Vacation Sagas

2005 Alaska Cruise

A Chilling Summer Vacation

Pre-Cruise College Fjord / Glacier Bay Skagway Juneau Ketchican At Sea / Post-Cruise

Friday, July 22, 2005 At Sea

The last day of the cruise was "at sea", a time to relax, have fun onboard, and pack up for the trip home.

Rudy relaxes. Steve and Sherry on the balcony.
Rudy, Steve, and Sherry take in the scenery.

Sherry, Steve, and Bonney tried to win the final big jackpots for bingo—a free cruise for one game and $2500 for the second game—but none of the group mananged to win big this time. Mary Ann and Linda went to cheer them on after they approached the bar for a "buy one, get one free" promotion where they were unsuccessful in their endeavor. Also, their two-person cheering section didn't help the others win that afternoon!

Bonney, Sherry, and Steve play bingo.
Some people are greedy and want more. The others are destined to try, try again.

Bonney took photos of the medical facilities for Chip Sherman. She went in expecting something along the line of a rather large closet. It turned out that the ship had an excellent infirmary.

Coral Princess medical area. Coral Princess medical area.
Sign in desk.

Waiting area.

Coral Princess medical area. Coral Princess medical area.
The ER?

Sick ward.

Coral Princess medical area. Coral Princess medical area. Coral Princess medical area.
"Private" rooms.

A galley tour was offered on the last day at sea. Everyone was curious to see where all the fantastic food had been prepared since all had eaten so well. There was a demonstration on how the escargot was prepared, as well as the shrimp cocktail, with participation from the audience. The kitchen was mammoth and spotless. It was amazing to think how much food could be prepared and served to everyone on the ship.

Linda recalled, "Our table always had its 'double' shares with Rudy and Steve having double or quadruple servings of shrimp cocktail, escargot, or lobster tail. In addition, several times Rudy, Donna, Jane and I also enjoyed the hamburgers and hot dogs at the outside grill. On one of those occasions we got to meet the ship's assistant captain."

Kitchen tour. Kitchen tour. Kitchen tour.
Kitchen tour.

Later that afternoon the chore of packing the suitcases was tackled. Everyone tried to make sure that they weren't overweight—all that gold from panning might weight them down. Rudy took his suitcases up to the workout area to weigh them in.

After dinner we attended a '60's review that included some dancing. Rudy was polite enough to dance with Mary Ann and Bonney. After us tagging along with Rudy and Linda so many times, he was telling people he had three wives.

Saturday, July 23, 2005 Vancouver / Seattle / Dallas
Canada flag.
We're in Canada!

Unfortunately, the ship arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the end of the journey. It was time to stuff what remained back into the carry on bags and say good-bye...right after we rushing to the Horizon buffet to grab a quick breakfast!

Vancouver. Vancouver.
Vancouver Island.

Everyone reluctantly departed the ship.

Mary Ann dashed off to join one of the first groups off of the ship. She took the shuttle bus to catch her early flight out of Vancouver back to Dallas, via Houston!

Rudy and Linda followed in a later group, but somehow ended up on the same shuttle bus to the airport as Mary Ann. Luckily managed to get on the second American flight. They thought they were the first ones back to Texas.

Sherry and Steve caught the shuttle to their flight

Donna and Jane took a tour bus to Seatle where they caught their flight back to Dallas, via Salt Lake City.

Bonney stayed in Vancouver overnight. Since she was the first one to make her flight reservations, she originally thought some of the others would stay longer. And, her daughter, Brandi, might meet her in Vancouver since it's an easy flight from where she lives in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, that didn't work out. So Bonney caught up on her sleep, napped, and napped again, wishing everyone had more time for fun.

Sunday, July 24, 2005 Vancouver / Dallas

It wasn't until this next morning that it was obvious the sneezing and exhaustion and now, sore throat was actually the beginning of a head cold that Bonney had for the next ten days or so. Another typical symptom of one of her vacations! She managed to catch her flight home before feeling really bad.

Quotes about the trip...

"Laughing until we had tears, dancing like no one was watching, strengthening friendships, winning games, and being happy. Viewing the world as it should be, wishing for just a little bit more. Wishing you'd been here."

I also made a list of what I didn't see. No polar bears, no natives dressed in traditional clothing, no Mounties, although this one wouldn't have been one to catch and release. I didn't see a gray wolf or wild timber wolf. Some of the huskies looked like they might have been related, though. I didn't see any orca whales within a distance where I didn't have to take someone else's word that it was out there. But that was okay because I had seen many orcas near Maui on a previous cruise. It might have been nice to see a humpback up close. Some out in the water were doing a lot of spouting off.

Wolf. Canadian Mountie.
Canadian Mountie.

Timber Wolf. Eskimos.
Timber Wolf.

Orca whale. Polar bears.
Orca whale.
Polar Bears.

Goats, sheep, rocks?

Steve Steiner "I can say that this was the best vacation I ever had. You all were great people to be with."
Rudy Escobar "Give me that Alaska temperature! Had a great cruise, made more enjoyable by the COMPANY! Linda and I will always have the memories of you all on this trip."
Sherry Steiner "Just wanted to say that we had a great trip with you all and I'd go again tomorrow if it were at all possible. Hope we can all make some more memories someday, sooner rather than later!"
Mary Ann Farmer "I had such a wonderful time with everyone! And I do thank the guys for being such good sports with all of us women! It was a great trip, I thoroughly enjoyed the fun times we had, and will treasure the memories always. I hope we get to do it again someday."
Jane Schneider "The trip was great. I really enjoyed the company."
Bonney Bott

"I don't know if I actually said how much I enjoyed our vacation together. I thought it was great! We couldn't have had a better mix of people. In addition to all the fun we had, I realize I enjoyed the lack of noise pollution and air pollution.

"I woke up on Tuesday a week after returning from the trip, with a panic that I was late, wondering which shore tour I was supposed to go on."

Linda Escobar "I don't think that Rudy or I ever thought that we'd be bragging about a cruise like we are doing about this one. The weather was great, the scenery was unbelievable, and the friends that we travelled with were wonderful. All in all this was an "awesome" experience."
Mary Ann "By golly that was a great trip! You all are great traveling companions!

The End

Pre-Cruise College Fjord / Glacier Bay Skagway Juneau Ketchican At Sea / Post-Cruise