Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day #2 Alaska Vacation 2009 Sunday 5/10/09

Both Veronica and I are still dealing with the jet lag issues from our vacation. It was very different seeing it still daylight at 10PM and light at 4:15AM. It seems like we kept bouncing from one time zone to another. It will take a couple of more days to get back into our normal schedule. Now onto Day #2 of our Alaskan Vacation.
I got up early on this Sunday morning...it was around 5:15AM. We went down to the continental breakfast that the hotel has...it was not the best that we have ever had but it was not the worst either...it was free and that is what counts. After breakfast, around 8AM, we grabbed our cameras and headed down to Pikes Market, which was about 6 blocks from where our hotel was located. It was very busy due to it being Mothers Day. Veronica bought a Washington Rose Apple from one of the venders and something called honey sticks. Honey sticks are little plastic "straws" that are filled with different flavored honey...cinnamon, apple and peach to name just a few. During our return walk back to the hotel, we came upon a Tiffany & Co. store. Veronica loves Breakfast At Tiffany's and Audrey Hepburn, so it was mandatory that we get some photos of her in from of the Tiffany's window. I accidentally put those photos on yesterdays entry. We ended up back at the hotel around 10AM. We still had some time to waste until heading to the pier. About an hour later, we called a taxi and were picked up at the hotel for our brief ride to Pier 66, where the NCL Pearl was docked. It had arrived earlier that morning from a previous cruise to Alaska. The taxis dropped us off near the pier and there was a porter right there to snatch up all of our luggage and took it to a special room where it is screened and x-rayed. We were sent to another very large room where we showed our tickets, passports and a credit card for any additional charges that we accumulated on board. We also had our photos taken and were given our suite card key. We were on board within 1/2 hour or so after first arriving in the taxi. As we board, we were given champagne and/or orange juice. We were then taken to Cagney's, which is a "specialty" steak restaurant that has a surcharge at night. The Pearl has a couple of these surcharge "specialty" restaurants($25.00 a person additional charge. The food and service seemed to be better at these restaurants compared to the others(non-surcharge) on board. Any thing that cost extra on board, is charged to you on board account. Because we were in a suite, which is category AE or higher on the Pearl, we had special perks throughout the cruise, priority seating for the restaurants, could eat breakfast and lunch at Cagney's...no surcharge for those meals, a Butler and a Concierge plus a whole bunch of other niceties. Our Concierge was Karan Arora. Karan was absolutely fabulous..I will talk about him more as the trip continues. For lunch, Veronica had Sliders..small hamburgers and I had the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Crab Cakes. We ended up eating a lot of Shrimp Cocktail during this cruise. We were then told that our suite was ready for us. Our suite was really nice and had plenty of room for the 2 of us. They even had a small fridge built into one of the pieces of furniture. We requested that the fridge be emptied out of its pay bar set up so that we could put in our Coke Zero that we had purchased a bunch of the previous evening. After surveying our room briefly, we had to participate in an emergency drill muster. We had to put on our life jackets that we in our closet and head down to the Summer Palace Restaurant, where we met up with others from our muster group. While I was sitting at the table during this muster drill, I was looking around at people and I happened to notice someone whom I thought I had seen on a web site while I was at home. I had been doing research for the cruise and I stumbled upon a really cool web site about 4 people that cruise together and they tell about their journeys on their web site. The web site is called On The Seas I thought that I recognized Steve from a photo on the web site. So after the muster drill was completed and we were heading up the stairwell, I turned around and here was this guy that I thought I had recognized. So I turned around and asked him if his name was Steve and he said yes. I then explained about stumbling upon his web site. I am pretty sure that he was probably caught a little off guard by the whole introduction but he was really friendly and took it all in stride. He was traveling with Mathew, Gloria and Simone. We formally introduced ourselves to each other. We saw each other a couple of times on the cruise but we did not have any excursions together, which was a shame because they were all extremely friendly. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future. After getting back to our room, our baggage finally arrived and we unpacked and hung everything that needed to be hung up, put our clothes in the drawers, everything else in the bathroom and done with the whole thing in about 10 minutes. The ship was supposed to leave the pier at 4PM but it was delayed until 5:30PM. After taking many photos of the ship and trying to learn our way around and taking more photos of what we could see of Seattle from the ship, we headed to the Garden Cafe for dinner. The Garden Cafe is a large sprawling food buffet area with seating all over the place. The food wasn't bad. The had a great bread and salad bar. They served all kinds of food including Indian and food for other ethnic passengers. There was something to eat for everyone. After dinner, Veronica and I came back to our room and relaxed for a bit. Around 7:45 we headed out to go to the Stardust Theater. The Stardust Theater is a rather large theater where they have many shows and performances throughout the cruise. At the Stardust Theater we got our first glimpse of Simon. Simon is the super friendly and funny Cruise Director. We had seen Simon on a tv special that they had about the NCL Pearl...I think the show was called Big Money On The High Seas Inc. or something like that. Simon was a real character throughout the whole cruise and he was very enjoyable to watch and listen to. The show that night at the Stardust Theater was a bunch of "taster" shows that gave everyone an idea of what shows they had to look forward to during the cruise. We ended up getting back to the room around 10PM and called it a night. By this time the ship was well on its way and Seattle was nothing more than a little pin point behind us. When we got back to the suite, we noticed that we had turn down service, complete with little chocolate candies. I almost forgot to tell you...that upon our entering our suite, we had been given a bottle of Champagne, some horse dervies...those little finger foods, a fruit bowl and a flower arrangement. As it turned out, this was only the beginning of our being pampered and being treated like VIPs. That night, Veronica and I slept like babies...with the sliding balcony door open and the sound of the wake lulling us to sleepyland.






Veronica happily participating in the emergency muster drill, which was held in the Summer Palace Restaurant
Artwork that was in the main atrium of the ship
This is a photo of the Princess Star. The Star was underway from its pier, that was father down than the pier that the Pearl was dock at in Seattle. We would see this ship a couple of times during our cruise. Several ships have the same itinerary as we did and we would see these ships in various ports that we went to.
Seattle Space Needle taken from the deck of the Pearl
Seattle becoming a mere memory as we cruise away
This was a typical scene that you can see off in the distance from many areas of Seattle. Seattle was a really nice city and they have all of this natural beauty surrounding it. Can't be too hard waking up every morning to this type of scenery.


3 comments:

Barbra joan said...

Really enjoying the cruise Rick and the pictures too. Thanks . when V wakes up I'd like to hear from her.

kanmuri said...

Wow, sounds really exciting. Reminds me of my cruise in the Caribbean. We didn't have a suite, tho. Can wait to read the rest!!

Barry said...

I almost felt like I was there. I love that you bumped into a blogger that you recognized from their photo.

Can't wait for part 3!

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