This is actually our first full day in Prague. Not the first time we have ever been here, mind you but …. never mind, all I am doing is increasing the confusion. It does seem like most on this adventure arrived in Europe yesterday straight from the US. As we gathered in the lobby this morning for an included 3 hour walking tour of the city there were more than a few yawns gracing faces.
[Side note – even in this well educated group there seems to be a bit of obliviousness about virus transmission and its lack of respect for “people on vacation” in spite of the warning from both guides about people on previous trips not getting past the first stop or getting stuck in a hotel for 10-14 days at the end of the trip before being allowed into the US. People take vacations, viruses don’t]
Our hotel is within 3 blocks of the division between old town and older town. I hesitate to say “new” as the implication of new begs the reality of new = 1400s…
So there we are, a gaggle of primarily western dressed adults following a behind one of those ubiquitous tour signs on a stick. I guess it is better than following an umbrella on a sunny day. I lasted about 90 minutes, which is actually pretty good for my tolerance of groups before heading back to the hotel. I just might have also been influenced by increasing crowds and my camera battery deciding to die. I tolerate crowds better if I wield a camera. A phone just doesn’t provide the same security. Also, the further we walked into the main pedestrian zones, the more crowded the area. Let me just say that there are those who believe that being outside, no matter how crowded negates needing masks… All though on the decrease, the daily number of new COVID cases here is neither negligible or insignificant.
My plan is to head out fairly early in the morning to capture the few pictures that I really wanted.
Meanwhile – updates on stitching…
Pattern, fabric 18ct aida and specialty floss all from Forbidden Fiber Co
Next – what looks like a small start but is actually over 800 stitches
The fabric is a 16ct Aida from Fortnight Fabrics, the floss is 10247 – dark blue jeans from Threadworx and the pattern is Leo Rising from LongDog Samplers. (about 160 wide by 295 if I am remembering correctly. 29k total stitches….
There are times when what seems like a more expensive alternative proves to be the most cost effective. Let me explain – George had booked an early flight to Prague this morning. Early meaning 0825. Now, that doesn’t seem all that early to someone who has flown out of OAK at 0630 or SFO at a similar time. But both of those trips involved being dropped at the airport by a family member or being able to take a Lyft to the airport as BART doesn’t run early enough to safely make those flights.
Heidelberg is an hour south of the Frankfurt Airport on a good day whether traveling via train or car. If we had attempted to take the 0530 shuttle bus (and nothing had gone wrong) it would have left us with less than two hours to navigate a particularly large and complex airport in order to catch our flight. If anything had gone wrong? Well, cheap flights can only be re-booked so many times…. And based on our extremely recent train experience, I wasn’t willing to attempt that either. Having to be up and about at 0330 in the morning sort of takes away any advantage to the cheaper hotel now doesn’t it?
Anyway, there we were, staying at the Hilton Garden Inn. Lovely, clean and shiny and part of the long distance train complex. It was a matter of just a few minutes to head down to the main concourse, across the overpass to Terminal A and get checked in. Cheap flights don’t include checked bags, even with significant airline status – so lesson learned on that one. In most circumstances, gate-check is fine but when they contain sharp & pointy objects? Not so much.
The security lines were horrible, worse than any US airport I have had the misfortune to experience in the last decade or so. It wasn’t that the lines didn’t move; this is Germany – they are organized, efficient and have serious upgraded technology. But when you have incredible levels of passenger flow, even the best system deliver enough bins to waiting passengers. Funny to think of bins as slowing everything down – but when you want everything placed in a bin – and electronics separate from suitcases, purses, carry-ons, and clothing it means that the average person uses at least three….
So, even staying within a 15 minutes walk and leaving the hotel early, there was still less than an hour before boarding time when we managed to find each other after security and head into the lounge for some much needed coffee.
The flight itself was only 45 minutes once we finally took off. It was interesting that, inspire of being a full flight, there was less in the overhead bins than on the average Southwest Airlines flight. Germans and Czechs actually take advantage of “check bags for free” offers. Go figure!
