May 15, 2022

Friday May 13 - Mostly at Sea

Our clocks were set forward 1 hour last night so we are on Seattle time when we dock Saturday.

The seas are slight, the skies mostly cloudy with an occasional patch of sun. 

Like many of the cruise lines, Holland has a program to transfer luggage directly to the airline. They print boarding passes for the flight, and luggage tags for your luggage. Place your luggage outside your cabin, and hopefully the next time you see it will be in the luggage carousel at your destination airport.  What is most surprising is that Holland does not charge extra for this service. Subject to acceptance by the airline, and I must assume CBP, our approved paperwork arrives this morning.

During a Q & A with the entertainment  manager I learn that we have 1400 passengers on this trip. 1600 were anticipated, but for whatever reasons about 200 didn't actually board the ship. Total crew is at 700.

Interestingly a question that I have heard asked many times but never answered is: "How much fuel does the ship use?" Well the captain shared that for our 7 day Alaskan cruise we will consume 700 tonnes of fuel.  That is less than one third the ship's fuel capacity, and at today's elevated oil prices, about a $700,000 fuel bill for the week.  Even sailing at our reduced capacity, that translates to about $500 in fuel per passenger for the week, or 27 cents per passenger mile including the cost of electricity for all the hotel operations. This is an older, smaller ship, newer ships are much more fuel efficient.

Several pods of whales are spotted throughout the day.  Listen to several lectures, start the packing process. The last day is always a letdown.

I banged my wrist pretty hard on arrival in Seattle a little over a week ago. From the middle of my arm to the middle of my fingers my skin is a rainbow of colors from near black and dark blue, to red and yellow. A byproduct of taking blood thinners is that I bruise very easily.  Confident nothing is broken, I should heal completely in a few weeks. In the meantime it looks pretty gross and I just need to avoid hitting it again. The other good side effect of the sore wrist is that I haven't noticed the tendonitis in my ankle very much.

Before cocktail hour I make a trip to guest services to collect some envelopes for gratuities for the dining room and my room stewards. The line is not long, but very slow. Lots of complaints about various charges. Why they don't just have a stack of envelopes available for passengers to pick up escapes my common sense. 

Stopping back at the cabin on the way to dinner, more news.  Our tour of Seattle in the morning that would drop us off at the airport has been cancelled. "Credit on your account will be forth coming."  No alternative is offered.

After some Google searching it is decided to just take a cab from the ship to the Space Needle. Built for the 1962 World's Fair, it is Seattle's number one attraction. From the space needle it will be a cab to the airport.

Our last meal in the dining room is again good. The staff is appreciative of the extra gratuity. I have not seen a single passenger offer a gratuity once the entire week. Why, I am not sure, but I find it disgusting at minimum. A sad commentary on our society.

The suitcases are packed and put out in the hall. I hope mine makes it to Florida. I say that not only because of the logistics involved, but the poor design and quality of the suitcases I just bought. Maybe that we teach me to just expect that the zippers are properly located and will function on a $450 set of luggage.

Very few passengers get off the ship in Victoria. With an 8PM arrival time and disembarkation commencing just before dusk, there is not much incentive to visit the city.

The alarm is set for the first time, but I really doubt it will be needed. A week isn't long enough to adjust to a four hour time difference.

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