Friday, September 11, 2009

Michelle's Excellent Alaskan Vacation Day 7

August 3, 2009

We toured College Fjord starting at 6:00 AM. On less than 5 hours’ sleep, I jumped into some clothes, grabbed camera & binoculars & headed up on deck. It was FREEZING! But the weather was surprisingly clear and the views were STUNNING.

After a couple of hours the mist or fire smoke rolled in and views became null.

It was about 10 AM – I crawled back in bed & set the alarm for a 3 hour snooze.
After 2 hours of laying awake, I got up. I took a leisure shower, watched a movie while I dried my hair, and fiddled with my stuff.; Dinner was “Formal” so I took my time getting dressed. My plan was “open seating” as opposed to “fixed seating” and the front office told me reservations were not necessary. However, when I got to the dining room at 6:00 PM, I was given a pager and told it would be a 45 minute wait.
I sat on a divan behind the hosts’ station and watched all the cruisers in their finery. Some folks were in little more than ‘smart casual,’ while others were truly in their finest. I love the look of the gentlemen in their black tie formal wear. I hope some day before I die I will have a date with a man in a tuxedo.
As I sat there, I saw Kellanne and Dick – Kellanne asked me something that I didn’t quite understand until I played it back in my mind. It was a compliment, but in the fashion of “did you get sprayed with a fire hose, or what? You look great.” … I saw Donald, the acquaintance from the train, as well as Janet and William from GA. Next to me on the divan was a family of 4 that switched off between them for the seat.
The restaurant was sorely ill-equipped for the open seating patrons. The host was yelled at, threatened & the diners grew indignant. I sat - & waited - & waited. (I was wearing a great blue and green dress with a halter-style top, so I sat erect, like a board was in my back.) Over two hours passed. Every single patron – reservations & not – had been seated.
I’m not sure how, but finally the host saw me, although I had been in the same seat less than 10 feet from his podium. “I tried to call you!” he said, referring to the beeper. “Just find me somewhere to get something to eat” I told him, hungry and irritable, and surprised at how close I felt to tears.
I had shrimp cocktail and Alaskan King Crab legs, cappucino and baked Alaska for desert. Quite frankly, I don’t even know if it was any good.
When I returned to my cabin, there was some literature about tomorrow’s activities, including a map of Glacier Bay National Park, a letter from the guest relations manager about the gastro-intestinal illness some had reported, and the ship’s measures to combat it. There was also a note from the guest relations manager as “how are we doing?” Y’ gotta know, I put pen to paper and let her have it. I placed it in an envelope with her name on it and and delivered it to the front desk.
I watched some stupid TV for a bit until I put out the lights and went to sleep.

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