Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 18 -- Sailing to Victoria, BC

Friday was our last real day on the cruise and there were lots of things to get done. We packed our bags and then attended a disembarkation seminar where we learned about the process. Our cruise director ran the meeting and he is funny enough to be a stand up comedian. He started by telling us some of the funniest questions he got during the cruise. Here’s a sample:

Do these stairs go up or down? (His reply: Yes.)
Does this elevator take you to the front of the ship? (His reply: W’re working on that.)
You said our bags had to be in the hallway by 1:00 am. Do we put them out before or after we go to bed? (His reply: I suggest before you go to bed unless you have some powers the rest of us don’t.)

Each day, our stewards would bring in new animals made from towels. (See the picture of the monkeys.) They gave a class on towel animals the last day so we attended. Even with the class and written instructions, I don’t think you’ll be seeing many towel animals around our house. After that we went to the farewell from the Holland American staff. They introduced about 300 of the 800+ staff who had served us on the cruise including Captain Mercer. They then had a behind the scenes tour of the theatre. The performers from the Las Vegas style shows and the crew who ran the lights, sound and stage conducted the tours and answered questions. We learned that one of the girls is a Rockette from Toronto and will be performing with them again in November on their roadshow. The cast were really friendly and we had lots of fun talking with them. We then went to an afternoon tea in the dining room. Shortly after tea, the ship docked in Victoria and we went ashore for one last time. Ladies and gentlemen dressed in Victorian garb met us at the dock and passed out maps and gave out information. The ships dock about 4 miles from downtown, so we took a bus into downtown. We had a beer at the Swan Pub and Brewery, which has received many international accolades. There were a couple of locals who were talkative, so we learned a lot about the area from them. One lived in Victoria and was a web developer. He had a lot to say about the Americans and the Iraq war. The other was a Welshman with a “keg” leg who lived up-Island and had to drive home that evening. He was on his way to a friend’s house for dinner and he said he would have some strong espresso to keep him awake. We said a little prayer for his (and others) safe arrival. The Pub was owned by the University. The original owner died of a heart attack on a plane and had no heirs, so he left it to the University. Being a Friday night and with two large cruise ships in port, the town was hopping. After getting to see the Parliament building lit for the evening (they outline the building in lights) we headed back to ship to call it a night. Of course, we didn’t want the night to be over so we headed for the observation deck and awaited our departure for Seattle. Around 1:00 am we decided to get some rest for our travels the next day. It would be back to driving.

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