I literally saw every single hour pass on the hotel alarm clock display. I couldn’t sleep, I was too excited. Too nervous, too anxious, too ohmygoshthisisreallyhappening sort of excited. I finally couldn’t stand it any longer and decided to start getting ready about 6:00 am. Hey, a girl needs her time to get her face on. I have to confess that I changed my outfit twice and my shoes three times. I really wanted to look sophisticated and cruise-y, without looking like the scared-witless newbie that I was. And since we’re all such close friends here, and I feel that I can tell you anything, I may as well also confess that I brought an entire suitcase dedicated to shoes. Just my shoes. Scott’s shoes fit perfectly into his one suitcase, and I was quite proud of myself for condensing my packing list into just three suitcases and one carry-on. Honestly, Scott should be thanking me for making this small miracle happen instead of glowering at me while hauling everything downstairs to the cab.
We arrived at the port of Seattle a few minutes before 11:00 am and finally got our first look at the Diamond Princess. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for the sheer size of this ship. My very first impression was, wow. She was so big and so white! Scott and I were excitedly jabbering to each other about which balcony we thought was ours while snapping as many pictures as we could. Even though it was a cloudy and gloomy morning in Seattle, this beautiful ship practically glistened. She was fairly new - only about two years old at the time - but to me, she looked perfect. I have to confess it was love at first sight and I‘m pretty confident that Scott was feeling the same arrow from the cruise cupid.
Check in was quick and easy. Even though we had absolutely no idea what we were doing and where we were supposed to go, we were zoomed through all of the lines and agents and walked on board only about thirty minutes after stepping out of the cab. We walked on into the Grand Plaza…what a wow moment. We both just stood there with our mouths open. We could see up floor after floor of marble and steel railings and glass elevators and winding staircases. We kept saying to each other, “This is on a boat???” And yes I realize the correct term is ship, but hey…we’re new here.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring every inch of the ship. She was just beautiful. I kept reminding myself that the little Texas town we lived in has a population of 3,400. Our entire town could fit onto this ship, with room to spare. Despite all of the traveling that we have been fortunate to do together, nothing prepared me for the wow factor this ship gave me.
After completing the Muster drill, we decided to head all the way up to the Skywalkers Lounge for sail away. We found two seats right at the window at the area of the lounge that is cantilevered over the side of the ship. It felt as though we were suspended in mid-air…especially since the portion of the floor under my cute-shoe clad feet was see-thru down to the water below. We ordered our drinks and were chatting happily with each other when I noticed that the scenery below was moving. No…we’re the ones moving, not the buildings! I started excitedly babbling, “I can’t even feel it…I can’t even feel it!,” to Scott over and over. I even called my Dad from my cell phone and told him the same amazing phenomenon that I had discovered, “I can’t even feel it!!”
We had the following itinerary ahead of us:
- Sat Jun 6 Seattle, WA 4:00pm
- Sun Jun 7 At Sea
- Mon Jun 8 Juneau, AK Noon 10:00pm
- Tue Jun 9 Skagway, AK 6:00am 8:00pm
- Wed Jun 10 Tracy Arm (Cruising) 8:00am 1:00pm
- Thu Jun 11 Ketchikan, AK 6:00am 12:30pm
- Fri Jun 12 Victoria, Canada 7:00pm 11:59pm
- Sat Jun 13 Seattle, WA 7:00am
In Juneau we planned to catch the bus to Mendenhall Glacier and wander around the town. For Skagway we have a car reserved with Avis and plan to drive the Yukon Highway into Canada and up to Emerald Lake. In Ketchikan we we’re booked with Southeast Sea Kayaks for a sea kayaking excursion. Victoria’s plan was an evening haunted history tour of the entire city.
Sitting in the Skywalker Lounge I kept marveling at the lack of movement I felt. I felt so cruise-y and non-newbie. Why on earth was I so nervous about getting seasick? Pft...amateur. I had nothing to worry about. But just to be safe I had a maternity sucker tucked into the pocket of my linen jacket. And a spare meclizine pill. And a few pieces of ginger candy. But I had nothing to worry about.
To be cont'd...