Vancouver is a beautiful city! JoAnn and I have been here twice before and found it to be clean, friendly, architecturally interesting and generally inviting. We stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel on the waterfront at Canada Place. Holland America booked us there for a one-night layover before flying home to Philadelphia. The Pan Pacific is attached to the Vancouver Convention Center and the cruise ship pier. It has a terrific view of the harbor. The following three photos were taken from our 16th floor room.
What do you call it when the rain isn’t falling, the breeze isn’t blowing and the day isn’t cold and bitter? A rare, sunny day in Ketchikan, Alaska’s rainiest town. Why just yesterday they had almost three inches of liquid fall from the sky. How lucky were we to see the sun? What a wonderful day. Here is the view as we sailed in.
August 9th is another rainy day and it finds us in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. Juneau is named after Joe Juneau, a gold prospector who came to the area in the late 19th century. As Joe must have said, “there’s gold in them, there hills” and the city was off and running. The city is nestled between Mount Juneau and Mount Roberts and is land locked with the only way in or out being by water or air. It is also the only state capital that borders a foreign county. Lets don our rain gear and set off to see the town.
Rainy, windy, cool; these adjectives describe the weather in Haines today. Oh, and did I mention cloudy? Clouds hang low over the mountains obscuring the peaks. Welcome to Haines.
We had no set plans today. We took our time this morning and decided to walk into the newer part of town. Bundled in warm clothes and girded against the rain off we went.
If you are visiting Alaska a trip into Glacier Bay is a once in a lifetime experience. We stopped to pick up a park ranger (Glacier Bay is a national park) around 8am. She narrated our trip into the bay, pointing out interesting things along the way. “Look, at 2 o’clock, there are some mountain goats. See those little white dots half way up the mountain. There they are,” she would tell us. Unfortunately, I was did not see any goats or bears or any wild life. What I did see was nature; rivers of ice, mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, clouds and mist. I did my best to capture it for you.
Lets start with a photo taken from my seat in the Explorations Cafe, as we entered the bay.
Our 14 day cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse was a terrific experience. The ship is lovely and the staff is very nice. Food throughout the vessel met our expectations. We expect quality and accept nothing less. That said however, we realize that booking a cruise on a ship that holds in excess of 2,800 passengers is not the same as booking a cruise on a small, luxury ship. A person should understand and appreciate the situation. I say this in an effort to place my comments in perspective.
We were very satisfied with the quality of product provided by the Eclipse. It met or exceeded our expectations. I especially want to commend Captain Leonardos Palaiokrassas who was always visible and who always had time for his passengers. He seems to have the respect of his crew and officers alike. His senior offices were also very visible. I would not hesitate to sail with him again and hope that I have that opportunity.
We started our trip with lunch in Sushi on 5 and we ended with dinner (our third of the trip) at Sushi on 5. The restaurant served some of the best sushi I have had and I wanted to end my blog with this photo of some of the wonderful staff.
I hope you have found my blog about our trip to the Southern Caribbean interesting and entertaining. If you did then you may want to follow us in May 2018 when we travel to Venice, Italy and travel from there on the Dalmatian Coast.
On our days at sea, following our last stop in Aruba, I walked the ship taking some photos of the artwork. The main staircase is where most of the work is exhibited. It is an interesting collection, primarily photographs and paintings. Some mixed media as well and occasionally a glass piece or two.
Each observer sees things differently; where one person sees beauty another sees an item that just does not resonate. That said, I am somewhat conflicted in the work on board. Some I really like but other pieces leave me cold. What follows is, I hope and intend, to be a representative sampling, and for the most part pieces that, as I select them, I like.
I apologize for the quality of my photos but the lighting on board and the glass protecting the work made my job somewhat difficult. In some instances the ambient lighting may have caused a tint to the photos. This is unfortunate but does not destroy the work.
You be the judge and let me know what you think. Remember, if you click on a photo it will open and, with a grouping, start a slide show. Enjoy.
But my first photo, along with its description, is of the Godmother of the Eclipse and I think her photo and story deserves to be displayed first. Sorry about the reflection but its the best I could do.
Aruba, our last stop on this 14 day cruise. We’ve been here once before, a long time ago, and decided to take yet another tour. Must be some kind of a record for us. We just wanted to see more than the little town of Oranjestad; get a feel for the island.
Right off of the ship, as you might expect, we encountered a lady selling two hour tours. Just what the doctor ordered. Catch was, since it was 10:45am and sales had slowed down for her, we had to wait until she could persuade at least six more late risers to join us. That took another 30 minutes but then, in the capable hands of Carlyle, our guide and driver, we were off. Again, I did not take photos out of the van windows; it was too difficult to do.
Our first stop was the Casibari Rock Formation which, as it sounds, is a jumble of hugh rocks, piled on high. We walked to the top of the formation to see the view and, of course, take a couple of photos. The way up was somewhat treacherous and difficult. If only we had seen the steps on the other side, which we used to come down, things would have been a good deal easier. Once at the top the wind was ferocious and just standing there was a challenge.