The cruise begins!

Seattle Travel Blog

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Our ship at the docks

So, before folks here call me boring and old for actually taking the cruise, I won't deny that I'm not ;-) But this was really all for my mum and dad. My parents planned a summer trip to the US back in Feb, and the first thing on their list was Alaska. Whilst ideally, I'd be a fan of the whole independent travel thing (flying in to Anchorage and then driving to Denali), it would've been challenging on various levels: I had a whole lot of work related travel which would've impeded my planning. And with certain dietary restrictions, Denali would've been quite challenging. So, it was decided we'd all be the happy Hallmark family and go on a cruise - complete with the hot tub, massage and unlimited beverage experience (I'm the only alcohol consumer in the family though!).

Our ship at the docks

So after months of back and forth,  we decided on both the operator - Norwegian Cruise Lines, and the dates (week of July 4th). We decided to splurge a bit more and choose a stateroom with a balcony as opposed to the ones at the lower decks (window only), or one of the inner ones (with no view of the sea).  

As this was really just Alaska and a pitstop in Victoria, B.C, there wasn't a whole lot of planning involved. Or packing. Well, other than the lounge clothes and the party clothes. At the get-go, and esp. after seeing the itn involved,  I decided that the real ROI for this trip would be the in-cruise experience as opposed to the "ports" we'd be calling at. So, the plan was to maximise my time "on" the ship as opposed to off of it.

The main dining area, "Garden Cafe"
In hindsight, brill decision! 

And finally, the day dawned upon us! 

the UberXL dude showed up by noon (we'd booked a checkin of 2pm, I'd printed the baggage tags as well), and off we went to downtown Seattle to board. The boarding process felt loooong! Perhaps its this way for most cruises, but we were first in a queue with the passport check, then up a set of escalators for a health regulation form and proper check-in, and then a walk down the corridor to have our picture taken, and then back down again to a waiting room before being called for boarding. 

Boarding was smooth - when we got on the ship, it was already buzzing with activity and booze. It was nearing 4pm - we all had to attend a mandatory safety demo in their lush theatre.

Welcome cake, was awful!
The ship left the docks at 4pm - we checked into our rooms and headed to the open pool area for what was a fairly average snack (on the plus side, good alcohol selection - both beer/wine and cocktails). We were rather hungry!

The welcome party by the pool side was fun, with a DJ playing the shuffle song and directing audiences on how to shuffle to right, shuffle to the left, etc. Was fun seeing so many with two obvious left feet just dropping their inhibition and getting into the holiday cruise vibe.

We returned to our rooms but hit a snag. It just wouldn't open. We tried, got the security to try, no such luck. So finally, we "escalated" it and they said they'd fix it in a few hours. "few" hours was 5 hours... apparently the battery that the electronic key thing works on had died! I'm surprised, I'd have thought they'd have checked all this before the ship set sail.

Dessert! An example of the fine food we got over the next few days
Good thing my parents could get into their room - S and I just sat in their balcony for a bit and wandered around the rather sparse Duty free (why so many jewellery shops peddling Columbian gems??!!), before..... well, heading back to dinner at the Garden Cafe.

Our electronic key card finally started working...but we had a new problem. The safe wouldn't work no matter how many times I hit "lock". We called support once again, but this was an easy fix: they just told me to press the LOCK button and hold it longer! LOL.

Anyway, back to dinner: the ship does have a choice of restaurants that offer both complimentary dining (both white table experience and food  court style) as well as the fancy ones with dress code and cover charge. The problem with the later was the limited choice of veg items. And hence, as much as I came to loathe it, the food court style Garden Cafe was our saviour for the most part with its international cuisine and humongous choice of dessert.

I was rather sleepy that night so turned in rather early: the sunset took its own sweet time and I didn't mind it. I was in no rush, after all, the next day would be a "sea day" (apparently that's what they call when we sail the entire day).

mountaingirl says:
Congrats on the feature! Alaska is on my travel list too :)
Posted on: Jul 12, 2017
aloneinthecrowd says:
Congrats on your featured blog, Vikram :) You made a great choice with booking a ship made in Germany ;) This one has been built in my hometown and the company I work for did the carpets and other floorings. For your info: http://www.meyerwerft.de/en/meyerwerft_de/schiffe/kreuzfahrtschiffe/norwegian_cruise_line/norwegian_jewel/norwegian_jewel.jsp
I'm not sure if I would like a cruise because I get sea sick and suffer from claustrophobia. I'm looking forward to read about your experience :)
Posted on: Jul 12, 2017
simsing says:
Congrats on the feature, Vikram!
Posted on: Jul 11, 2017
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Our ship at the docks
Our ship at the docks
Our ship at the docks
Our ship at the docks
The main dining area, Garden Cafe
The main dining area, "Garden Cafe"
Welcome cake, was awful!
Welcome cake, was awful!
Dessert! An example of the fine fo…
Dessert! An example of the fine f…
Our ship at the docks
Our ship at the docks
Our ship at the docks
Our ship at the docks
S boarding
S boarding
The corridors - the fish all swam …
The corridors - the fish all swam…
The Stardust theatre where we had …
The Stardust theatre where we had…
Pool party
Pool party
Gbye Seattle!
G'bye Seattle!
Mt Baker
Mt Baker
Drink with dad
Drink with dad
Our cabin, aka stateroom
Our cabin, aka "stateroom"
Our cabin, aka stateroom
Our cabin, aka "stateroom"
Our cabin, aka stateroom
Our cabin, aka "stateroom"
Dinner
Dinner
Seattle
photo by: diisha392