2022 May 29 | Alaska cruise, day 1 - boarding

The tiny line of white lights in the top-right is our ship.

A little bit closer now.

A little bit closer now.

You have to press the button to be able to turn the handle to warm or hot. I wonder how many people have taken cold showers without figuring that out?

All packed and ready to go.

We're nearly the first people in line.

Then a huge line formed behind us.

This guy has Juicy Fruit and a mini Snickers in his backpack, yummy.

Clearing security was fast.

Getting excited.

A long line of staff ready to check people in.

We can see the ship.

We're in the first boarding group.

There's the ship. Ogii seems to be a little frightened of Monica's enthusiasm.

And we're on!

First stop for Monica and me: make reservations...

... for go-karts and laser tag. No reservations needed for Galaxy VR.

First stop for Mom and Ogii: change our dinner reservations from four to five, since they wouldn't let us do that ahead of time.

A long line now.

Ah, I have a Freestyle Daily. Now the vacation has truly begun.

Plan plan plan.

Plan plan plan.

Ooh, gotta check out the deck plans as well.

The pool area.

Ice sculpture.

And then to the best location of the ship: the buffet. First carving station piece: roasted beef leg.

Ready for lunch.

Ogii has to get her ice cream cone.

Checking out the Observation Lounge.

It's much bigger than I thought it would be.

Seattle skyline.

Mini libraries.

Even food bars with the server throwing up the peace sign.

More space.

The front.

The very front.

Semi-circular couches at each edge.

They even have chargers built in; that's neat.

Out the other side.

A scale model of the ship.

These screens near the elevators listed various shows and events you could reserve, although they tended to be already full. If you went to the box office in person, though, they would usually still add you onto the list.

And these listed the different rooms all over the ship.

We got in our rooms pretty early, at 1:30pm.

The bathroom is pretty decent.

Ogii making a call.

While I plan our evening.

And make a small map of the major venues.

And a weekly schedule.

Another view of the Seattle skyline.

They had three power plugs here, more than the last ship. That's great; we can both charge our phones and a laptop.

The lights by the bed also had USB plugs so you could charge your phone next to you while you slept. There was also an upper light and a lower adjustable light for reading; very nice.

Our safe was out of battery, but we didn't bring much cash or jewerly, so that was fine.

Cool artwork.

Buying champagne for Monica's birthday.

We were planning on getting Dom Perignon, but the sommelier talked us into buying Cristal for nearly twice the price.

Ogii said the "service charge" was a tip for him. It was 20%, so that seems right.

On some earlier cruises, I would go to the library to work on my computer a bit before Ogii woke up, and it was open with 24-hour access. On this and the last cruise, it was in an enclosed room with hours that didn't work with that.


A chocolate store.

We had plenty of candy already.

Bathroom all set up.

Magnetic hooks on the wall.

Ogii did all of the unpacking while I planned more.

Time for dinner. We got everyone to go to the Manhattan Room because the champagne would have been a bit out of place at the buffet.

Bringing Monica's champagne.

Opening and tasting.

Everyone gets a glass.

Then Monica gets all of the glasses.

I actually preferred Dom, but Ogii and Monica just thought Cristal was different, not better or worse.

Time for the actual meal.

And of course dessert.

Singing happy birthday.

A little house all by itself on the shore.

This light is all white during the day and changes color in the evening.

These steps light up as well.

Gotta go get your free charm bracelet.

Ah yes, tomorrow's Freestyle.

Gotta plan it all out.

While we play the Majority Rules game.

We won! And got a few prizes.

The next game was the Wheel of Ill Will.

Spin for a punishment.

The atrium was open to the floor above, where people could sit around the hole and watch from.

Where did Monica go? She's really good at these.

He got it.

You had to make reservations for the comedians, but they had a line as well.

A rainbow.

Under a big cloud.

Free drinks.

Which one should we try?

Looking at jewelry.

Only $59? That seems really cheap.

Ah, the sticker was in the way.


Getting colorful.

With the ship wake.

We were moving; the smoke was really coming out of the smokestack.

The theater.

A magician.

The problem with whiteboards is anybody can write on them. Then again, maybe they want this.

Tomorrow all figured out.