Back to Alaska, Part 2!
When we last left our plucky adventurers, they had just boarded the Regal Princess, preparing to set sail for northern waters on their 10-day Alaskan cruise. Little did they know .....
They had entered the Floating Home Shopping Network!!!!! *ominous music here*
Yes, dear friends, a cruise ship is one big and easy way to spend cashola. It's constantly pushed at you - Buy this gaudy jewelry! But expensive fine art! Buy a fur! Buy drinks! Buy a future cruise!
And there was almost nothing else to do until we got to Sitka. On Thursday. And we started sailing on Monday. And it rained nearly the entire way.
Oh my god!
To be honest, I really don't remember what we did on Monday evening. Oh! I made an appointment for a manicure, which ended up costing $44 (piracy indeed). And we had our first dinner, which wasn't bad. Our table companions were are very nice people, including one fabulous 11-year-old named Rachel. Wonderful young woman. Sadly, I remember very little about what we ate. Honestly, I was not impressed with the food on the ship. It was ok, but not anything nearly as good as I have had elsewhere. I remember only a few dishes over the course of the cruise. The escargot, which was great (how can anything in garlic butter be bad?). An Alaskan Rock Fish, mild and tender. Poached peaches with an almond souffle - damn good! And I tried and enjoy Morbier and dulce leche cheese. But other than that, it was, well, mostly plain. No seasoning. I mean, I understand they are cooking for an older crowd, but no seasoning at all. I had one curry dish that had no flavor, although it was bright yellow. The pasta was decent but not spectacular. My primary goal the entire trip was to have a piece of toast that was warm enough to melt butter. It never happened.
And that was eating in the dining room, where the food was ten times better than the buffet. I was in shock listening to people rave about the buffet. Truly, too many people eat so quickly they don't taste what they are eating. It is quantity versus quality.
Well, between the time we got on board and the time we got to Sitka on Thursday morning, Mom and I did pretty much nothing, as there was nothing much to do. Other than to buy things, attend boring art auctions (listening to the auctioneer was like watching paint dry - painfully boring and slow), paint your own ceramics, and Pictionary in the bar. We did see one high school musical style review of the history of early rock n' roll. I purchased an infamous un-Savvy Traveler (more about that later) Boring boring!
We had our first formal dinner, and I must say that Mom and I were totally cute.
Needless to say, however, we were terribly excited for land ho! on Tursday morning. That morning, I had gotten up early to go and get some coffee upstairs in the buffet. I was so excited to see land that I needed to sit down. One older woman sitting alone at a table that could hold ten seemed like a nice place to start. And when I asked her if I could sit across from her, she screamed, "No! Get away!" So I did. Land ho! Sitka on the horizon...