared to the Princess ships.  There was a lot of rust near the water line.

We are now leaving for Victoria, Canada!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cruise to Alaska 8 - 2nd Formal night!

We are really getting used to this now, all this Formal stuff and being waited on!

2nd Formal Night

Another wonderful day!  And tomorrow morning at 7 am, we will be docking at Ketchikan, Alaska!

8000 steps, 7 flights of stairs
approx. 23 WW points

Cruise 7 - leaving Glacier Bay

As we started leaving Glacier Bay there were quite a few icebergs floating by us.  They look pretty small here, but remember we are 16 decks up!

We viewed a couple more glaciers on the way out.   The experience is much like visiting Yosemite Nat'l Park.  It is all so huge it really shows us the power and might of Mother Nature.  We humans usually think we run everything.  We really need to realize we don't.

We had lunch in the Verizon Cafe and watched the beautiful scenery go by.

The naturalists from the Nat'l Park Service come on board in the morning to be ready to narrate the views we see during the day.  Then as we leave, the naturalists catch their ride home.

Lunch with beautiful views...

And then we went down to our cabin to get ready for our 2nd formal night!

Here we are in front of our cabin door!  See the beautiful poster Jen made in honor of Aunt Edna!