Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cruising Alaska!!

Here is the story of my Alaskan cruise. This was my first cruising experience and I’m going to admit I was a little nervous at the outset. I wasn’t really sure what to expect and I was worried about gaining 15 pounds during the week since I do have a serious problem saying no to food that is placed in front of me. Also, since it was just Stacey and I, I was a bit anxious about my ability to entertain her and make sure she had a good time as well.

Luckily most of my worries were unnecessary. I did eat a lot, but exercised almost every day and I’d like to think that kept the weight gain to a minimum. And Stacey was great about not needing to be entertained, plus we met some really great people throughout the cruise, which helped break up the monotony my constant presence can create.

So, here we go:

Day 1 – Disembarkation

I am a horrible packer and I can never seem to motivate myself to pack the night before a trip. (I blame this on my sister Cynthia because I remember her first trip to Girls Camp…..She packed 4 months early and when she got back she had miraculously found her journal, her scriptures and some other things she had been unable to locate for 4 months.) We left at 9:00, which meant I got up at 5:00(ish) to pack everything (and by everything I mean practically everything I own…because you never know what you will need on a trip!)

We loaded everything into the car and lovely Mary Ann took us to the airport. At check-in I found that my suitcase was overweight (shocking…I know) but we shuffled some books and stuff around and only annoyed a handful of people with our delays. Stacey tried to sneak a bottle of water onto the airplane and got detained by airport security. But we eventually boarded our plane and were off to Seattle.

My amazing friend Michelle came to pick us up (thanks Dixon for watching the kids). We went for a quick lunch and then headed for Pier 91 and Holland America’s ship The Zaandam. During our loading process there was a brief moment of passport trauma (Stacey had renewed hers but the security person didn’t like how it was done….and I had forgotten to sign mine). Then we were invited to board the good ship and find our stateroom.

We had picked a room with a window…which I was very grateful for. We went on a quick tour of the place. Found the dining areas, gym, lounges, and casino…all very important (except maybe the casino). We decided to not go to the formal dinner that first night and in stead went to the Lido buffet. The food was good and plentiful.

When we returned to our room, we started watching “Lost in Austen”. Stacey made it about 20 minutes and was out cold. (It was 7:00 at night….so you can understand her exhaustion.) I was reading the new Sookie Stackhouse novel (it was only okay…but it had some great Erik parts).

This is about the time that I discovered that despite my careful packing, there was one thing I did forget….a watch. So pretty much the most common sentence heard the entire week was “what time is it?” and most of the time we had to ask someone else.

Anyway, Stacey never really regained consciousness. She would wake up every once in a while and say something slightly rude. Once I had gotten up to look out the window and she rolled over and told me to stop looking at her. Oh…and then I ordered some room service since we had talked about doing that…ordering some cheese and crackers and chocolate chip cookies. So, I’m ordering that and decide to get a sandwich as well, Stacey makes no movement until I hang up and she says “What if I had wanted something?” and rolled over. Later when she woke up to get ready for bed, she didn’t remember any of it. Evidently she talks in her sleep ☺.

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