Bags picked up, we headed out of the terminal, picked up a taxi and headed to the hotel. Also discovered that the Czech Republic doesn’t use the Euro… which is something that I should have known/checked/figured out… We are staying at the Hotel Cosmopolitan right near the river. (Here is the link just in case you were interested. It is lovely and they were able to let us check in early which was much appreciated. Apparently not needing a room with two beds made the difference (? reservations made by the travel agency based on us having different last names?).
George went for a walk in the afternoon, I took a walk and stitched for a while. There are only 31 people total in the travel group including the river cruise (on a ship which probably accommodates ~ 150 if our past experiences are any indication). The travelers are from several alumni organizations and a Smithsonian tour. There are only two others, from the LA area, who booked through CAL).
So at the end of the day, we are in Prague. The hotel is great; there might just be some interesting people in the group. The lecturer furnished through the Smithsonian is actually from The Economist currently working out of Italy and the two “tour guides” are from Ireland and Bulgaria respectively.
When we started out this morning, I hadn’t realized just what all was on our list of tasks for the day. Not just packing up and heading to Frankfurt for our flight tomorrow morning, but all in-between.
Now, none of us with any sense are going to place getting coffee and pastries on that list – breakfast being one of those necessities of life for many. Me? Coffee. Beyond that, eating something early in the morning was pretty optional. So, we packed up everything, just to be on the safe side. From where we were staying, it wasn’t going to be more than a few blocks over to the Post where I had two packages to send.
George remembered a small bakery near the new Synagogue which supplied the challah on Fridays. It was still open, had coffee to go and pastries. It also had a wobbly table which seemed to delight in tipping with minimal touch and spilling coffee… From there, it was only ½ a block back to the Post where I sent off the two boxes to a fellow stitcher in the Netherlands. It should have been one box, but as I was packing the fabric forward to me from Idaho, I couldn’t resist adding a few items. You might just say that I t got a bit carried away and added some floss, fiber, patterns, a bit more fabric along with a few stitching toys. Mailing from Germany was by far cheaper than from the US and also completely avoided the whole issue of customs. Never let it be said that there aren’t a lot of good things about the EU…
From there we hiked to the main pedestrian zone. George had ordered a book or so the other day which were due in today. Plus, they had a nice children’s book section. I made a detour into Karstadt – one can never have too many knitting needles or embroidery hoops…
Did I mention that George packs books for trips like I pack stitching supplies? I think he just might be out of room. And his hobbies weigh a lot more than mine….
Then it was lunch with business associates of George’s.
And dropping off a book requested from a member of our Friday night Minyan from ten years ago.
And heading all the way down the other end of the pedestrian zone to have coffee and cake with another family we have known since the kindergarten days of our three youngest.
By this time, it was almost 1600 and I was wiped. After hiking back to the hotel to claim our luggage, it became obvious that we were facing yet another challenge. When you don’t have a phone, you can’t call a taxi. It wasn’t that eight blocks was all that far to walk to the train station – it was more that we were both tired and a bit cranky. But the rain had stopped. I will say that much positive.
Stomped to the train station with backpacks and rolling cases. fought the ticket machine to a draw, caught the regional train to Mannheim where we had yet another packed ICE to Frankfurter Flughafen.
I think there was chocolate for supper…..
Today was our chance to walk around the Aldstädt, visit a few friends, and otherwise relax. Completely ignoring how wiped out I was from the time zone changes, it was a lovely day.
We had lunch with a friend who had children in the same kindergarten as ours back in the 1993-1995 time frame. I met with a long standing friend from my knitting group (10+ years ago) and passed along some spinning fiber along with a couple of skeins of yarn. Walked around the city, occasionally looking up.
(sorry, for whatever reason photos are not loading to the server at the present).
George had a lovely evening with his Stamtisch – a group of mostly dads who started meeting when the kids were in kindergarten. A few have been lost over the years (we are all getting older) and there have been additions.
