Seven nights – five ports of call – Seattle – Astoria – San Francisco – Monterey – Victoria – and two full days at sea. It was time to cruise!
I admit I’d had some concerns. The week before we left, the weather was as bad in Seattle as it can be – heavy rain, pounding hail, even thunder and lightning. Why had I booked such a late season cruise? But when Sunday rolled around the forecast showed sunny and dry all week – yippee! So we happily bid Seattle farewell and headed out to sea on the Star Princess leaving Pier 91 at 4:00 p.m.
We’d boarded the ship at 1:00, had lunch and checked out our room – it was perfect. More spacious than we remembered from our one and only previous cruise, and we were thrilled to have a balcony. We explored the ship, doing our best to understand the layout – it would take all week. The top three decks (14, 15, 16) contained the buffet, pools, outdoor theatre, small bars, clubs, and wonderful, wonderful views. Lower decks (5, 6 & 7) had the formal dining rooms, speciality restaurants, entertainment venues, shops and the promenade. In between were the staterooms – we were on Baja Deck 11.
Soon enough it was time for dinner. We’d ended up with a 5:00 seating in the traditional dining restaurant, where we shared our table with two other couples (one local, one not) friendly and easy to be with. Lots of bantering ensued about travel and cruising and places and things and somewhere along the line this exchange happened:
Unnamed party: ‘Do you know who Archie Bunker is? You sound just like him.’
Archie (not his real name) with a laugh : ‘Everybody from New York sounds like Archie Bunker.’ Including you-know-who but we stayed clear of that.
After a wonderful dinner and dessert we said goodbye to our new friends and headed up top to watch the sunset.
When it got a bit chilly we remembered we had the same view from our room and headed back down where it was warm and cozy.
We watched the scenery go by from our balcony – as we headed west to the Pacific Ocean. There were our own Olympic Mountains – as beautiful a sight as any we would behold from sea –
and the brilliant colors of sunset staining the sky.
Later on we fell asleep to the gentle movement of the ship … and slept soundly until we woke to sunrise the next morning.
Now I’m not what you’d call a morning person but with so much on the horizon I had to get up early and check it out.
There were so many mountains in the distance as we sailed down the Washington Coast, including the tallest which must have been Rainier – but don’t quote me – I’ve never seen them from sea.
When this finally happened I knew we’d made the right choice – it was a wonderful start to our cruise and I looked forward to every day ahead.
That’s enough for now but there’s lots more to come, including our first stop at Astoria, followed by a full day at sea.