Monday, October 22, 2007


I feel kind of weird writing about our cruise--it just seems so darned indulgent. But it was a blast--I returned feeling incredibly refreshed and ready for action.

Some highlights of our very first cruise (with cruise-meisters Dave & Jen Proehl):

It was a 3 night trip out of Seattle, sailing to Victoria and Nanaimo BC. The Mercury was our home away from home.

We got to use our passports for the first time. Canada rocks, eh!

The cuisine was fantastic, each day a non-stop food-fest. We'd dress up for dinner each night and be escorted to our table in the Manhattan room. Our waiters were Wilmer (from Honduras) and Derry (from Jamaica). They were delightful! We found out that Wilmer had a wife and two boys and he spent six months at a time away from them working on the cruise ships. He'd only been home with his kids at Christmas once since they'd been born!

The first night, we were entertained by a comedian who made us laugh until our sides hurt. (The second night we all lost $20 playing bingo and were not so amused by the ventriloquist and his lecherous, alcoholic dummy. Yikes!)

We toured the Butchart Gardens in Victoria. The fall colors were spectacular--you can see a smidge of how amazing it was in the slide show. I can't remember the last time I "oohed" and "aahed" so enthusiastically. Dave P. described it as "Disneyland with all the rides broken."

Speaking of Dave, he nearly came to blows with several cruise mascots. A smiling moose and grinning dolphin met us as we disembarked in Victoria. They pretended to be our best friends until I tried to take a picture with my camera. After a stern rebuke by the ship's photographer, Dave muttered to the dolphin who had draped it's flippers around his shoulders, "Greedy dolphins. That's why we eat you!"

Whereupon the enraged dolphin challenged Dave to a fight, but we managed to drag him to safety. Surly sea mammal!

We forgot about the encounter until the next day when we stepped off the tender (shuttle boat) in Nanaimo. We were greeted by an eagle, his wings outspread for a welcoming embrace--until he apparently recognized Dave. Mr. Eagle lowered his wings and put up his dukes. We somehow got past him without incident, but it was quite the close call . . .

Who knew that a cruise could be so dangerous?