I packed up those things which need to go out in DHL in the morning, watched the UCSF Medicine Grand Rounds and crashed.
The main challenge with flying east (at least from any time zone of GMT – ) is the loss of time. In our case, it was nine hours that effectively vanished in the blink of an eye. Or not, as the plane flight takes the same length of time regardless of what the clock might be telling me.
As I mentioned, we were a bit late in taking off. As it turned out, the plane was a 747 that had obviously been recently upgraded. Our seat were on the upper deck When I thought about it, it was obvious why first class is not the upper deck. There is a rather narrow stair case that connects the upper deck with the main passenger area. It is not even remotely accessible to anyone with mobility challenges. But it was quiet and the food was good.
But that nine hours, just gone. My body was telling me in no uncertain terms that it was 0200 in the morning when we landed. Not that anyone around me would have agreed. I voted for the lounge, coffee and maybe a snack before we headed to baggage claim. Taking that break was followed by one of the longest terminal walks it has been my misfortune to experience. before we finally arrived to a completely empty Passport Control. I got my stamp, George pulled out his visa and was waived through. From there it was just a short jaunt to baggage claim.
In spite of my delay, our baggage wasn’t yet on the carousel. From there, it was out the door, across the street, up an elevator and another walk before getting to the long distance train station. Not sure why I was surprised at the markedly increase in train prices. Perhaps I am just used to the relatively low price of BART as a senior. Anyway – jammed ICE to Mannheim, local train to Heidelberg. Taxi to the hotel.
I crashed, George went to Aldi….
And tomorrow we will visit with friends, hand over yarn and fiber, find some DHL boxes to mail off fabric to the Netherlands and pass along a book to a friend.
Sounds like a fun day.
Why United Airlines uses this particular name for its Business Class lounge is beyond me. Have I commented on this before? It would have been a long time ago, perhaps several years given COVID and all of that.
Anyway – Polaris is a snowmobile, or the company that makes them, along with motorcycles, ATVs, and
“neighborhood electric vehicles,” Do you suppose that last one means garden mobiles and golf carts? The name was first tacked on to a particular star in the northern hemisphere constellation of Ursa Minor (bear here) and can be referred to as the North Star or Northern Pole Star.
What this has to do with United Airlines which isn’t base North, has nothing to do with being a shining star and doesn’t run extremely strong A/C is beyond me. But anyway – the Lounge here at SFO is the Polaris Lounge.
It has power points, reasonably comfortable chairs, food, drink, restrooms, and the other amenities one would expect. Besides United, it serves the other members of the Star Alliance (perhaps a source of the name) here at SFO. We (George & I) are hanging out here because we arrived at the airport a reasonable amount of time prior to our flight’s scheduled departure. Said departure being delayed almost two hours which we think is related to a delayed arrival time from Frankfurt. Guess is based on George getting an SMS at 0300 or so in the morning which would line up with 9 hours time change and a delayed take off.
In any case, the plane looks to be a 747 and we are seated in the upper deck. Ought to be interesting. I figured out what to pack, finished organizing this morning and need to download a couple more audiobooks for the flight, just so I have a choice….
Today California – tomorrow Germany….
in the morning. Or early afternoon as the case may be. SFO to Frankfurt on Lufthansa. This is a rebooked, rebooked trip from last August which became Sept/Oct which was put off till this spring. I think that we might have been able to continue to slide the flight, but there doesn’t seem to be much point.
The original trip was to cruise the Danube River again plus spend time in Prague and Sofia. I am not holding my breath as to the quality of the cruise but the scenery will be stunning as always. I am not sure how many (if any) of the included excursions I am going to bother with in favor of wandering around towns on my own. It is not like I haven’t been to a few of these locations before.
