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09/12/07


hazelson
"This was our best cruise ever. I have never felt so relaxed before. Not a single glitch!"

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:09/12/2007
Destination:
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RATINGS

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COMPLETE REVIEW

As we sailed out of Vancouver it took us about 40 minutes to get to the CruisePark location, another 20 minutes to get out bags and DH's old Bag (me) on the shuttle. Another 10 minutes and we were in our first line.

It took about another half hour to clear customs, get our "sign and sink" card and set foot on the beautiful Spirit.

It was a little after 1 p.m. and we went straight to our cabin, dropped off our carry ons and did the ever so important toilet flush! That's hw I know I'm on a cruise - when I hear that might toilet burp!

Off to the Lido for our first "grazing" of the buffet. We were a party of ten and amazingly we bumped right into one of our couples. We had arranged a meet in the Casino because there would be no one there. Once everyone was on baord we checked our dining room seating and found we actually were all seated together - they pushed two tables together into a corner of our own - the maitre 'd must have had his "rowdy" sensors on :o)

Off to muster drill, then unpacking, then on deck. Sail away was beautiful - under the Lions Gate Bridge.

Jaime and Jose - our dining team - were super. I can't figure out how they remember our names and preferences so quickly. We all took different seats at our table every night - so eveyone could get to know one another as our friends brought two friends and they brought friends ..... but before long it was as if we had all know each other for years.

The food - just the usual - fabulous. I ordered two appies evey night and dh ordered two main courses - I have developed a very distinctive butt wobble!!!!

We played trivia and I won a bottle of champagne - we all shared that one. There was a really sweet bar waitress who came by our table evey night - Ivana. We don't drink on the ship as I wear the patch and dh doesn't imbibe much anyway.

But Ivana just cottoned onto Hugh. She called him grandpa - which - in her country is a sign of great respect. He reminded her of her family back home and every night she came and gave him a big hug. So, of course, he teased her every time he saw her. We tipped her at the end of the cruise - even though we didn't drink.

Our room steward was Wayan - we only saw him in passing but he did a great job. We were late leaving the room one day and he called to see if we were ok. We told him just to forget about making up the room but he must have been watching us - because we slipped up to the buffet to bring back and afternoon snack - and in that 15 minute period he came, he saw, he cleaned lol.

Juneau - we did the photo safari, and what photos. Dh took the stills and I took the video camera. At one point the whales were so closewe could almost touch them. Then there was an island of sea lions and one came over to check us out.

We also spotted an eagle flying right into the water and picling up a huge fish.

Then off to Mendenhall Glacier. There were ten of us on this tour and were quite noisy on the bus - ok so maybe it was just two who were noisy - want to guess who lol. But once we were off the bus and at the foot of that Glacier we were stunned silent! Awesome, almost a religious experience.

We also spotted a hugh bear pulling out jack salmon from the creek. I swear it posed for the cameras - looking right at us as he caught his fish and ambled into the trees.

Glacier Bay - there are no words to describe it - just suffice to say it was truly awesome. We saw calving a couple of times - the noise was like a gunshot.

Skagway - as it was a really wet and cloudy day we decided not to take the train - we just wandered through town. Not much there but the shopping was great! The cheapest of all three ports. Bought the usual - shot glass, charms, sweat shirt and souvenirs for my "little sisters".

Ketchikan - here we hit a bad spot. One of the "Ducks" amphimbious vehicles had hit a woman walking across the dock - fatally. There were police and ambulances all around. Once we saw the blue tarp on the ground we knew it was bad. As we were booked on a duck tour we got back on ship. The pursers desk hadn't heard anything but they checked right away and advised us that the tours were cancelled - an rightly so. A 59 year old woman off the Holland ship had died almost instantly. I felt so sad for her family and could not imagine what her travelling companions we going through.

We rebooked on the Totem Bite tour, interesting but nothing exciting. We were all very subdued - thinking it could have been any one of us.

But I did managed to get a faux fur" jacket, Dark grey with a hugh eagle on it - for only $68. I had spotted on not quite as nice in town for $139 - SCORE!

The on board naturalist kept us informed as we went. We spotted a few dals but no whales en route.

The scenery on this cruise was absolutley stunning. We live in a beautiful province, but we don't ever see 90% of it. Most everyone lives in the south end - and while I have been to Prince George - that is only about 1/2 way up.

The entertainment was very good - I can't figure out how they make those costume changes so fast. Unfortunately for the late-night comedians we were an older crowd so attendance was sparse, but they played along with it.

We managed to get some great shots of our group. Hugh set up his camera on a tripod and set the timer so we were all in a couple for them.

This was the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on - possibly because we didn't have to fly and I'm not fussy on flying. Of course we paid the standard tips - and then some. The crew is what make the cruise and we lucked out. On the last night I bawled when they sang "Leaving on a fun ship" - but I wasn't the only one :o(

Embarkation was a breeze ..... we were in our car and on the road by 9:30. And the "girls" were very happy to see us - a lot of tail wagging going on :o)

All in all a super sail! I will try to get the photos posted later today. There is one you have to see - dh and I clearly love "pushing the envelope" - as you will likely notice.

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