And it begins.


We sailed at 5 pm and I got a brand new view of Vancouver – one that I wish I’d seen years ago, because I probably would have had a lot nicer feelings about the city than I did by seeing it from the inside first. We watched until it was time for dinner.

 

Taken as we pull away from the pier

Taken as we pull away from the pier

So gorgeous! We are so fortunate – both to live here and to be able to take a cruise.

North Vancouver

Breathtaking.

I’m not going to bore you with every meal, but content myself with saying – I’m aiming to come home at the same weight I left. Gaining weight is wayyyyyyy too easy, because the chefs are amazing.

 

There was a small glitch at the dinner seating. We chose the reserved plan – show up at 5:30 every day to table #73. The problem was that someone was already there. So after a small keystone cops interlude of three waiters, a maitre d’hotel and a wine steward all running around trying to find us and the other people a new seat, the other people ended up across the room, we ended up just for the one evening next to our table, and our table stayed empty.

 

We got to know our temporary wine steward, Ronaldo. Young guy from the Phillipines. He reminded me of a young Peter Lorre – something about the cheekbones and the shape of the face, but thinner and smaller boned. And the eyes. Not as bulging as Peter Lorre’s but as dark and definitely as sexy! Also taller and the guy moved like lightening. He’s amazing with a waiter’s corkscrew (that’s the kind with the knifeblade, corkscrew and brace to pull the cork out). He doesn’t even have to look and the bottle is stripped, corked and poured in under 30 seconds! He’s funny and very friendly.

 

I suspect this is going to be a wine learning cruise, since at dinner, he talked us into attending a wine tasting, to pair foods and wines. That’s in a couple of days. Our first bottle of wine was a Bordeaux – Chateau des Trois Tours 2011. Very nice, although it didn’t work all that well with the Roast Prime Rib I had.

 

After dinner we promenaded on – what else? – the promenade deck. What else do you do on the promenade deck? Answer: stroll, walk, English competitive walking, jog, run, sit on the deck chairs and read, lie on the deck chairs and sleep, stand by the rail and watch the world go by. The promenade deck provides lots of delicious people watching opportunities. Three circuits of the deck equals one mile, which means I can get my hour walks in 12 circuits. That’s 1.6 km. if you’re metric – I’m still stuck between metric and imperial. We also enjoyed the sunset over the Gulf Islands – we weren’t to reach Victoria until well after dark.

Sunset Salish Sea

Sunset Salish Sea

We attended a reception given for the Neptune (that’s what our stateroom class is) and Pinnacle stateroom folks in the exclusive lounge. It was what I imagine a typical cocktail party would be like. Lots of people who don’t know each other standing around trying to make small talk. Not something Al & I do well. But we met the captain, the cruise director, the spa person (who is an MD, so that’s good if you’re into spa stuff) and the cellar master, who was very interesting. If she’s as good in front of a crowd as she is one on one, we’re going to learn a lot.

 

Sunset and Con Trails

Sunset and Con Trails

It took us until 10 pm to get from Vancouver harbour to just off Victoria, but we saw Trial Island, Beacon Hill Park, the Legislative Dome, and watched the lights of the pilot boat speed toward Ogden Point and the breakwater. Yes, I waved to Lisa’s house (my mil), toward our house, to say goodbye to Herb and Charmaine, and of course, Sam and Minou. Silly of me, but what the heck.

 

Our bed is two single beds shoved together, with enough pillows, bolsters and cushions to furnish half the Canadian Navy. Comfortable and loads of room – king size or better. Tomorrow we stop in Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River. Looking forward to that. (Tune in to find out why I’d be excited about a small, grubby lumber and fishing town).

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