Links to Vancouver photos and videos from the cruise

5-27-08

We got to the cruise port a little before noon, and were among the first in line to board the ship. As always, the embarkation process was quick and painless, and within no time I was in possession of my Bon Voyage glass of champagne. Lis had accidentally left some of our hotel documentation with the singer who checked us in (more on this in a minute), so she went back out to get it (she didn’t have champagne yet) and I sat and waited at a table just inside the gangway, sipping champagne and people watching, which was quite pleasant. I was right across from the coffee bar (it’s got some official name, but I forget) – a very handsome room. The whole ship is really pretty and very spruced up. When we were on the Navigator in 05, she was very pretty but worn in places – not the Mariner. I’m always surprised by how much prettier ships are in person than the pictures you see on line.

All of the people doing the check in where singers or dancers from the Production Staff, with two or three people from a different dept (guest services?) moving from person to person answering questions and helping with the computer. Our singer, Alicia (an alto, I read later), said that this was their first time doing the check in. I asked if this was a one time thing, or if they were going to be doing this from now on. She said “We’re probably going to being it from now on” and while she was perfectly appropriate and non-whiney, I got the distinct impression that this was a new and not-appreciated development. I longed to ask her more questions about it, but didn’t want to put her on the spot. I wonder if they’re squeezing more work out of the staff to try to make up for rising fuel costs or something…

Anyway, lunch was great, and then we went up to the Observation Lounge (forward on Deck 12) to pass the time until we could get in to our room. We watched seagulls and ships in Burrard Inlet and practiced our Spanish (which we are attempting to learn in preparation for a trip to Mexico that we hope to take soon).

Around 2:30 we were able to go to our room – it’s very lovely, as usual, and the weather had cleared by then to a gorgeous afternoon, so after putting our clothes away we were able to sit on our balcony and read all our cruise documentation (Passages, room service menu, etc) until dinner. At one point I looked up and there was a seal just hanging in the water, watching the tug boats and barges service the ship. I called Lis (she was still putting her stuff away) and we watched him for a bit until he dove down out of sight. We forgot to bring binocs (unforgivable on an Alaska cruise – I blame hormones), so we’re hoping maybe we can pick some up soon.

We dined in the main dining room, and dinner was very good. I loved our waiter so much that I’m going to try to be seated at his table for the rest of the cruise anytime we eat in Compass Rose. Prior to dinner, we talked to the Maitre’d about Lis’ diet – she’s lactose intolerant and hypoglycemic, so can’t have dairy or sugar. He spent all sorts of time with us, getting everything squared away. Regent handles Lis’ diet better than any other line we’ve been on. Every other line tells her what she can’t have, but Regent gives her menus the night before and says “Circle what you want and we’ll make it for you.” Very nice.

After dinner Lis went to the room and got ready for bed (we are 9-o’clock-bedtime girls in general), and I went up on deck to take some pictures of the harbor in twilight. And now it’s time to get ready for bed and read all about VictoriaJ