Alaska 2012:
Day 10 - Inside Passage


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Alaska 2012: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Seattle] [Day 3 - Victoria] [Day 4 - Vancouver ] [Day 5 - Inside Passage] [Day 6 - Juneau] [Day 7 - Skagway] [Day 8 - Glacier Bay] [Day 9 - Ketchikan] [Day 10 - Inside Passage] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Empire Builder] [Day 13 - Empire Builder]

Friday, August 10, 2012: We awoke to a sunny day in the Queen Charlotte Sound, thus reinforcing the notion that it's never sunny in Alaska, even when it is unseasonably sunny elsewhere nearby, such as British Columbia.
After meeting Bob for breakfast in the Vista dining room, we returned to our cabin to pack and to watch the wildlife. We spotted several groups of killer whales ...
... and Minke whales. All we had to do was watch the water for 5 - 10 minutes, and we'd spot something new.
At lunch time, we headed to the Lido Cafe for lunch and spotted a humpback whale diving right next to the ship just as we were sitting down. After lunch, we went out to our normal hang out by the Sea View pool in the back of the boat.
Doug and Susan were there first, so we joined them.
Here's Tom, ...
... and Debbie, ...
... and Jill, taking advantage of the sun and warmth.
Here's our mighty, mighty wake, ...
... and here's one of our little Princess friends following us.
We got to see an impressive sun halo shining over us.
After a while, we took Stewart with us to see some ship activities, starting with a Top Chef-style battle between two of the crew and their teams. We were there for a half hour before slipping out to see ...
... an up-close magic presentation by the onboard magician, James Cielen. It turned out to be one long commercial for the magic sets he was selling, but after he mocked a little girl in the audience for leaving early, none of us dared to leave until he was done. It was a genius marketing move on his part.
After that, we set out to photograph parts of the ship. Here's a little sitting area carved out of one of the hallways.
Here's the Zuiderdam's beautiful atrium, with its pretty crystal seahorse. Quoting Tom once again, "Chicks dig seahorses."
The four of us stopped to get a photograph of ourselves in this cool set of mirrors on a hallway wall.
These chairs were quite interesting.
The elevator doors were gorgeous, including these interior elevators, ...
... and these exterior ones.
This was the most normal of these sculptures. Most of these involved freakishly long necks and were a little disturbing.
Here's one of the benches in the elevator lobby where we would sometimes meet up with other Schillings.
With the sun back in our lives, we decided to do a little science on our balcony. Here are our four Del Sol nail polishes in the shade, ...
... and here they are after being exposed to light. Science = awesome.
Bob stopped by with a duffel bag of beer, so we had an impromptu balcony party.
With gorgeous weather and views, it was a great party indeed.
Charming lighthouses dotted the islands we passed, ...
... and we spotted lots of whale spouts in the water.
We enjoyed more scenery until it was time to change for our last dinner.
The dinner menu this evening was more challenging than usual, because it was the Master Chefs International Dinner. Dining selections were divided into four sections: North & South America, Asia & Australia, Europe & Africa, and Chef Rudi's Tour Around the World. So many things looked good, but we eventually made our decisions.
Dinner was delicious, as usual, and we would be sorry to return to the real world where dinner isn't served to us at 5:45 every night.
Being the last night of the cruise, it was time for the March of the Baked Alaskas!
First timers and veterans alike waved their napkins in the air to help cheer the marchers, ...
... including our assistant waiter, Tri.
Everyone received the dessert they ordered (such as this individual plating of Baked Alaska), but additional servings of Baked Alaska were readily available to everyone.
We said goodbye to our waiter, Isman, and made plans to meet up on deck later.
We used any excuse to ride in the clear elevators, because they were more scenic and often less used.
We would definitely miss views like this from our balcony.
We headed up to our usual hang out for one last family gathering. Note that this photo wasn't so much of Jill as it was of the Australian guest who seemed to always be in our hallway every time we left or returned to our room. Here he was on deck with us, so he had to be photographed.
Tom got us a round of hot chocolate while we waited for our people to arrive.
We travelled through Johnstone Strait, with the shoreline of Vancouver Island on the starboard side and mainland British Columbia on the port side.
Bob, Doug, Susan, and Stewart arrived in time to enjoy the sun setting behind us.
Doug and Susan treated us to some mojitos and Bahama Mamas using what remained on their beverage card. Give Doug a cocktail and he gets all huggy.
See?
It was getting a little chilly out, but a nice lady walked by and offered us the blankets that her party was no longer using.
Once it started to really get dark, we decided to call it a night, ...
... but oh, that pizza buffet beckoned and some of us were powerless to resist.

Our last photo of the evening was this one of Bob, to show his brother Mark that he was wearing his Tommy Bartlett Shows hat. Here you go, Uncle Mark!

Day 11 >


Alaska 2012: [Day 1 - Chicago] [Day 2 - Seattle] [Day 3 - Victoria] [Day 4 - Vancouver ] [Day 5 - Inside Passage] [Day 6 - Juneau] [Day 7 - Skagway] [Day 8 - Glacier Bay] [Day 9 - Ketchikan] [Day 10 - Inside Passage] [Day 11 - Seattle] [Day 12 - Empire Builder] [Day 13 - Empire Builder]

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