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Terry & Dave Taylor

Alaska Cruise

Aboard the Star Princess
August 9 - 16, 2003

Seattle, Washington: Dave's Mom and her friend, Chip, flew up to Portland to join us on a cruise to Alaska! Everything started well. The weather was cool at home. Everyone was organized and ready to go. The only obstacle: Dave could not find his camera and we decided he had left it in Goldie, so on our way out of town, we made a detour to the motorhome. Indeed the camera was there and indeed the motorhome batteries were DEAD. This is an issue for our return. Isn't it unbelievable that Goldie can break down even when we are NOT using her?
The drive to Seattle was pleasant. Mom and Chip are so excited to see "green". To me, everything is so dry and brown, but compared to Central California, this is practically a rain forest.
Dave took a quick drive-by of downtown Seattle and we headed for the ship. The Star Princess is massive and though we did have written directions, you simply have to head toward the water and drive toward the floating city docked next to Seattle. She is visible even from I-5.
Entering the reserved parking area, we were told the Star Princess would not be sailing at 5 pm as scheduled due to a break out of a gastro disorder on the previous sailing. The ship was being cleaned. Really cleaned. We were to check-in and then, via chartered bus, go to one of several downtown hotels, where we could wait in their hospitality rooms. Tours of Seattle and buses to the Museum of Flight were also offered. I chose the W hotel because it was close to the Pike Street Market. The hotel was offering drinks only, and we were starving - it was 3 pm by now - so we headed towards the busy market in search of food. Seriously, we were going on a cruise ship for a week - we needed to get our stomachs trained!
On cue, my cell phone rang. It was Marcia - our friends had spent the previous two weeks exploring British Columbia and were on their way to Seattle to catch their flight home! They met us at the Pike Brewery for lunch. The girls looked as if they had grown so much since we had seen them in October. So tan and excited and full of fun stories of their trip. It was great to catch up - and so great to see Red and Marcia so soon again too. (Don't forget, Marcia toasted Lisa's graduation with champagne with us in DC in May!) The eight of us walked one block to the market. Marcia bought 2 Dungeness crabs packed in ice to take back to Chicago.

Jessica & Alison

Marcia with her Fishmonger at Pike Street Market

Pike Street Market

Red with DT and me

We sadly parted ways. The cruisers walked four blocks uphill to the W where our chariot awaited. Within the hour, we were onboard the beautiful Star Princess. Our luggage was already in our room. So was a letter from the Captain explaining that the virus on the last cruise was indeed the Norwalk Virus and we were to wash our hands every 2 minutes and for the delay each cabin was given a $50 ship-board credit. PARTY! We unpacked, attended the mandatory emergency muster and went to an upper deck, cocktail in hand to watch the sail away at 9 pm. Somehow a rum punch did not fit the mood, as there is positively nothing tropical about Seattle, but there is still magic in a sail away. I do not feel Chip had a true experience though - for his first cruise Princess had no party, no music, no streamers.
The Star Princess simply left port.

Seattle from the Star Princess
The bath and closet of Aloha 630

Mom and Chip were exhausted, but DT and I explored the ship and listened to some music in the Explorer's Lounge before retiring to our state room As we went to sleep we could see the Olympic Mountains below the bright moon, the lights of Port Angeles hugging the shore and feel the sea gently rocking us to sleep.

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