Wednesday, August 20, 2008
As with the other "days a sea" I had pre-booked a spa treatment - bad move. As we cruised through majestic glaciers, the naturalist's voice boomed out over the loudspeaker, "...and there's another whale!" I perked up from the massage table as the masseuse tried to relax me, "Don't worry. You'll be seeing LOTS of whales." Even the day's "Princess Patter" newsletter recommends that you don't schedule any activities (people couldn't resist making Princess Patter jokes all week).
To celebrate the cruise through Glacier Bay, the ship set up a "Taste of Alaska" buffet.
Ice sculptures to celebrate the - ice
There were your usual shrimp and lox. The only real "Alaska" specialties were salmon and a venison pate. After our previous experience with venison, I wasn't going to even touch that. The deviled eggs were fantastic, made with the same combination of cream and marscapone used in the pastries.
I did become obsessed with the fruit carvings. They were cheerfully creepy.
This one scared me in a visceral JRR Tolkienesque way
Really, did they have to put glass eyes in them?
Too bad that class on fruit carving was so early in the morning. I will admit to flaking on every single class, activity, lecture, show and program offered. So maybe I missed a lot of the cruise experience. I just wanted to read and get spa treatments. The view from the balcony turned out to be so spectacular that on most days we just stared out at the scenery. Oh, and I took a lot of pictures of scenery - and food.
As I was staring out at the fantastic views of Glacier Bay, the booming voice shouted out, "We have orcas! You have no idea how special this is, folks. In 20 trips, we are lucky if we see orcas even once!" And lucky for me, the orcas were on our side of the ship. An orca sighting was one of my main hopes for this trip, so I was very excited and satisfied.
There was even wildlife on shore
Mary Ann noticed the similarity between the local native arts and the faces you could see in the abstract forms of the ice and rocks. At first I thought maybe the buffet had out the wrong kind of mushrooms in the pasta, but then I started to see them too.
Really, I would suggest trying to get a room on the starboard side of the ship when heading north, and port south (The opposite of the old European cruises - Port Out, Starboard Home = POSH). In Glacier Bay, the ship does turn around a lot to afford everyone as much of a view as possible, but for the rest of the trip, starboard was definitely the best side.
We saw minor "calving" but no gigantic icebergs. The blue ice was stunning.
That night was another formal night, but I decided to have a slice of white pizza and spent the evening on the internet (These blogs don't write themselves).