|Another early morning for me, as Sleeping Beauty continues her slumber, and I find myself busy once again writing the update for our blog. Since I had wimped out on Thursday's blog writing, I had a lot to do to complete 2 days of updates prior to Julie's awakening. Its 3:00 am right now so I figure I have 5 hours before Julie wakes up, so there shouldn't be a problem completing this task.
Typing away as fast as I can, in attempt to capture every little detail I remember, I completed the update for this chapter in our adventure just in time for Julie to come to life and provide her "Sounds Good" approval.
As Julie welcomed in the new day, she arrived thirsty. Determined not to spend another day in the confines of the stateroom, once Julie mentioned that fact, she and I quickly dressed and exited the stateroom.
From our balcony view, we have assessed that the sun is shining brightly today, but the seas are a little rough. A Julie and I bounced from wall to wall in our attempt to make our way through the hall towards the Dining Room where we can quench Julie's thirst, we laughed at the comic relief the rough seas afforded us to welcome our day. Since the seas were tossing us around, it made the descend down the staircase challenging and somewhat comical. Once again, we found ourselves in the position of being "God's jesters for today."
Once we had successful and safely made it to the Dining Room, Julie and I were quickly seated and handed a menu. I think Princess feels safer having passengers seated today. After a brief look through the menu, and no plans for the moment, Julie and I decided to order ourselves our first "Dining Room" breakfast of the cruise. Julie ordered pancakes and bacon and I opted for the ham and cheese omelet. As we waited for our food to arrive, our entertainment quickly became assessing the choices of our fellow cruisers both on attire and breakfast foods and the ability of our fellow passengers to stand upright. Julie's pancakes and my omelet arrived and both proved to be very good choices. We finished our meal just in time to head to our first stop of the day.
Since Julie had scanned the Princess Patter the night before to determine our options for today, we already knew that we had somewhere we needed to be at 9:00. The Patter had advised that the onboard boutique was having a sale that started at 9:00 am therefore this required a "priority stop".
Julie quickly located a Fossil watch that she couldn't live with out and with the thrill of a child with a new toy, she made her purchase. While she was buying the watch, I wondered into the onboard Jewelry Store. Just as Julie had been mesmerized by her new watch, I found myself captivated by a 9 carat amethyst pendant. It was if it were staring at me like a puppy in a shelter needing a home. Once the salesman (and I use the term "man" loosely as it only describes his gender) placed the pendant around my neck, I knew that the pendant was mine. While I was busy paying for my new "friend", Julie was in the process of making a LOT of new friends. Before we departed, the salesman had managed to sell me a pendant and Julie 1 ring, 2 pendants and 3 pair of earrings. Realizing that our purchase couldn't accompany us to our next stop of Line Dancing, Julie and I quickly made it back to our stateroom to place them securely in our safe. Once complete, we made the challenging descend of the staircase down to the Vista Lounge where our Line Dancing Class was scheduled to take place.
Today, Beefy - our Instructor - taught us 3 dances, the Booty Call, Slappin' Leather (which Julie and I already knew) and the Mambo. As we danced around with our fellow passengers, burning off our breakfast, Julie and I laughed and enjoyed ourselves along with the other passengers since today, being able to walk is a challenge, much less dance. With the ocean swells, our "line" dance became more of a "Zig-zag" with each movement. Everyone enjoyed the challenge and too soon class was over.
Since our next Agenda item for today was to participate in Bingo - which wasn't scheduled to begin for another hour - Julie and I took advantage of the spare time to return to our room and freshen up. Once perspiration free again, Julie and I proceeded to the Purser's Office to take care of a necessity that required attention. I had to file a claim today for my luggage Princess had damaged. I was told that the form could only be obtained at the Purser's office. As I waited in line for about 10 minutes, Julie patiently waited in the lounge area still beaming with satisfaction from her purchases. Once I finally reached a Purser who assisted me in completing the required paperwork, I was told that I would have to return that evening to retrieve the signed document. It appears the Head Purser has to sign the document prior to my being able to file the claim.
Once this little nuisance had been addressed, Julie and I, with still more time to spare before Bingo, made our way to the Atrium below to check out all the commotion we could hear from the "Golf Tournament" that was taking place in the floor below. Upon arrival, we found a "Make Shift" golf course complete with sand traps, water and trees and 12 golfers eager to win the Championship. Each Golfer had a crew team lead who acted as a Caddie. Team Beefy was competing against Team USA and the chants of their supporters could be heard throughout the atrium. The most amusing part of the game was the requirement that the Caddies had to look outside to determine the swells affect on the ship and then advise the golfer on when to make the putt and where to aim based on their analysis. This proved to be a comical little demonstration as a bunch of old men and 2 women who had made it to this "Final round" battled for the much sought after metals. It was very entertaining and proved to be a great pass time. Julie and I got so entirely engrossed in this little tournament that we were astonished when Julie looked at her watch and we realized that we only had 5 minutes to get to the rear of the ship where Bingo was to take place. As we quickly made it back to the Vista Lounge, she and I arrived just in time for the game to begin.