But first – we will spend Wed (arrival day) in Heidelberg to Friday night. We fly again early Sat morning from Frankfurt to catch the ship. On the far end, we fly back to Frankfurt and have a couple of days before heading back to SFO on the 7th. It was just today that George informed me that he was spending those couple of days visiting relatives. Okay…. and now I have a couple of days in which I have nothing planned. I could go back to Heidelberg. I could go to München. I could find cheap digs in Frankfurt. I could just wander around….
It is that time of year again.
The cherries have arrived!
In fact, they probably have been available at Berkeley Bowl for a week or so. But George brought home almost 2kg of cherries.
That might just last me till we fly on Tues…
which are just starting to open.
And it wasn’t just one lovely bouquet. I have three! There is a vase of bright colored blooms in the living room next to my stitching chair. The large vase on the dining room table and the one pictured above which is gracing my sewing table/desk came from Shana & Miriam.
Just a little bight of bright and appreciation.
It was quite dark when I awoke. After failing to find my phone so that I could check the time, I grabbed a scone, a glass of juice and went upstairs to my craft disaster. After all, having some nice quiet time to stitch was just the thing.
A short time later, after finishing the scone and thinking about ordering coffee (which would involve a run to Peet’s) I checked the time….. no wonder it was dark. Just after 2 am as a matter of fact. Totally insane to be up and certainly too early to be drinking coffee.
I headed back downstairs and went back to bed.
Otherwise, the As managed to lose another game. I made serious progress on this month’s Zodiac Girl (Taurus) getting to 66% (which number includes the presence of beads which I am not doing right now) According to my ball park calculations – that leaves me about 800 stitches to go for this month.
Today was my usual last day of sea for a cruise. I packed early so that I would have the rest of the day free. After thinking about it for oh, about five seconds, I ignored the whole issue of luggage tags in favor of just walking off with my suitcase. Somehow, checking a bag on a plane flight doesn’t bother me, but having my luggage disappear into the maws of the ship perhaps never to emerge again (or to be crushed under other people’s stuff) really bothers me.
I spent a quiet day stitching, then had dinner again at Cagney’s with one of my new cruise friends (her last coupon) before planning on early to bed.
I felt like it was another one of those announcements that is phrased as helpful but totally trashes your plans. Like the Pennsylvania Turnpikes “improvements for your safety and connivence” follow by the “no guard rails” sign. In this case NCL gleefully informed us we would be docking at the new WONDERFUL terminal. It is only 7 miles out of town. And, the courtesy bus is free. Right O. Add in riding on a crowded bus, possibly losing 20 minutes each way, what is not to like? Right?
Part of it is because I have no clue how many of the 800 people on this ship are going to want to take the shuttle bus. We are in town for only about five hours. I am hoping that most folks are either on tour or staying on ship. I also haven’t a clue how the shuttle bus handles scooters, chairs, and walkers. And there are a lot of individuals on this ship with mobility assisting devices.
Now, in case you are wondering why I am grumpy, there is a perfectly fine dock right in the center of the old town which lets us off about 100 meters from a great coffee shop. There is a quilt shop down the street, bookstore two streets over and…. Never mind, you get the whine. And if I didn’t want to look for some quilt fabric featuring sea otters for a friend, I probably wouldn’t be bothering to head to town at all.
Well, made it to town. Found fudge, found magnets still on sale for a couple of the crew. Quilt store was open – but found only one panel of fabric that had anything that looked like an otter on it. Picked up two spools of thread I like. As it turns out made in Canada means that it is not easy to find in the US.
Stopped at the bookstore, then headed back to the ship. As it turns out, the bus ride was fine both ways. The drivers were entertaining (and long standing Ketchikan residents). The drive was interesting in terms of seeing something outside the tourist portion of town. And no one is happy about Walmart moving in and putting a number of mom&pop stores out of business. Interesting perspectives about living somewhere that salmon is a cheap food….
off to relax – tomorrow is a sea day and we dock in Vancouver on Monday. No internet till then…
We sailed all the way to the Marjorie Glacier which is 21 miles long and comes into the fjord at right angles to the Grand Pacific Glacier which clocks in at 35 miles long. As rivers go, that isn’t all that impressive. But as massive sheets of ice grinding slowly and unstoppably forward with a depth at one time that was over 4000 ft … (All this is in Imperials measurements due to them being provided by the park rangers on the tannoy. The park rangers are not shy, pushing a clear message of environmental change and responsibility. I am just not up for converting to real numbers).
