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My very first sea day! I was so excited to get up and explore this gorgeous ship some more. I woke up that first morning, though, to the strangest sensation. It felt like the bed was sliding across the floor…back and forth, back and forth. It took a few seconds before realization finally dawned on me, “Ohhhhhhh. Now I can feel it moving.” I remembered the itinerary map showed that the ship had to go out and around Vancouver Island after leaving Seattle, and now it was all making perfect sense. In fact, maybe this is why I was supposed to pack duct tape…to bind me to the bed to keep from rolling out? Thanking my lucky stars that I had taken a meclizine pill “just in case” before bed, and thrilled beyond belief that it appeared to be working, I decided to get up and go out on the balcony for a bit while I waited for Scott to wake up. How in the world Scott can stay asleep through this motion in the ocean was beyond me, as his head was literally being rolled side to side on the pillow, like he kept slowly shaking his head “no” at me over and over. Slipping out onto our balcony all alone that first morning was a moment I will never forget. The almost ethereal sights, the crashing wave sounds, even the briny smells were forever burned in my brain. I believe the Cruise Cupid’s arrow went a little deeper at that moment. I could see nothing but dark rolling ocean and misty grey skies clear to the horizon. The seas were clearly high out in the wide open Pacific, but it wasn’t bothering me a bit, and instead it was almost mesmerizing and the rocking sensation was oddly comforting. Our first ever day at sea couldn’t have gone any better, despite the almost twenty foot seas and drizzly conditions we experienced for over half of that first day. Scott talked me into treating myself to a spa appointment (I know, totally twist my arm), and after that we explored some more of the ship and then dropped a few bucks at the casino. Toward the afternoon, as the seas got calmer and the skies cleared, we sat out on deck and people watched while wrapped up in the thick blankets the staff was handing out. The beautiful coastline was visible on the starboard side, and small tree-filled islands were visible off the port side. We could see snow-capped mountains in the distance, and the colors the setting sun was painting across the sky were breathtaking. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that we of course ate our way across the ship, but that’s to be expected on a cruise…right? Here I was with not even twenty four hours of cruising experience under my already getting too tight belt, and I was officially in “Cruise Mode.” We chose Anytime Dining for this cruise and really enjoyed it. I admit I was intimidated of the large tables and sitting with strangers, and so we chose instead to eat by ourselves for dinner. This was to be our first ever formal night, and I honestly had no idea what to expect. Would the Dress Code Police be stationed outside of the dining room ready to turn me away if my dress didn’t meet the minimum requirement of sequins? Obviously that didn’t happen, and to be honest I hardly even noticed what everyone else was wearing because I was so distracted by how delicious my dinner was and also by the handsome fella in a suit that I was lucky enough to be sharing it with. It was a definite Pinch Me Now moment. Formal night on a cruise to Alaska….Wow! We excitedly talked about our first port city and what we had planned for Juneau after we arrived at noon the next day. I was almost MORE excited about the fact that early tomorrow morning we would be making the turn into the Inside Passage and I could only imagine what sights would greet me off my balcony early the next morning. To be cont'd...
We stood on deck and watched as Ketchikan slowly got smaller and smaller as we pulled farther and farther away. My only complaint about today was that I wished we had more time to spend in what was my current favorite port city of the cruise. We spent the rest of the beautiful sunny day out on deck, snapping photos and watching for whales. It was so bittersweet knowing that tomorrow was our last stop before returning home to Seattle. We had a full day at sea ahead of us tomorrow as we weren’t due to dock in Victoria, BC until 7:00 PM the next evening. To make the most of our evening in Victoria, we were scheduled on a “Haunted History” tour of the city. Waking up the next morning we were greeted by another breathtaking day at sea. We decided to take full advantage of our beautiful ship, so we spent our last full day aboard wandering every inch of the Diamond Princess. How is it possible that there are still areas you didn’t notice after being on board a whole week? I roll my eyes at myself remembering my initial fear of feeling “trapped” and “claustrophobic”. What a newbie… While I was so excited to see Victoria in person for the first time, it was sad knowing that the closer we got to Victoria, the closer we got to “home”. The cruise that I had dreaded beginning was now coming to an end all too soon. I’ve seen more and learned more than I ever expected, not only about my surroundings and about the cities we visited, but about myself. I always firmly considered myself a “land lubber”, but all I can now think about is, “When can we go again?” Victoria soon presented herself to us in all her majesty and glamour. Victoria was, and still is, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. From the stunning Parliament building, to the English gardens in front of the beautiful neighborhood homes, to the glittering lights reflecting off the water that winds its way through the downtown shops and restaurants, the city itself proved to be simply magical. We had great fun on our “Haunted History” tour that took us all throughout the city and it’s important monuments. The tour left us about an hour to stroll the city at our leisure, and we popped in and out of shops along the waterfront. This was a city I knew I would return to, and Scott and I wholeheartedly agreed that we could very easily spend at least a week in this amazing place. After returning to the ship and watching Victoria fade into the darkness, we made our way back to our room for our very last sleep aboard our floating home. Next stop…Home.