My Fitbit woke me at 6:00 but I rolled over, snoozed, and was startled when the alarm I had set on my phone went off at 6:20. We were soon dressed and on our way up to meet the naturalist for wildlife spotting on the observation deck at 7:00 am.
When I had first looked out our window after waking it seemed reasonably clear but, by the time we found the naturalist, the ship was in a patch of mist and visibility was restricted. There was an orange glow in the east and a hint of blue above but all around was white with dark water below. Wildlife watching became ‘hints for wildlife watching’ but, as we listened, the mist began to thin as the sun broke through and we were able to see sky above and land in the distance. We watched for wildlife until we decided it was time for breakfast.
The Lido casual dining area was nearest so we ate there rather than trek to the dining room. There was plenty of variety on offer but we stuck with coffee, muesli, and yoghurt. I added a banana and a bagel with cream cheese.
After breakfast we relaxed in our room for a bit. Majella has begun learning to play Mahjong with friends in Toowoomba so she decided to try her hand on board. She set out for that a little before 9:30. I walked a few laps of the promenade deck to get some exercise. It didn’t hurt that it allowed some time in the fresh air with views all round.
When Majella returned from Mahjong, having discovered their rules were very different from what she had been learning, we went up to the front lounge on level 10 for coffee. There was a crowd there enjoying the view as the ship cruised up the coast but we found seats and joined them for a while.
Back in our room, Majella got into her knitting and I worked on photos. We both kept an eye on the window and occasionally went out on the verandah to enjoy the fresh air and view.
We ate lunch from the Taco Bar on the Lido pool deck and then at 1:00 went to see a demonstration of two ways to cook salmon. The woman presenting that was lively and we enjoyed that presentation. At 2:00 we moved to a talk by the EXC guides about the places we will be visiting during the week. They talked and showed slides about the highlights and how best to see them. We stayed in the same location for another presentation at 3:00; this time by the young man in charge of land journeys. That was our first briefing for what to expect when we disembark at Seward and head for Denali.
By that time it was approaching 4:00 pm and we were talked out so we headed back to our room to relax a while. I slipped out for a bit to catch some more photos of clouds, sea, mountains and islands. I managed to catch a photo of a bald eagle from the verandah outside our room.
Tonight was a gala dinner night which meant we had to put on our finest gear. We did that around 5:00 pm and headed off to the Ocean Bar where we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks while the piano player (a different one) did his thing.
Sometime before 6:00 we went to the dining room where we were seated with 4 others, a couple from Texas, a woman, and a former policeman from the UK who had travelled widely and often by cruise. That made for interesting and varied conversation over dinner. The menu was special for the gala night. Majella had escargot (snails), which despite her long time interest in things French she had never previously tried, followed by rack of lamb. I had iberico ham, arugula salad, loin, and Black Forest cake with a glass of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. The food and service were excellent.
After dinner we went forward for the captain’s introduction and toast with bubbles provided and stayed on for the stand up comedian who managed a very entertaining set without any of the key words that seem essential to most modern comics.
On the way back to our room we stopped off for a concert at the Lincoln Center Stage with a pianist and string quartet performing a selection from Bernstein to Buble. There were some familiar pieces By then we were tired after a full day and ready for bed.