A Travellerspoint blog

Day 4

On route to Ketchikan, Alaska

sunny 17 °C

Woke this morning and discovered that we were actually on a ship in the middle of nowhere. The sky had a pinkish tinge to it and the ship cut a smooth path through the water. We had not felt a thing during the night. It was a little overcast as we headed for breakfast.

Following breakfast, we went to the Atrium to check out the duty free shopping. We had to meet the tour group at 11am. Following that, we partook in the Asian smorgasbord available on the back deck – wonton soup, sushi, hot dishes etc.
Next thing on the agenda was a visit to the gym. Ross did a workout and I also road the bike to 4 km. Didn’t want to overdo things on the first day!!

Scones and tea were available for afternoon tea. However we decided to do our daily walk on Promenade Deck. If you walk around Promenade Deck 2.5 times you have walked 1 mile. We did 3 laps so I figured that would allow us to have sweets tonight! The sea was glorious and we had sunshine after some drizzle at midday.

As it was formal night, I ironed the good clothes and we met the group at the Wheelhouse Bar at 6.30 for a marguerita or two. One of the ladies had organised dinner in the Santa Fe restaurant. As we were sitting there, I spotted whales breaching outside. I screamed out and I think everyone in the restaurant ran to our side of the boat. What a sight! Their flukes were clearly visible as they stood on point. They even blew from their blowhole and dove forward through the water. It was amazing to see these animals in the wild. Our fillet mignon was delicious by the way.

At 10pm we went to the Princess Theatre to see the live show “ Do you Wanna Dance” which was excellent. Great singing and dancing – a very entertaining show.
We had to remember to set our watches back an hour before we went to bed.

All day we have been in wonder as to how we were so lucky to have such beautiful weather and such calm seas.

Posted by gpric6 16:56 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 3 continued

Bon Voyage Canada

sunny 17 °C

First thing this morning we headed for the Vancouver Observation Tower where we had a 360 degree view of the city. It cost less than $30 with our discount from the trolley tour ticket. I must admit that the ride up in the lift on the outside of the building was a little unsettling. The view was stunning given the fine sunny weather Vancouver was experiencing. Our Japanese tour guide Yuki, was delightful and she filled us in with historical as well as geographical points of interest.
Having checked out of our hotel, we headed across the road to Canada Place to join the line up to board the cruise ship. It was like being herded like cattle but we met some lovely people and ate freshly baked cookies. Once again, we went through US immigration, having our fingers and thumbs on both hands scanned and our photograph take once again. Lunch was awaiting us on board and so the smorgasbord began!!!
We set sail from Vancouver at 5pm, after a brief safety talk. What an amazing sight we had as we sailed away from Vancouver, Mt Baker clearly visible behind the city skyline. If we have rain for the rest of the week, we have been truly blessed. The sea remained calm and it was hard to believe that we were actually here experiencing the dream.
We met up with the Scenic tour people – that’s right we forgot we were actually part of a tour. The group leader’s name is John and the group comes from all corners of Australia. They had just returned from the bus tour through the Rockies. We had drinks on the back deck and dinner with the group in the bistro restaurant.
We hit the sack reasonably early as we were pretty tired.

Posted by gpric6 16:52 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 3

Our Ship Awaits Us

sunny 23 °C

This is the view from the window of our hotel room this morning. The Diamond Princess has backed in ready for us. We haven't slept much for fear of not waking in time. Great spot though for people going on a cruise.

Posted by gpric6 07:20 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Day 2

Vancouver

sunny 22 °C

Well, we went to sleep but someone forgot to tell us to wake up. It was 1.15 pm, Friday afternoon, when we finally came to life!! Not to worry. We headed off to Gas Town and activated our Trolley bus, Hop on hop off ticket. Decided to head for the teahouse in Stanley Park for some late lunch, not to talk about breakfast. They offered pizza and beer for $10. Ross didn't like the beer as it was very sweet. The cup of tea was delightful. We had smoked salmon flatbread and smoked pork and mushroom pizza = delicious.
Once we jumped back on the bus, we completed one loop of the tour. The forest left in Stanley park was well worth the visit. Of course, with Vancouver turning on brilliant sunshine, the harbour was spectacular. We jumped on the second trolley tour at 5pm and took the full trip around to Granville Island, Chinatown etc and back to Canada Place.
Came vack to the hotel to find out how much it would cost to use the internet. By joining the President's Club with Fairmont hotel, we receive free internet. Guess we will just have to stay at Fairmont hotels from now on!!
We decided to take a walk along Granville Street to find where would have to deliver the rental car to at the end of our trip. The concierge assured us that it was a safe area to walk. All was well until we came across some disturbance where the local police proceeded to gather the 4 foot long semi-automatic rifle from the boot of the car. I decided that we were not in the best part of town when the officer actually loaded the rifle behind us.
We found a little Italian restaurant called Scoozis where we had minestrone soup and New York steak and tasted some Canadian beer and wine.
We're setting the alarm for the morning as we need to catch the ship tomorrow!!

Posted by gpric6 23:01 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Day 1

On route to Vancouver

semi-overcast 16 °C

After a 12 hour flight from Brisbane, we touched down in LA. The only problem encountered was that they ran out of braised steak and we had to settle for cold salmon for dinner. The upside to this was that we got first dibs on the hot breakfast. Watched a couple of movies - Bridesmaids = but sleep was not an option.
After 3.5 hours on the ground and a Starbucks coffee, we were back in the air with Alaskan Airlines, heading for Vancouver. As it was a morning flight the view from the plane eastwards was unbelievable looking at desert and flying over the Sierra Nevada. The biggest thrill was to actually fly past Mt St Helens. We were able to see the side where the blast occurred.
We struggled to keep awake on the trip from the airport to the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel but once we checked in, we headed for Gas Town. We managed to stay awake until 6.30 pm but finally decided we could go to sleep.

Posted by gpric6 22:45 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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