Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Alaska #1 -- July 16, 2008

We just got back from a cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back (thank Heaven) to celebrate the in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary. I thought I'd write about it one day at a time.
On Sunday, July 6, a car came and picked us up at 11am. The driver took us to Pier 35. An ILWU porter grabbed our bags and explained "I'll go through that door and you'll go through this door." We went in and got in line. We had to show our passports and we received simple forms to fill out.
We sat in a small waiting area while filling out the forms, then got into another line, which went quickly. We got checked in there and sent over to another area, where they took a group of us and boarded us. We found an elevator to deck 8, and followed the signs through the pizza place, the atrium, and the casino to our room.
My wife was shocked to see how small it was. My daughter couldn't see her bed. I explained that the room had not been made up yet. The view out our window looked between lifeboats 14 and 16.
We met the in-laws and went to the buffet for lunch.
The safety drill was all on recorded audio. There were three muster stations on deck 7, in the lobby of the theatre forward, in the Atrium amidships, and in the Vista Lounge at the stern. That was our station. We grabbed our life preservers and headed down there. The captain announced more than once that people should make sure not to drag their straps. We put on the vests at the end and they encouraged us to take photos.
We went to deck 14 (there is no 13) for the sail away party. I was looking forward to watching as we sailed under the bridge. We waited and waited after the 5pm time we were supposed to sail. Captain Marco Fortezze (a Genoese) announced that all passengers were aboard, but they were looking for a member of the crew. We had to head down for our 5:30 dinner seating.
We sat at our table with the in-laws and a nice couple from Stockton. The waiter and assistant waiter, Valentino and Raul, were very good. The food was fancy, but not all of it was thrilling.
Later we unpacked in the cabin. The trip was rough and my daughter was a little unwell. She didn't sleep well as the ship started to porpoise as we ran north against the current.
I took the photo of Dawn Princess' builder's plate on 09-July-2008. Even though she is only 11 years old, she is considered to be too old and too small.
Tomorrow: A day at sea.

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