My cabin is on the Port side and far forward for which I am more than grateful today. As we slowly drift toward the mountain wall, Majorie Glacier appears more clear. I can see follow her backwards into the mountains as she travels downwards and curves around the peaks. The Grand Pacific Glacier doesn’t have that wonderful blue crystalline front appearance being covered with all the dirt and rocks which it has picked up on its journey toward the fjord.
Mostly what I have are pictures.
On the way up Glacier Bay
and then the Grand Pacific coming into the end of the bay
which doesn’t look all that exciting.
There were the usual tiny bits of ice floating…
and then we traveled back out on our way to Ketchikan – which included dozens more of small glaciers, some melting snow and amazing scenery.
and, then there is the LongDog Sampler – You Belong to Me which is now ABB – all but Backstitch. Stitched on 16 ct Scroll by BeStitchMe with 4067 Sulky bendable.
The last time I was here was well before the pandemic. The ship docked in front of the old Cannery which had been turned into a small, pleasant and walk-through in 10 minutes museum. Today it appeared significantly different. The tribe, the state, and some grants had gone for upgrades including two gondola systems and upgrades to the Cannery. All was finished in fall 2019. And you can just guess how the following two years went. One of the young women proudly told me that she was glad to be able to be working at home this summer between semesters; that they were expecting 250 ships this summer.
I walked the nature trail over to the Cannery meeting only one other person on the ½ mile trail. He was having a wonderful time complete with fancy camera and tripod. We chatted for a few minutes; this trip had been delayed two years for him. But the trees, moss, and sunlight filtering through the canopy was well worth the wait.
The history portion of the Cannery hasn’t changed. But the clean up has been extensive, it now feels open and welcoming. There are obviously the usual number of shops with a variety of goods; cheap magnets and t-shirts through incredible paintings and carved stone art.
Underneath the gondola run (green, free, thank you very much!) was a fantastic cross between a par course and the type of jungle gym that would be the envy of any adult school yard. . It would delight any teenager in the world. For that matter, with ladders, elevated walks, short zip-lines, rings, ropes, and balance areas I would have been extremely tempted. If it hadn’t been raining and a bit slippery. And, if I had less brittle bones or a bit less common sense.
This evening I finished Death Before Decaf, pattern designed by the WitchyStitcher
It isn’t just the tree line is low, there was still snow clearly visible on the mountain peaks.
This is typical of what I saw most off the port side for most of this morning’s cruise to Juneau.
Often the capital of one of the US states is neither the largest nor the most impressive city in the state. Take, for example, Albany – the capital of New York. Closer to home is Sacramento, which is a reasonably sized sprawling city at the norther end of California’s Central Valley. It is not exciting and certainly not LA or San Francisco. Or, for that matter, as interesting as St Paul where I lived for six years. Being, besides the state capital, the poorer and more working class sibling of Minneapolis. No sports teams, no shiny, not fancy but with amazing river views. Major industries included the St Paul stockyards where the major winter sport was broom-ball. Back in the day when the county hospital was called Ramsey County Hospital more than one of us learned our suturing skills on the lacerated scalps of more than one totally drunk player.
Juneau, as the capital of Alaska (Wiki article here) is one of the older cities but certainly not the largest (Fairbanks and Anchorage are both larger). Especially not when you consider that the town’s population can increase by 6000 or more on a summer day’s when several cruise ship’s dock. These past two years have been really rough on the economy as a large share of the population makes a living mostly in the summer and off the tourists.
Douglas Island lies to the west and is bridge connected to Juneau on the mainland via bridge.
