As I start this post, I'm in my cabin Aloha 724, taking a brief time out before heading back out on the deck of the ship. We're in Ketchikan today, one more sea day and then we disembark in Vancouver. Fingers crossed, I'll make it through security in time for my flight.
This morning (Thursday) I took a walk through the ship and snapped a few photos of areas on the ship I particularly like. I'm on the Majestic Princess, a ship built originally for the Asian market. All around the ship the signage is in English and Chinese characters.
In the center of the ship on decks 5, 6, and 7 is the Piazza. Most of the ships are built in Italy so despite the Asian influences the Piazza is a necessity.On each of the floors off the Piazza are various services, restaurants, bars, shops, the internet Cafe, guest services, just to name a few.
In the Piazza on deck 5 each afternoon there is live music. It's a pleasant spot for a beverage and a sit. Assuming, of course you can find a seat.
On this cruise that doesn't seem to be an issue. The ship generally averages 3400 passengers, however on the way north we had a little over 1800, and southbound, a few over 2000. Thus the ship doesn't feel crowded at all.
To be honest I haven't spent much time inside. Even with fewer passengers I'm avoiding close contact as much as possible. More on that in another post.
One of my favorite spots on the ship is the seating area on the aft deck 16, outside the Marketplace (a fancy name for the buffet area). It was a busy place in the late afternoon but I often had it to myself, with a couple of waiters, for lunch and those days it was warm enough to enjoy breakfast.
Another favorite area, for watching the glaciers, or looking for wildlife, or simply relaxing with a book was an area forward on deck 7.Again it seemed to be an area that few others found...or maybe they were staying indoors. Not me! The fresh air and the views kept me outdoors most days. It helped that with the exception of Juneau as we traveled north, and Glacier Bay going south we had very little rain. Mornings were often overcast but the skies cleared by noon.
When it was cool, I did spend some time in the Hollywood Conservatory. No idea why it is called that. It was a nice quiet space, deck 17 forward, where one could watch the sea for whale spouts. This was an adults only area, though this cruise there were only a few children on board.
The one flaw I found was the food. For the first week I ate in one of the main dining rooms with sit-down service. The food was presented nicely, tasted fine, but hot and cold foots were often tepid. In one instance I sent dinner back as the fish was cold and oily. There was one superb meal, the evening I dined at Bistro Sur le Mar. This is one of the specialty restaurants, with a surcharge. My lovely travel agent, L treated me!
The second week I ate mostly at the buffet. There wasn't a while lot of variety day to day, but enough items on the menu that I always found something to enjoy. This experience is unlike my previous cruises and I suspect has much to do with supply chain issues and fewer staff than normal.
And since I didn't cruise for the food but rather the scenery and the ports this did not hamper my enthusiasm and enjoyment at all.
It's now late afternoon Friday. I'm back on the aft.of deck 16 enjoying the sunshine and watching the ship's wake. My suitcase is packed, I've checked in for my flight, there are just a few items left for my carry-on.
Time to hit post, find some dinner, and settle in for what will likely be a restless night. No matter how often I travel I have difficulty sleeping the night prior. Excitement and worry that I'll sleep through the alarm, miss my ride to the airport, etc. Hasn't happened yet.
And just like that someone hollered whale, and I turned and saw the spout. Saying so long dor now.