Monday, June 28, 2010

Day One: Sapphire Princess

Ed and Mary at the “Sail Away” party on the top deck of the Sapphire Princess
as the ship embarks from Elliot Bay in Seattle.
This shot was taken by the ship's photographer and cost us $20!
I can’t believe we’re really here! Ed and I are enjoying the honeymoon we’ve always dreamed of: one whole week alone together on a cruise ship heading up the coast of Alaska.

Mountains seen from the plane at 36,000 feet
Our flight to Seattle was crowded and a little frightening to me. I hadn’t been on a plane since my friend Peggi and I flew to Hawaii 30 years ago, in January 1980. Yet I loved spending those 3 hours beside my new husband. Ed was so patient and encouraging, I found myself almost enjoying the flight!

We used this napkin to keep me distracted by coloring in all the states I’ll have visited by the end of this honeymoon trip.
We arrived in Seattle at 1:00 and took a shuttle to our ship, the Sapphire Princess. Our stateroom is small but very elegant. They use a lot of mirrors to make it appear larger. The bathroom is teensy-weensy and there’s no seat on the toilet, which is a little weird. How odd to sit directly on the porcelain rim!

I love this plaque by our cabin door, identifying us as Mr. Edward Reynolds and Mrs. Mary Reynolds.
This is the only place where no one has ever known me by any other name!
The ship set sail right on schedule at 4:00. Ed and I ordered virgin strawberry daiquiris (no alcohol) and joined the “Sail Away Party” to watch as the ship pulled away from the pier and headed out into the Puget Sound.

Mary, age 55, at the top of the ship
The ship is gorgeous, immaculate, and huge. It’s easy to get lost in it, as we’ve already learned several times. There is room for about 2,700 passengers on the Sapphire Princess. That’s like a small town! We’ve met a lot of nice people from all over the world, including two couples from Arizona. In fact, one couple from Mesa is friends with a family I’ve known for years in Pinetop-Lakeside. Small world, indeed!

One of several pools on the ship: notice the regular pool on the right, which is under the water of the larger, shallower pool.
The food is amazing! The stereotypes about constant eating on cruises appear to be true. There are restaurants everywhere you turn, with a tempting variety of delicious dishes. Willpower is necessary, since the food is included and you can eat all you want for no extra cost. (Yet they charge you $3.50 for every bottle of water you drink! We’re learning some of these lessons the hard way…)

Ed sits at our luncheon table, with a beautiful view of the Seattle seaport as we wait to sail.
Before dinner we got settled in and then went exploring. Navigating the system of elevators and stairs is surprisingly tricky, and we had to ask for directions multiple times. After dinner we spent some time at the railing, looking out at the passing scenery. On the port side of the ship we saw the Canadian coast creeping by. On the starboard side were many large, inhabited islands.

Ed looks out on the water.
In the evening we enjoyed sitting on the deck and watching the sun disappear behind the sea. I didn’t have my camera with me, so I missed that photo op. Ed and I were both exhausted by the time darkness fell and we called it a night. It was cool to come back to our stateroom to find our sheets turned down and chocolates waiting on the bed. This is the life!

Thank you, my sweet husband, for giving me the gift of such a wonderful honeymoon!


Jeremy and Cami said...

Looks like you are having fun!! That would be my dream cruise so enjoy it for us!!

Jill Shelley said...

I've been waiting all day for this and it did not disappoint. All my life of course I have heard about cruises but never quite could picture it all....even looking at brochures. You are showing it beautifully. I am in awe over that big in the world do they get a pool built on a ship...I'll never understand. And the bed...a tight fit there but looks so sweet and cozy. Hey, and that $20 picture will mean everything to you years up the road.
Already looking forward to tomorrow's installment.