It certainly seemed true this afternoon as I wandered through a few stores in town on a very short run off ship. I stopped at the fudge store, the quilt store, the toy store, and a general store. The last had the feeling of a small town store where there were tourist goods, but also a hardware section (hammers, nails, screwdrivers etc), some knitting supplies, sewing supplies, toys. It is early afternoon, mid-week, and the shoppers were just about all tourists. And we are the only ship in port and with a ship’s passenger count below 40%.
I managed to avoid being too much of a tourist as far as the few purchases I made
(except for the small stuffed sea otter)
and was back on the ship long before it stopped raining. I did mention the rain? No? Well, it was raining which is extremely common except when it is a bit colder, then it snows. We were lucky today, the temperature stayed over 5*C… Talking to a few people who went to the Mendenhall Glacier – they didn’t see much due to low hanging clouds…
and then there is Death before Decaf…
which is now at 70%
We sailed out of Seattle early last evening to lightly clouded skies and smooth seas. This time the Olympic National Park was on the Port Side and Vancouver Island on the Starboard.
But mostly it was a lovely sunset
Our first of three Alaskan ports will be on Wednesday. As it is the furthest point on the cruise, we are headed there first and then will work our way back along the coast. The distances are not all that far so it is sailing up the Inside Passage, staying in the middle of the challenge – and just far enough from the shore that there is no cell coverage.
I relaxed in the library for most of today and stitched while ignoring all the regular announcements over the tannoy which were mostly by the Cruise Director’s staff attempting to get passengers to attend various events around the ship. As you probably guessed, most of those events, other than Trivia are all revenue generating.
Had a lovey chat at supper with the lovely, young HR director who is from Zimbabwe. She talked about the challenges of handling crew both while underway and while in dry dock (both the Jewel and a previous ship). She has been thinking about writing an article for the NCL internal newsletter. Obviously, I encouraged her with the thoughts that others could benefit and, as long as she phrased it in terms of what went right, what additional information would have been good to know ahead of time, and what she learned, others might really appreciate it. None of the other current HR managers on ship have handled more than one dry dock. With the young crews out there, it is rare for anyone headed Into the experience to have survived those 30-180 days before. Bragging doesn’t work, but humbleness and sense of humor does, I shared my experience as a passenger from Rotterdam immediately post the Chaos of the Seas dry dock in the Netherlands as an example of not well handled. She is also the lucky person who arranges for the all crew activities off ship in port. She is building up her database for the summer as the Jewel sails up to Alaska and back.
Otherwise, today’s project was “Death before Decaf” by the WitchyStitcher on 16ct whatever from Forbidden Fiber Co. This is a 4200+ stitch pattern (a lot more dense than the last) but I am making progress…. Also a new start on this cruise.
It was earlier than I planned on rising, but the change in both ship movement and sound was obvious. From late in the evening to early this morning we made the slow, comfortable sail up the inlet between Vancouver Island on the left and Olympia National Park on the right. Not surprisingly as it became light this morning, the temperatures are cool and the sky overcast.
I had my last look at the skyline as we turned to dock at Pier 66.
Once docked, my balcony looks out over the harbor. At 0700, I don’t see any point in getting off the ship for a couple of hours.
At 1100, I had even less reason to get off the ship. The outside temp was 10*C (51*F in old money). Today is Monday. For anyone who is a crafter, knitter, spinner, stitcher the follow on is obvious. Seattle is not a small Alaskan town dependent on the tourist trade. All those lovely small stores are open on Saturday. And reopen on Tuesday. Which, obviously is not today. Instead, I stayed in the library, sitting at the table this time and chatted with various people who could actually identify cross-stitch (and that it wasn’t crochet…..).
No other photos today, this has to be posted prior to our 1600 sail out (! not bailout as auto correct would have it). Tomorrow is a sea day. Although we might be close enough to shore to use my phone, I don’t trust AT&T..
