Carrie's Adventures

Monday, August 20, 2007

The un-photographed events

I'm not sure why, but it seems that the events onboard the ship went unphotographed. In fact, I don't think we have 1 photo onboard between us all ~ however I may be mistaken. We did get up to a few nights out and this time, I was far more relaxed and available compared to the last time Beth came to visit.

We dined at the Speciality Restaurant ~ where we had an opportunity to gorge on a 4 course meal. Now coming from the Mess food, I am ALWAYS grateful to the dining experience here. Darci managed to select a bottle of wine that a) didn't break the bank and b) everyone enjoyed with the assistance of our sommilier. Boris was also good enough to treat us to the Riedel glasses and a sample of why certain wines belong in specific glasses. As we all sat at the table and mocked the need to put something in a glass that is slightly different, Boris brought out the stemware and we sat there and ate our words after we realized that yes ~ size and shape matter. The food was fantastic on both occassions and I think it is fair to say we managed to roll out of there.

Our other big night out was when Beth and Darci wanted to meet Bryan our Front Office Manager. So we had been attempting for 2 days to meet up. Frist drinks, then coffees, then finally we managed on the last night of the cruise to meet with him and his partner. We arranged to meet at the Martini bar where things started. After a few rounds of various martinis, the boys excused themselves and the girls continued on. This was quite the day as earlier in the day Darci and Beth had attended a Mixology seminar and had a pre-sampler of what the martinis in the Martini bar were like. As Beth caught a glimpse of the Bartender and noted 'he was the one from the class', Beth headed over to say hello. She then insisted that we migrate to the other side of the bar where she could show us her shaker catching skills. It was very Cocktail as she stood in the middle of the bar, slinging martini shakers around and Darci and I just ordered more... By the end of the evening, we realized, hey, they need to pack and I need to get up for embark tomorrow ~ we wandered to get the damages from my bill so we could settle up. I told them to wait. I printed the bill. I came back to find no Darci or Beth. So I checked their cabin, but alas, no answer. So I went home to call Akis. I would catch up with them tomorrow. They put in their wake up call for 7:50am. What I learned the next day however was Darci only left to go pee, and Beth decided that the couch in the Grand Foyer would be a great place to nap. So upon Darci's return to the Foyer, she found Beth taking a wee rest and then got her up and ready to go. The girls went on a search for me, calling my mobile phone from every public phone they could find ~ yes, requesting a call back. It is a good thing I was on the phone with Akis for a while otherwise, I think I would have been calling back the whole ship.

The next day was a bit rough. I ran into Bryan and all I could say was I should have left when he did. He monitors the guests as they disembark and once Beth and Darci left, he said to me, 'Oh, they didn't look impressed.' I made arrangements to meet the girls, Marc and Beth's dad Perry in the pier before they left just to say a quick hello to the boys. Marc, as always insisted on a photo. You can tell it was a quality photo, as Marc had to remove the colour. We look dead sexy don't we....

All in all, it was a great week with the girls ~ it's been a while since we have been able to sit around, drink and giggle. I think the last time might have been a Corona Patio or over some Thai food. Either way, was good to see them again.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Icy Straight

I had never been out here ~ Akis would look out and say, 'Ela, there are 4 buildings, what are we going to do here?' Alternatively the Cruise Director had said that Icy Straight was her favourite port, so who knows...

So after a failed attempt to get an excursion on the 4x4, we decided that we would take the $5.00 Hoonah shuttle and see what was in town. Perhaps we should have done a bit more research to realize that town was really only 800 people and that to call it a town might be rather generous. We sat on our 'school bus' and drove next to the water, heading into town, when the bus suddenly halted next to what appeared to be a Marina. We were then informed that this was infact Stop #3 and that he hadn't bothered to point out stops #1 and #2. Beth, Darci and I looked at each other and broke out into a 'you have to be freaking joking' grin. However the driver continued to advise us that he would pick us up at Stop #1 when we were ready to return and does everyone remember where the white building is? When we looked at him in disbelief, he continued to describe the stop as being the one next to the garbage can with the 'red lid'. Yes, that was our land marker...

So the girls and I wandered off the bus and wondered about the Asians firmly stationed in their seats, who clearly were not aware that this was the final stop, or chose to return to Stop #1 under the power of the bus.

The bus driver had told us that there was one place in town where you could do some souvenir shopping. It turned out to be about 4 times the size of my cabin, and with about as much stuff in it. The other alternative was to have lunch in town as one of the 2 fine dining establishments. Well, as I perused the menu, it reminded me of the snack bar you have at the movie theatre. Pizza on that spinny around thing with the hot light to keep the cheese from getting totally solid, the microwave to heat any frozen delight and mention that they would make you a ham sandwich. Passing on these gourmet delights, we wandered to the only other restaurant in town ~ and it took about 2 steps into the place which was smokey and Beth was on her way back out again. Can honestly say I only caught a glimpse of the menu, but what I saw didn't really look that appealling.

This was the second restaurant...

So the vote was unanimous to head back to the pier ~ there was a restaurant there and Beth was wanting Natchos. We wander through the pier and it is very well done up. Lots of tourist stores, and the quality seemed to be much superior to what we found in town. It is apparent that the pier is one of the major sources of income here.

We managed to find a restaurant on in the terminal and then balked at the limited menu ~ crab, fish and chips, a burger and fries.... oh and beer. We decided we would carry on to the other place, but alas, it was the same menu, different venue. Guess this saves on food costs, they can pool it all together and get a discount!

Needless to say, I have been out in Icy Straight and the fact that we have to tender to get there and we generally leave early means that I don't think I am in a great big rush to get off the ship again there...

Juneau and the Great Salmon Excursion

We opted to go out on an Excursion in Juneau. The excursion of choice was the Salmon Bake. I know, I know, where is the chicken?!? We had a sunny day which was fantastic, as they do have a rack of umbrellas just in case it isn't quite so nice. The transport on these tours always cracks me up ~ the school bus!

Once we arrived, we headed for the beer hut and then the food.

The topper was the firepit where we could roast marshmellows ~ no graham crackers and chocolate however, but it was entertaining to watch the techniques everyone employed to roast their 'mellow and then consume...

We wandered up the creek. Beth decided to pan for gold, perhaps to add to her jewellery business, but no luck.

The girls then headed out for some souvenir shopping. Gotta love Juneau.

The girls in Ketchikan

Akis' last day was the 15th. I was lucky to have some visitors to take my mind off the fact that I would now be on my own for 2 months. Beth and Darci did an excellent job of entertaining me for the week. I even had the bar bill to prove it!

First stop was Ketchikan ~ and the fish and chip hut.

Our big excursion other than the 'fish and chips' which Beth still is amazed I ate, was to Diamonds International. Beth, having taken some courses and is now certified, took to checking out the stock. The oohs and aahs came out for the 'hearts of fire' diamond which is apparently the most perfectly cut diamond. Not knowing much about diamonds, I was pretty much along for the ride. What I have learned is that they engrave the edge of the diamond, and the sparkle of the diamond is due to how it is cut. When you look at it ~ you actually see 8 mini hearts in the diamond. And yes, it really did look like this!!

We also wandered around town, taking photos and noticing that the souvenirs have not changed over the years.