We’re sailing in Alaska’s Inside Passage on our way to Ketchikan!…Long wait at Canada Place, port of Vancouver…

It’s not as cold outside on the decks as one might think. So we wandered outdoors without jackets, and it was cool but not intolerable. 

We stuck with our plan to leave for Canada Place, the port in Vancouver, at 2:00 pm. However, the drive through traffic and the short line of taxis made us hopeful we’d made the correct decision to wait until later in the day instead of an early morning port arrival.

Overall, our instincts to arrive later than the allowed 11:00 am attempts to board were correct but not by much. Most likely, we avoided only about 30 minutes of waiting time to get onto the ship.

Dark, cloudy, and foggy through the Inside Passage today, photo ops are limited. But, as we move along on this journey, more will transpire.

Never, in all of our past 19 cruises in these past 55 months, have we waited in such huge lines with so many people. Luckily, we are “Elite” members, which allowed us to wait in shorter lines for cruise check-in and immigration. 

Had we not been members with Captain’s Club perks, our wait could easily have been a four-hour wait instead of our two-and-a-half-hour wait. Instead, in many cases, we scurried along into much shorter queues along with many others with similar designations. 

Logs along the shore.

It pays to sail with one cruise line (the same parent company owns celebrity and Royal Caribbean, and perks are interchangeable). By 4:45 pm, we were seated in the main dining room for the muster drill along with other Captain’s Club members while many others stood outdoors for their muster drill. We were grateful to be indoors when it was very cool in Vancouver.

Our luggage arrived in our cabin before dinner, but there wasn’t ample time to unpack everything, especially when we had piles of dirty clothes we needed to sort to have it laundered, a task we never handled in Vancouver.

We’re not expecting to see a lot of wildlife on this cruise since it’s early in the season. However, if we have a little “safari luck,” we’ll be thrilled.

As Captain’s Club Elite members, we’re entitled to two free bags of laundry to include up to 20 items. Upon returning to our cabin after the 9:00 pm movie (“Fences,” worth watching), we completed the unpacking, leaving a huge pile of dirty clothes.

This morning we neatly folded the dirty laundry into the paper bag and completed the “laundry list” to be submitted with the order. There was no problem coming up with 20 items.  Our cabin steward assured us we’d have it all back by tomorrow since few, if any, other passengers had requested laundry service on this first day at sea.

Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas, the ship we sailed for 33 nights that circumvented the entire Australian continent, ending on December 3, 2016. 

Dinner in the Grand Epernay was perfect. First, I met Evan, who’ll oversee my special diet, which seems quite attentive and concerned for accuracy in presenting my meals.

This morning we had a light breakfast of poached eggs and a little bacon. We love interacting with other passengers at mealtime and will try to eat three times a day on this cruise.  I seem to feel better when I eat three small meals rather than one or two large meals a day.

Low-lying clouds drift through the hills and mountains.

Now, we’re situated in the Cafe al Bacio on deck five in the same seats as on the past three Celebrity Solstice cruises. We can’t believe how many staff members aboard this ship remember us! How is that possible? They are so friendly and warm. 

The free drink policy for Elite members isn’t as comprehensive as on Royal Caribbean. For example, the Captain’s Club happy hour is only from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the Sky Lounge, whereby on the last RC cruise, members could drink for free from 5:00 to 8:30 pm. Also, three drinks each were allowed from any bar during this time frame.

So far, the scenery through the Inside Passage consists of mountains and forests. 

Guess we’ll stay put in the Sky Lounge for those two hours each evening while Tom enjoys his favorite cocktail, Cognac and Sprite Zero on the rocks. I’m still not drinking wine and honestly don’t miss it. Well, maybe a little.  Those glasses of Cabernet and Merlot do cause my heart to flutter a bit. So it goes.

We’re content and looking forward to checking out the various ports of call in Alaska on our own time as we see fit. Unfortunately, with some big expenses on the horizon, we’ve had to avoid any of the ship’s expensive tours. 

The budget always supersedes our desires if we intend to do some of the more special locations (i.e., Antarctica and Africa) and continue indefinitely. However, there’s no doubt that certain sacrifices are necessary to continue this nomadic life. 

In our travels, we regret nothing, nor have we missed anything that was ultimately important to us. So may your day, your life, be free of regrets.

Photo from one year ago today, May 18, 2016:

In Bali, note the hat on the woman in red, known as a sedge hat, rice hat, paddy hat, bamboo hat, or Raiden hat, is carrying more rice from the fields while the guy in blue talks on his phone. For more details about rice paddies, please click here.

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