Alaska Cruise: Day 2

I slept really well last night. Except, it turns out that I forgot to bring my nighttime audiobook phone with me. I improvised with the mini iPad but it doesn’t work as well since the sleep timer setting isn’t sticky so it can easily drone on all night unless I wake up enough to turn it off but not enough to need it to go back to sleep. I remembered to turn off my 6:00 AM work alarm. However, I forgot to turn off my 6:55 AM bus warning alarm. So, I woke up at 6:55 AM. However, I already had more than 8 hours of sleep at that point so I decided to get up and walk around the deck for some morning exercise. I walked two miles around the deck again. There were quite a few whales. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to bring the binoculars and they were close enough I could tell they were whales but far enough away I didn’t really see any details.

After showering I went and explored the breakfast buffet. There was a very nice variety of breakfast foods available. However, I wasn’t fond of the seating. It was busy enough that there wasn’t a lot of seating available and there wasn’t any formal seating to introduce seat mates. I ate quickly and then found a nook to read in. I first tried the observation deck, but it was really busy and not really conducive to reading. However, there was an interesting LEGO model of the Oosterdam. Eventually, I discovered some nice seating outside the Lincoln Center room.
Lego model of the Oosterdam.

When booking the cruise I had decided to splurge on a pedicure. I was a little nervous about the whole thing because I’ve never had a pedicure before. However, I had terrible calluses on my feet so I figured this was as good a time as any to try it out. It was . . . fine. The calluses are gone and professionally painted toenails do look a lot better than what I can do. However, there was the whole awkward conversation bit. I think I might find massages more relaxing in the short-run but you can admire painted toenails longer than a massage. The nail technician did talk me into getting a manicure later on.

After the pedicure I came back to my room and read for a bit. Just as I was contemplating lunch, the steward appeared ready to clean my room. So went up to the buffet for lunch. Like breakfast I found the seating situation to be awkward. I decided it might make sense for me to take most of my meals in the formal dining room instead of the buffet. I might try that approach out tomorrow.

After lunch I had just enough time to finish my book before there was a cooking demo by America’s Test Kitchen. This one talked about chilies. Neither of the dishes were vegetarian (though I think one of them could be made vegetarian). However, the cooking techniques and tips were really interesting and I’m definitely glad I went. After that I went to an “Ask the Captain” session where the captain talked about the boat. It was fairly interesting but I was getting sleepy so I slipped away once the captain started taking questions from the audience.

I took a nap and it was glorious. After my nap I briefly caught up on email and then decided to get ready for dinner. Tonight was a “gala” night so guests were expected to dress a little nicer than usual. Though, in practice that appeared to vary a great deal. I was seated at a table with 4 other people, all southerners and a very different demographic than my first group. However, I decided that even if we were polar opposites in many ways 1, it was good to be familiar with other perspectives.

After dinner I decided to go use the Thermal Pool2. It was really nice. In the pool there were metal bars along one side that were shaped similar to a lounge chair. So you could lean back and bubbles floated around. Kind of hard to explain but very relaxing.

I eventually got out and wavered between walking around the deck some more and going to a dance show. I eventually settled on the show. After it started, I decided I had made a good decision. Except, only a couple minutes in they had technical difficulties which they were unable to recover from. So, I ended up walking another two miles on the deck after all. Like the morning, I forgot the binoculars and there were whales. However, this time they were close enough that I could see them pretty well without magnification. Also, my (phone) camera is clearly not designed to take pictures of whales. If you look at the picture below you may see a black blip on the water. That would be a whale.
Tiny whale fin in a large swath of water.

When I got back to my room there was a stingray waiting for me.
Stingray towel.

Tomorrow will be our first port day, in Juneau.

  1. One older gentleman proudly told me he had only read one book in his life: the Bible. I really hope that was an exaggeration. You can’t get through school without reading at least several books, right?? I mean, not everyone has to be a reader but one books ever? I was also really curious if he had actually read the Bible all the way through but decided not to administer a pop quiz on his favorite passages.
  2. An extra charge but I bought a 7-day pass for it.

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