Sunday, 8 September 2013

Cruising (again)

This morning we woke with a buzz of excitement in the air.  It was time to re-pack the suitcase after the weekend in Vancouver.  I deliberately planned not to over pack, as I was sure I was going to buy stuff whilst on the trip.  I could have sworn I left the one side of the suitcase empty.  However, it took some effort to close the suitcase this morning.  This is not a good start. 
 We had our most pleasant (yet) border crossing into the USA, seems even the border officials feel the vibe of the holiday in the air.  (Maybe it is still the luck of the ladybird).  It was quite busy, but highly organised the way they get you to sign paperwork to give them all your money in the bank account while on the ship.  You link your room card to your bank account and every time you order a drink or set foot on land they immediately reduce your bank balance!  It took us all together less than 2 hours to be on the ship and into our cabins!  With approximately 820 000 people departing from Vancouver on 236 sailings this year alone, one expect the machine to be well oiled!
Marelise, Jakes, Erica & Hennie
As per usual our planning went haywire, and we ended up with cabins on opporsite sides of the ship.  Well, not sides per se.  One at the front and one at the back.  (Would have loved to impress you with my knowledge of port and starboard, but both our cabins was on the "right" side).  The Norwegian Sun being 258.5 meters long, you almost lose faith when you stand at our side of the passage and know you have to go all that way to the back!   The passage is so long and straight, it creates an optical illusion that you are looking into mirrors reflecting the same passage over and over.  At one stage the crew regaled us with "stupid questions" from passengers, and one question was: "do the elevators go back and forth as well".  Now I understand the question.:-)

Hennie reminisced about the scenes from (the long forgotton tv series) The Love Boat, where the quay was always full of people cheering and throwing streamers as the ship leaves the habour.  We had none of that.  Taking into consideration that during the summer season at least two ships leave the dock a day, somedays as many as 5 apparently.  So our departure was actually a total non-event.  But on the ship the party started with an American barbeque (read grilling of hamburger patties on an open fire), on the deck.  And so the overeating started…
Then we went to our cabin to open each and every cabinet door and marvel at how they maximise the packing space in the rooms!  Pity they could not find the place to have a slightly bigger shower.  By the looks of some people I have seen wandering on the deck, a few wil have a problem fitting and getting clean.  Then we visited by sister's cabin and oohed and aahed about their nice balcony...

We explored the ship, got lost, found a restaurant, got lost, had a beer, got lost, found the cocktail lounce, got lost... You get the picture.  We also tried our hand at Bingo (all time cruisers favourite) and the family made our day by winning $100!  I was so excited, you could have sworn that I have won the money!

Once having left the shores of Vancouver, we entered the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland.  The whole next day was just a sea day and we sailed past evergreen islands and glassy fjords.  Because the waters are sheltered from the open ocean by the numerous islands, there is no waves and it is very smooth sailing.  


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