Cruise Diary

Victoria BC
Cruise Diary
Ship's Log
Link to ms Zaandam

Thursday—arrive Seattle, visited Pike’s market—incredible open air market, but after flying, it smelled fishy and put me off seafood; had burger for lunch while Ralph and Sal and Stan had lovely seafood lunches.  Walked around downtown Seattle. Stan went back to the fish market and brought crabs & shrimp & grapes and Ralph brought wine for dinner on deck of the Inn. Still can’t quite manage seafood yet; fortunately when Suz and Sunshine get there, Suz finishes off the crab and shrimp feast. Walked some more w/ most having gelato for dessert. Poor Sunny never did get a proper dinner. Beautiful sunny day and evening at Inn at the Market.

 Friday—awoke early. Stan went to Inn's deck. I find coffee/tea place open and get us tea to drink on the deck. Try to go to Aquarium. Closed. Another beautiful day.

To boat at noon via van. Lots of lines and security. Lunch on Lido deck while rooms were prepared. Late departing, due to late passengers (delayed by weather). Had a beer and nacho's at embarkation party. Meet for dinner in main dining room at 7. Wait 30 min. or so.  Nice table on water at stern. I had scallop cerviche and rockfish. Raspberry chocolate mousse cake for dessert. Great food and service.

Saturday. Bed soft, so back somewhat tired. But took muscle relaxant last night and slept like the dead. Breakfast at Lido watching the water. No internet access—want .75/min ($45/hr). plus startup fee. I guess I’ll go without. Pleasant day at sea. Played Mah Jongg on Lido for a good while. Just watched the water and enjoyed being on the boat. Took a a long nap. Got up and dressed for formal dinner In pants and glitter top. After dinner, we watched Sally’s Vietnam pictures in our room. Nice day.

Sunday. Good hearty breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, toast, potatoes. Grabbed a burger before getting off boat in Juneau. All 1500 passengers tried to disgorge at same time. Took bus to Auk Bay and went whale watching. Saw eight humpbacks feeding in air netting formation. Fascinating. Went to Mendenhall glacier. Walked a bit. The blue ice of a glacier is gorgeous. Only there 50 min. Couldn’t take longer hike to big waterfall. Back just in time for dinner. Tired and hungry. Had seafood cakes, reindeer and veggie soup, and venison. Really chocolaty dessert. Crashed to bed. 

Monday. Woke up as we arrived in Glacier Bay.  Had some tea on Lido. Had full breakfast w/ plenty of prunes which kicked in that afternoon. Cruised to Margarie Glacier and saw some calving. Margarie Glacier is receding rapidly. Some some sea lions, eagles and puffins along the way. Also saw Reid glacier along the way. Bear sighted on other side of ship--some said it was a rock w/ legs. Lunch, then John Hopkins glacier. Couldn’t get close due to harbor seal season. Hopkins is growing while Margarie is receding. Lunch. Nap. Tried to see more wildlife as we left Glacier Bay, but visibility poor and seals too far away, even w/ binocs. Stan not feeling well--bit of a chill. 

Tuesday. Wake up in Sitka. Up early to eat and Stan, Suz and I go out on semi-submersible.  Interesting, but nothing like the Caribbean. Water milky green from all the phytoplankton, etc. Went first to eel grass area. Some eels, juvenile rockfish, sea cucumber, sea stars, etc. Then into giant kelp forest that was kind of cool. More eels, fish, shrimp, sea stars, etc. Diver was outside showing us seastars and other stuff. Back to Sitka for walk to fish Hatchery and to Sitka National Forest. Met Lucy, a Bassett Hound puppy along the way. Beautiful forest w/ totems all along the way. Best part of day was Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest. Saw rafts of male otters, female otter w/ baby on it’s belly. Puffins. Common Murres, oyster catchers. 2 gray whales and one humpback. Bald eagle nest w/ both parents coming and going. Best trip yet. They brought us right back to boat; didn't need the tender boat. Had a snack and nap. Formal for dinner. Not my best dinner so far. I had escargot, salad, two lobster tails and chocolate toque w  mousse filling. Sounds better than it tasted. And a cosmo that WAS good. Am tired, but not exhausted. Excellent day! 

Wednesday. Woke up in Ketchikan. Docked at pier—easy access. Took bus to Alaska Rain Forest Preserve and Raptor Center. Nice guided walk through the forest and wetlands. Raptor center rescue had 2 eagles and a great horned  owl. We got to take pix of owl and female bald eagle. Also guy carving totem pole. Part of me really wished I’d done the rip-lining--I think Suz did too. Would also have loved to spend more time in the store there—one of the few that appealed. I got 2 pair of sox—puffin and salmon. Back to boat to chaos for lunch. Everyone was trying to eat at the same time. Finally got us a table for 6 and had a so-so lunch w/ too many desserts. Not sure what I want to do this afternoon. We set sail at 1:00 and get to Victoria tomorrow afternoon. Long haul.  

Long nap, then yoga and walk. Felt better. Dressed for dinner and had drinks in the Oceans bar. Dinner at Eko’s table again, Oliver as sommelier. Two cosmos. Big dinner “do” that was pretty cheesy. Servers had to dance around and present our napkins and salads. Then I had crispy duck that wasn’t crispy, but orange peel sauce was good. Baked Alaska parade. Back to the room and sleep. Towel arrangement was monkey hanging in middle of room w/ my sunglasses. 

Thursday. Lost an hour—back to Pacific time. Went up for breakfast. Saw 3-4 baby or adolescent dolphins beside boat. Stan went to disembarkation meeting while I walked the deck. No jacket, just light sweater—very invigorating. We don’t get to Victoria until 7 pm, so we’ll eat early on the boat and then go ashore and walk around. No gardens or anything. Last dinner w/ Eko and Oliver. My dinner included nice beet, apple and goat cheese appetizer, in citrus sauce.  Went to Victoria, where it was drizzling. Walked a bit w/ Ralph and Stan and then took shuttle bus back to boat. Went up for late night snack. Weird: most people were eating dinner food. Roast beef, meat loaf, etc. We had dessert, put luggage out and went to bed. 

Friday.  Got up early for breakfast.  We had an 8 am disembarkation. Van driver showed up! We were off to the airport in plenty of time. A little late leaving SeaTac, but enough time in Newark, especially as flight was delayed.  Long, long day already and will be much longer by the time we get home….