One Minute Cruise Log – Day 3

by kelly

Our third day on the ship, and our second day at sea, was spent cruising around beautiful, chilly Glacier Bay.

The sun rose at 5:12 a.m. I was up sometime after 6:30 to check out the scenery and the naturalist’s on-board announcements again.

We could tell that we were supposed to be taking the opportunity to see glaciers very seriously. The atmosphere on board at mid-day was more sober and dignified. Even the casino was closed, and there were no signs to be seen for Jackpot Bingo.

Our ship picked up some National Park Rangers who boated up alongside. One of them gave a nice presentation on the bay (and we attended) in the Princess Theater at 11:30.

 

Newly inspired by the Park Ranger, and¬†as I described in more detail HERE, we next¬†bundled up in our coats, hats, and gloves, grabbed our binoculars¬†and headed out to the open Lido Deck to see what we could see. Paul roamed around trying to make the world’s best glacier video. I, meanwhile, took my cue from the Princess Patter, which, under the heading Coral Princess Presents the Chili, Chowder Cookoff & Alaska Fish BBQ Buffet, read “Join us on the open deck today to enjoy a delicious Alaskan Fair Buffet whilst taking in the breathtaking views of Glacier Bay, featuring favorites such as Alaskan Reindeer Chili, Rockfish Chowder Cookoff and Alaskan Fish BBQ. This is definitely the place to be. Lido Pool, Deck 14.”

Now, I don’t think there was actually any element of a genuine cookoff involved here. I didn’t see any sign that any passengers or crew actually submitted competing recipies for any of the dishes served. But no matter, the Rockfish Chowder I tried was tasty and warm. And I was even able to wash it down with a glass of heated Gluehwein, which always makes me think of Berlin.

Paul’s video efforts, meanwhile, paid off. He ended up getting footage of a fantastic glacier calving – the oohs and aahs of fellow passengers included.

Finally, it was time to reverse course and head out of the bay.

 

The scenery remained lovely to look at well into the evening, but the more frivolous aspect of the cruise experience returned with full force.

By this point in the trip, we were relaxing so genuinely and entering a cruise-induced state of consciousness that was willing to suspend rational skepticism. For a while there, we actually entertained the belief that we were only a few moments, and a little bit of determination, away from having an encounter with a movie star. The Crooners Martini Bar section of the Princess Patter invited us to try “Today’s Martini of the Day – the Mini Mi Martini: Meet the real ‘Mini Mi’ in the Bar.” I held on to the belief that this ship had paid Mini Me, the actor, to come on board just to amuse the likes of us and to promote their drink special. I didn’t snap out of the cruise-induced delusion until my questions about the little guy were greeted with the confused smiles of the non-native speaking bartender on duty.

In our leisure, I took time to sneak into our originally assigned stateroom, A209.¬† Just as I had thought – the balcony door was broken, and was being repaired by workmen when I looked in.¬† It was identical in layout to our “upgrade” room, B437.¬† But I liked the B437 location better, so I decided to play along with the “upgrade” narrative, however inaccurate.

We then headed over to the Internet Cafe, as we had already become accustomed to doing, to check up on our little daughter back home.

Before and after checking e-mail, we used our good manners by using the anti-bacterial hand gel there for that purpose. I was very impressed, throughout the trip, at low-key but effective way in which such hygiene was promoted, and that the well-publicized evil noroviruses were kept at bay.

Day 3’s copy of the Princess Patter echoed several signs around the ship, for example, exhorting: “We kindly recommend that you wash your hands frequently. We also wish to strongly encourage you to use your private toilet facilities and not the public toilets unless absolutely necessary. These simple precautions are a great contribution for maintaining a healthy shipboard community. Thank you for your cooperation.”

Hand washing was frequently, almost subliminally, recommended through a variety of media. And anti-bacterial gel was widely available, and occasionally mandatory, as I learned one day upon entering the buffet line.

As day 3 wore on, we stopped into the 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Afternoon Tea in the Bordeaux Dining Room. There were some self-important duds at the table where we were seated, though, so we drank our tea, sampled a couple of treats, and retreated to the sanctity of our cabin.

 

That night, we took in a show in the Princess Theatre by “World Class Illusionist CHIP ROMERO.” He levitated a girl. She didn’t seem to know how he did it, so that was impressive.

“Throughout the early hours of the evening, we set various southerly courses back towards Bartlett Cove. We disembarked our [National Park] Rangers at 2030hrs, and once clear of Bartlett Cove, set westerly courses into Icy Straight towards Lynn Canal en route to Skagway.”

We fell asleep knowing that tomorrow would be our first exploration of Alaska land proper.

Sunset was at 9:05 p.m.

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