Since we hadn't played Bingo before on the ship, we had to pay attention since they play certain colored cards for certain games and each game is different. We played one that required that you make a "kite" shape on your card, one that required that you make a "P" shape, one that required both the B and the O columns be completed covered and then another one that required just a straight line. With the announcement of each number, Julie and I would access our cards with anxiety hoping we would win. The first pot was $125 and it went up $25 each game. After 4 games, the main "Jackpot" game began. The Jackpot today is $2250 and somebody has to win. In the previous games of the week, if no one won, the money would simply move to the next game, but today, being the final game, someone had to win the final jackpot. Julie and I decided to better our chances of taking this money home with us by purchasing 6 chances each. We decided to split our earning should any one of our cards win. As each number was called, we frantically assessed all 6 cards and folded down the corresponding number. One of our cards was 2 numbers away from the jackpot when someone yelled "BINGO!". Upon verification of her card, the enthused player had won. Julie and I were delighted for her since when asked what her plans for the money were, she replied "take my parents on another cruise".
Still feeling like winners we are Julie and I decided it was time to eat lunch. Since we won't be on the ship for dinner tonight since our Whale Watching excursion is scheduled to last until 10:00 pm, we figured we might as well grab something now before the ship docked in Victoria within the hour since we knew our excursion started promptly after we dock.
A quick trip to Horizon Court and the Ice Cream Shop and Julie and I were back in our room preparing for our final excursion. Once dressed appropriately for the cold wind outside, we anxiously waited for the announcement that we had cleared Canadian Customs and could exit the ship. During this time, we located wireless access and posted our updates to the blog. Julie and I read emails from our now "avid" readers and got so engrossed that we realized time had passed and our excursion was to depart in 5 minutes!
Immediately, we made our way for a final time through the corridors to exit the ship. As we boarded the bus which took us up to Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf, I couldn't help but feel a little saddened by the fact the this final excursion was the ending to our adventure. After its completion and our return to the ship, there was nothing left to do but pack and go home.
Once we arrived at the Wharf, I was surprised by its cleanliness. This is definitely not the typical Wharf you would usually encounter. This Wharf is a quaint little town comprised of shops and restaurants housed in boat houses and a residential area that was totally boat homes. The entire scene reminded Julie and me of the place where Tom Hank's character resided in the movie "Sleepless in Seattle".
As we boarded the catamaran and prepared for Whale Watching, our captain quickly navigated the vessel beyond the cruise ships and out into the area where the whale were supposed to be. On our way, we encountered some playful porpoises which liked the bow of the boat. 45 minutes later, we found ourselves drifting outside the area where "Free Willy" was filmed. It is known as San Juan Island and is part Canadian and part American. We didn't drift long until our first whale encounter. It was a 97 year old mother orca and her 57 year old son. We were taught that mother whales never separate from their offspring hence the reason these two were still together. Once these two passed, the captain headed the boat to another area in search of more whale sightings. Once in place, a ship mate dropped a microphone into the water so we could hear them communicate. It was fascinating. Sure enough, there was another family of orcas heading for the ship. This time, there were 6 of them. As I filmed their path, Julie snapped away in attempt to capture their surfacing. It was a wonderful experience. Hearing their conversation made it even more unique. We were informed that they could communicate as much as 10 miles away. This was truly awesome to witness.
As the sun began to set against the ocean waters, it brought an appropriate closure to this our final excursion. The hour ride required to return to shore as the day transformed into night, Julie and I quickly realized that our adventure was ending way too soon. Once we arrived back to port and were bussed back to our ship, Julie and I would enter our stateroom for a final time.
We arrived back safely, returned our final time and ending the day by packing up in preparation for tomorrow's departure. We have enjoyed this trip immensely and we spent some time reflecting on all the events of our travel. It has been a wonderful reprieve from our normal lives and a trip we would recommend to anyone.
Our gratitude for today: We have homes to return too.
Our High Point: Whale Watching or shopping - it's a close call.
Our Low Point: Watching the sun set on our final excursion. The final chapter to our adventures for this trip.