Dancing at Sea: Harbor Lights..
I see those harbor lights... the ports of Seattle and Victoria
On Thursday, May 14th we arrived in Seattle and were moored by 9 am. I decided that I had to try out the gym facilities at least once since I lugged my workout clothes and shoes with me to California so I thought I would go there early before having breakfast. I was up at the gym area by about 7:30 and to my amazement there was not an unoccupied treadmill or elliptical machine. These baby boomers do not let a mere holiday mess with their fitness goals. I hung around for a bit admiring the view - its great to work out with a wonderful sea vista all around - and finally when someone vacated a treadmill I was able to get on it.
After a reasonably good workout I decided to check out the Horizon buffet, so after a quick shower, I dressed and went to have breakfast. It was still really cool - cold actually. We had had quite cold weather from Santa Barbara onwards. I guess it is not surprising for early May. Anyway the buffet was good- I found fruit, yogurt, and lots of coffee. I had decided that I would not bother with tours in either Seattle and Victoria, both cities that I had visited often before, and that I would try and get some writing done. I had a dance lesson scheduled and that was fun. Then I took my lap top up on deck and worked till it was time to get ready for dinner and more dancing.
That night the Sapphire Princess orchestra was playing "A Tribute to Big Band" in the Explorer's Lounge; a venue we had not used despite a slightly bigger floor than the Wheelhouse - because they always seemed to have stand up comics or trivia games going. It was actually quite nice. They played one set at 8:30 and then another was scheduled for 10:30.
In between the Cruise people held a "Passenger Feud Gameshow" - apparently like Family Feud- something I have never watched. Anyway to keep our seats near the floor, Carrie who was standing in for Wendy, suggested we wait it out. Raoul entered four of us as a team to play. I agreed to be one of the team members but luckily our team did not get selected.
We danced the second set and then most people seemed pretty exhausted and took of to their cabins. I have this problem that the more I dance the more energised I get - sort of like a wind-up toy that just keeps going instead of wearing down - so it took me ages to fall asleep with big band music running through my head.
Friday, May 15, 2009 Victoria
We entered Victoria Harbor around 8 am.
I had a Deep Tissue Massage booked for that time so headed up to the Spa area to check in. The facility is very nice and the masseuse was very sweet. I guess I am spoiled by having had regular treatments from Julie, the best registered massage therapist in Vancouver. Ok maybe that is an exaggeration since I have not had treatments from most of the others but my muscles really feel less tight after one of Julie's "torture" sessions. Anyway it was a fine massage, and I got out of there without being persuaded to buy any treatment oils or lotions.
Victoria Harbor is also quite lovely, and I managed to get a fair amount of work done despite spending a lot of time admiring the view. After lunch I spent a bit of time packing, and then met the group as usual in the Wheelhouse Bar for a pre-supper get-together, a good meal and dancing till about 11 pm. Again people were tired and several of us had early morning calls for disembarking so I packed my dance shoes and dress away with mixed emotions.
I have had an absolute blast on this cruise - loved the hours of dancing and the new dance styles I picked up- and met truly lovely folks from all over the US. If there was minor criticism, I would say that one additional dance host with a varied dance repertoire, and a couple more men who danced rather than hitting the casino, would have made the experience perfect. But to be fair number-wise, Dancers at Sea did provide the host-guest ratio they guaranteed, and they have no control over how many people sign up as a guest for a cruise.