Toughs Travels travel blog

The Ships swimming pool.

One of the bars - the Colony Club.

Carolyn patiently waiting for a drink!

One of the private dining rooms.

The main theatre for lectures and shows.

Lifeboat drill!

Leaving Vancouver going under the Lions Bridge.

The first (of many) bottle of wine on our balcony!

Some pretty lighthouse on the way North.

The promenade deck - the red stripe is the jogging track -...

Up the Inside Passage - yes, that's really what it's called!

Picture perfect.

Carolyn on our large balcony.

In Ketchikan, sea planes are a normal mode of transport.

The Harbour piles in Ketchikan have some unusual tops.

And again!

A Totem Pole - every home should have one!

Up Creek Street - yes, that's true!

And to prove it!

Neil tried to join - but he's not Improved enough!

More sea planes.

The Aleutian Ballad - star of the Discovery Channel - "The Deadliest...

The large Crab pots.

For large Alaskan King Crabs!

Plenty of meat in those legs!

A Cone Pot - these are easier to store on board -...

Neil with "lunch".

The crew said there was beer in this barrel.

But they lied - and Octopus!

From the Aleutian Ballad our ship and our balcony is the one...

Carolyn posting Postcards home to Scotland.

Next day dawns and Carolyn has breakfast on the aft deck.

Cruising The Inside Passage.

Friday 8th July 2011

So, after our hassle we get on the “Radiance of The Seas” a Royal Caribbean Line ship – and it is nice. Lots of polished wood and brass – nice furnishings and fittings and our Stateroom has a larger than normal balcony. Now just how much use a balcony will be in Alaska is questionable! Still at least we can get out and feel the air!

As you may know on cruise ships all the food and tea, coffee etc is included but not the demon alcohol (sadly says Carolyn). And you are not allowed to bring booze on board – so no use in stocking up on the duty frees!

The first thing we do on board is grab some lunch – a nice healthy salad concoction from the buffet and no drink – only water!

Then we have a wander round some of the 12 accessible decks to get the lie of the land – yes find out where the nearest bar is! Not far is the answer!

The ship leaves at 4.30pm and we make full use of the balcony to watch Vancouver disappear in the distance.

We have not booked into any of the main restaurants tonight and so it’s back to the buffet – though we do manage a bottle of wine on the balcony before hand – ah the joys of Stateroom service.

Saturday 9th July 2011

We awake to find a calm morning with fog and mist patches, but this soon clears and we have a gloriously sunny day. So much so that it’s sunbathing weather round the pool – and yes we did venture in.

Today we steam North up the Inside Passage heading for Ketchikan, Alaska and with the excellent weather the scenery is stunning.

One of the many onboard entertainment/lectures is on entitled “Enrichment Lecture – Memory the Weakest Link” – so we go along to see if we can learn anything and then remember it! And it’s pretty good – about 60 folk turn up and Linda Sasser talks for about an hour. Carolyn does well at recalling a 10 digit number, when apparently for most of us seven is the best we can normally do and then we are given a short task to remember a grocery list for her next talk. And she uses PAVE – Pay Attention, Associate, Visualise, Elaborate. Quite interesting.

Tonight is the Captain’s drinks party and formal dinner. Do we get dressed up and go? Free drink – what! Of course we go.

And it’s quite fun. The Captain gives a talk – and some folk beside us are talking so loudly that we cannot hear, so I ask them to be quiet – How not to win friends and influence people! But it does get them to shut up!

At dinner we sit next to a nice Canadian couple – Gerry and Donna – and he’s a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Mounties) and we have a good chat.

Sunday 10th July 2011

We arrive in Ketchikan early in the morning and so by the time we crack open the curtains the ship is tied up alongside the pier – along with four other large cruise ships – boy the locals must love us!

We go for a wee walk round the town and “The Married Man’s Trail” – What? You don’t know what it is – Ah, that’s your homework for tonight! And then spy some Salmon trying to make it upstream – big fish too.

Then as you might expect there are tours a plenty the passengers can go on – and for this port we have selected a “Bering Sea Crab Boat” – as in the Aleutian Ballad boat featured in the Deadliest Catch on The Discovery Channel! And it’s a great tour – clearly the weather helps – but the crew are informative, enthusiastic and funny! Excellent day out.

Then Carolyn suggests a Beer ashore – foolish not to is the reply – just to help the local economy you understand!

Talking of which – did you know that Alaska as a State, has such a large surplus of income (thanks to oil) over expenditure, that each man, woman and child resident in the state for 6 months gets a hand out from the State of US $ 3,269 per annum. So, a family of four has $13,076 income before doing anything – However, Alaska is a long way from anywhere and getting anything here is a bit of a job!

Back on board attend another “Memory” lecture – this one on stuff like Absentmindedness and False Memories. Later we have another excellent dinner in the main dining room – though Carolyn chose Strawberry Bisque as a starter – which was a little strange! (And not to be repeated!)

More next time.

Copyright Neil Tough@2911

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