I had thought they were all just about gone, except for Holland America which recognizes that people need books,
But the NCL Jewel came out of dry dock this past year and the library remains. Located on Deck 12, there is a card room with more than a half dozen tables next door. I am ignoring the poor ladies who work in the Spa trying desperately to drum up business every time anyone walks by.
But the library, it is a good size room with a dozen plus cozy seating areas. There is a table in the center which, as it appeared today, is the spontaneous morning get together location for any crafters or fiber folk on the ship.
There are three walls of book cabinets containing a variety of hardback books ranging from reference materials through various fiction genres and several languages. The cabinets are locked, glass fronts managed by a staffer who comes in to the desk twice a day to manage book checkouts. As you might suspect, the honor system just doesn’t work under cruise conditions. At least not on most of the ships I have sailed.
I spent the morning quietly stitching in the library, the afternoon enjoying the peace and quiet of my cabin. There are under 900 passengers on the ship. For those who normally travel on small ships, this is a huge number. For those used to the hustle and bustle of large ships, I can sit in one of the lounges and not see anyone for up to 30 minutes. Nice & quiet!
Since NCL gives me meal coupons for the fancy restaurants, I teamed up with another one of the solo travelers to use one last night. We had a pleasant evening; she just retired from the BC Provincial Paramedic service.
Otherwise – my true – new cruise new start…
Nightmare before Coffee from the WitchyStitcher. DMC floss on 16ct Tumbleweed by ForbiddenFiberCo. Nice addition to my coffee wall? No?
Since there is no way I am paying the hefty bill that NCL wants for internet – even the low bandwidth kind I decided instead to see how long I have been cruising with them
2011 – NCL Spirit in the Western Caribbean – immediately after Army retirement
N2011 – NCL Star – Alaska
2012 – NCL Jewel – Bahamas etc
2012 – NCL Jade x 2 – Canaries (did the loop twice)
2013 – NCL Jade x 2 – Western Med; Eastern Med (and I still have the lovely leather jacket I bought in Turkey)
2013 – NCL Epic – Eastern Caribbean
2015 – NCL Jade – 21 days of Mediterranean
2015- NCL Escape Transatlantic – Inaugural cruise over Halloween.
2017 – NCL Jewel Mexican Riviera
2017 – NCL Sun – Panama Canal x2
2018 – NCL Bliss – inaugural transatlantic
which sort of counts and 15 cruises and mostly on the older and smaller ships…
and mostly it was reading and knitting as sea day pastimes.
and then I went back to grad school in fall of 2018. And when I was about to be done with that – SARS-COV2 decided to come out and play….
My ship this time is the NCL Jewel. I went and looked it up and it seems like the last time I sailed on her was in the Med back when Miriam was about 16 (so about 13 years ago).
Boarding is obviously in
San Diego, CA 4:00pm
Saturday, April 23 At Sea
Sunday, April 24 At Sea
Monday, April 25 Seattle, WA. 7:00am 4:00pm
Tuesday, April 26 At Sea
Wednesday, April 27 Juneau, AK. 1:00pm 11:59pm
Thursday, April 28 Icy Strait Point, AK. 9:00am 6:00pm
Friday, April 29 Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, AK (Cruising)
Saturday, April 30 Ketchikan, AK 8:00am 4:00pm
Sunday, May 1 At Sea
Monday, May 2 Vancouver, BC, Canada 7:00am
My flight this morning was fine. Poor George had to get up extra early to drop me off at OAK. The NCL airport crew from LAX was bussed down to meet us at the airport where they finally found the group of us hanging out and waiting.
We arrived at the port and were checked in. They let the first batch of us on ship at about noon; I promptly headed up to Deck 12 and found a lovely veg curry with rice and plenty of lemonade along with salad and fruit. The buffet is all self help. Being the first through the line isn’t an issue. If I don’t want to do that – I am probably going to be doing a lot of take away from a couple of location.
When the cabins opened at 1330 I had a lovely surprise. This is not the Oceanview cabin I had booked. Instead I am in a balcony cabin on Deck 8!