The Glacier Tour


There was plenty to do and eat while we waited for everyone to get on the ship. We found the work-out center. It was very well equipped with machines and free weights. It was the last time we would see it. There must’ve been a dozen bars and almost as many restaurants and cafeteria’s. We would eventually experience them all. Plus room service. Twice. There were multiple pools and several hot tubs, but it never really got warm enough for that to seem like a good idea. The one time we jumped in to one of the rearward pools (that would be the stern) we had it to ourselves. Could’ve been because it was midnight.
This boat is big enough that it came as a surprise when I realized we had actually pulled away from the dock. I was watching the shore guys cast off our anchor lines but then got distracted (had to find another beer). No tugboats. This ship can go sideways and backwards by itself. Probably steer it with a joystick. First chance I got, I would talk my way onto the bridge and see how they did it. Maybe they would let me steer.
Before you go too far on a cruise, you have to have life boat drill in case you ever have to abandon the ship. That would be a bummer. For the drill, you grab your life vest from your room and go to your designated bar where you learn how to put it on. You never leave to bar, so I didn’t get a chance to check out the lifeboats.
The reason big cruise ships come this far North is because a lot of people will apparently pay to see glaciers. I actually wasn’t real sure what a glacier looked like, but we passed one on the way to Whittier so I was looking for a big white thing. We were surrounded by glaciers. Fortunately, this cruise included a naturalist and her naturalist son who would point out the real glaciers and explain things like the difference between a glacier and big pile of snow. We could even catch all the scenery from the deck off our room. Occasionally, the ship would do a 360 so everyone could get a view (the ship could turn in its own length). The glaciers, of course, don’t look anything like big piles of snow, and they’re not just white; some are a deep blue. When glaciers meet the ocean (which would be a costal glacier) they become giant walls of ice. As the base melts in the salt water, the face collapses in huge chunks accompanied by what sounds like thunder. It was awesome.
There’s really no point in gushing about the scenery. You’ll just have to go there. Get a room with a deck.
Meeting the captain and the senior staff was cause for big party with lots of (free) champagne. We went or course, because I was still thinking I could talk my way onto the bridge and because what else are you going to do on a ship? But check this out: when they introduced the captain, he looked just like Jean-luc Picard, captain of the Starship Enterprise. Sort of. We didn’t get a chance to talk, but I have a completely different idea of what the ship’s bridge looks like now.

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