Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Alaska Trip Journal – Part 12

Friday, July, 31st, 2009
With a couple of sea days in front of me before returning to Vancouver, I “slept in” today. Having to return an hour overnight as we sailed back into Pacific time, it was in the neighborhood of 9:00am as I headed into the shower, got dressed, then decided to check email on the Blackberry to see if there were any issues with my students that needed dealing with.
I had two students who reported a problem with an assignment which prompted me to seek time on an Internet terminal so that I can get those students issues resolved. The Blackberry is a handy tool but I needed a real PC to take care of this. I typically avoid the ship’s Internet cafe for (at least) two reasons: one, I am on vacation and two, it’s ridiculously priced at 75 cents per minute (unless you buy a plan for $100 which brings down the per minute price to a still insane 40 cents).
As luck would have it, with only two days left in the cruise, “bargains” were popping up and the Internet cafe was no exception (I think I just vomited in my mouth a little). As of this morning, two new time plans were made available and while reluctant at the still stupidly overpriced plan, I opted for the 30 minute plan which was priced at $12, plus a one-time $3.95 set up fee (fuckers). I do love cruising as a vacation option and I know these practices aren’t limited to cruising but I really hate being raked over the coals – you know, nickel and dimed. I really wish someone would truly embrace the all inclusive concept.
The Internet service was dreadfully snow (worse than dial-up), but I did manage to review and resolve the outstanding student issues. Oh, I almost forgot – on the way to the Internet cafe I saw a table DSC00176full of stuff for sale and walked on by to notice some “cheap” watches that were being sold a few days ago for $44 and now being “cleared out” for $10. While I hated giving in to this chicanery, I hated being without a watch on my wrist even more and for ten bucks, I was willing to call myself a schmuck and bought the watch.
All of a sudden it was 10:30”,and the breakfast choices were limited. I noticed in the “Freestyle Daily” they had listed a Jazz Brunch at “Le Bistro”. I was excited because “Le Bistro” is usually only open for dinner and always charges an additional cover charge (as it is considered one of the premium restaurant offerings). There was no asterisk next to the brunch listing so I assumed it was being offered with no extra charge. The doors opened almost at the exact time I stepped off the elevator and to my disappointment, they were asking for a $15 cover charge so I walked away and headed for the buffet where there was a plethora of delectable choices already included in the price of my cruise. The following items appeared on my plate for a brief time en route to my digestive tract:
  • Scrambled eggs
  • 1 link of pork sausage
  • 1 strip of bacon
  • 1 croissant
  • Smoked salmon
  • Cream cheese
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sticky bun
  • 1 fig
  • 3 prunes
  • Cup of decaf
  • Orange juice
The weather is a bit foggy and it was only about 60 degrees fahrenheit at this point of the day. I am fine with that temperature but with the early morning breeze still blowing, there was a modest chill in the air. As morning became late morning and into early afternoon, the breeze was a bit milder and the temperature may have risen a few degrees. Either way, I opted to grab a lounge chair on the pool deck, point it at the windows overlooking the water and laid back to relax (and write some of this stuff).
After a while I moved indoors to the Observation Lounge, after grabbing a cup of coffee and seated myself as near to a window as the crowd with the same idea as me (actually, they were already there and it was I who had their idea) would allow. There was some light pop music complementing the ambient noise of the lounge which features a full length, or rather full width, panoramic view out of the front of the ship which right now, is still quite foggy but nonetheless peaceful. I even allowed myself to view the artwork on display from strictly an appreciation perspective. There were some works by Salvador Dali and one of my favorite contemporary artists, Peter Max.
To be continued…

1 comment:

Joy said...

It helps reading about your cruises to prepare for mine and to know what to look out for. I enjoy them anyway and really like knowing all about your vacations (just like I like to know about your life in general).