Monday, July 3, 2017

Asea (The Great Pacific Northwest Adventure of 2017)

Our Alaska cruise on the Emerald Princess started at Seattle, then headed north to the Inside Passage. Along the way we stopped at Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway (the northernmost point). After that the ship came back south. The last port before returning to Seattle was Victoria, British Columbia.

Monday and Friday were days at sea. In my experience you can be as busy or as lazy as you want to on a cruise. Hubby Tony and I are in the first group. Each day we received a list of all the activities taking place on board the ship. In years past it was all on paper; this time there was also a phone app you could access via the ship's wi-fi. Each morning we'd go through the list and pick out the things that appealed to us. (Most of the time they were the same.) Then we just had to remember to be at the right place at the right time.

This cruise had a naturalist on board, who gave several presentations during the week on the flora and fauna of the area. She also broadcast live from the bridge the day we sailed up the fjord.  Otherwise many of the activities were similar to our last cruise.  Tony and I didn't play anything in the casino, but we participated in several trivia contests.  Each night there were shows in the theater and music in the lounges.  The dancing in the disco started about the time I was turning in for the night and I could never make the Zumba and ballroom dancing classes fit into my schedule, but I did do some line dancing.  For the most part Tony and I stayed out of the on-board shops.

On the balcony
But would you be surprised if I told you that one of our biggest activities was eating? 

I've found that over the years cruise ship dining options have changed. In 1980, when we took our first cruise, you could go to dinner at the formal dining room at a specific time, grab lunch in a sit-down dining room, get hamburgers and hot dogs on the deck at lunch time, hit up the buffet, or order in room service. Now, in addition to those options, there's anytime dining (where you show up in the dining room when it fits your schedule), specialty restaurants (which require an additional fee), a 24-hour small-bites cafe, and a pizza and ice cream bar. There was also a very popular specialty coffee bar where (for a price) you could get espresso-based coffee and iced tea fusion drinks.

On this cruise we signed up for the early dinner seating, and shared a table with two longtime women friends in their 80s, a young lady who had just graduated from high school and her aunt, and a couple about our age.  It was great getting to know them over the course of the week. For eating in the casual areas there were very few two-tops, but we took that as an opportunity to sit down and already-occupied tables and talk with other people.  Because we purchased our cruise so early, one of the promotions was two vouchers to a specialty restaurant.  We chose the steakhouse, where I ate the best hunk of beef  I've had in a long time.

The at-sea days were also formal dinner nights. On different cruises I've had different interpretations of the term. At my age I'm not particularly trying to impress anyone. so this time I brought two knee-length dresses and one pair of shoes. The dresses were sleeveless, so the black shrug I threw in at the list minute came in handy. 

Five years ago today: Let It Wave

9 comments:

  1. Yes eating is a big part of the cruises! Interesting about the activity app now. I like the idea of anytime dining.

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    1. We've always done traditional dining, because I like sitting with the same people every night (and getting to know them).

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  2. I ate pizza EVERYDAY and I tried anchovies for the first time ever. I would never get them at a local Dominoes or Pizza Hut but I liked it on the cruise pizza. How's your jet lag? Back to normal yet? Even though I used the activity app, I took the paper with me down to breakfast. Love the balcony photos.

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    1. We only had pizza once. I thought it was OK, but would rather have a more substantial meal.

      Based on past experience I figured it would take me two days (one for each time zone) to reset my body clock. I was right. Sunday night I tried to go to bed at my normal bed time, but my body wasn't ready; I got up and did laundry and downloaded the photos from my camera. I still set the alarm for the normal time, so Monday I was really tired and slept like a log.

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  3. Sounds like you had a great time! Eating is very important, I like to eat really good food.

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    1. The older I get, the more important it is that the food is good. Otherwise, it's just a waste of calories.

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  4. You could be a Spokes Person for Emerald Princess!
    This trip is on my short list!

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    1. Take the trip! It's well worth it.

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  5. Sounds like you had a great time!

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