Alaska Cruise: day 9 (at sea)

Day 9 (part 1): Today was at sea, with an unbelievable cake buffet extravaganza! I took a dozen pictures of the deserts before asking for way too much cake. I headed back to my stateroom, but got a knock on my door. It was Sasha, my little 6-year old friend! She had been begging her grandmother to take her to visit me! What a sweetheart!! Again, my day has been made by a little smile!

I took some time to update my blog on a lounge chair with an ice cream cone while looking at the ocean. I saw a herd of seals, dolphins, swimming birds, and even a humpback whale! This is a great view! I might do a round of miniature golf later before preparing for dinner and then packing up for disembarkation.

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(part 2): We played a round of mini golf. It feels strange to play golf in the middle of an Alaskan fjord. We decided to go to dinner early so we could finish before we left the College Glacier. On our way out from golf, we looked over the railing and saw a dolphin! Pretty soon, we saw several other marine animals but these were black with white spots! After a few jumped out of the water, we realized they were Orca Whales!!! We saw about 10 of them!

Since our cruise was a celebration for our graduation, the cruise gave us each a card to bring to our waiters whenever we wanted to celebrate. We had forgotten until now, so we brought them this time for our last dinner. We were sat near another table with people we had eaten with before and a new couple, all of whom were very friendly and talkative. Two tables away, I saw little Sasha and her family! I didn’t want to disturb them so I let them be. When we gave the waiter our cards, he brought us out two wonderful celebration cakes! They sang us “Happy Graduation” to the happy birthday tune. All our old friends who we had met on our trip joined in singing and clapping for us! Then, front and center with the singing waiters appeared little Sasha who had just noticed me! Her grandmother came to me to ask what I studied. I told her that I studied linguistics and a little Russian. They had been whispering to each other in Russian, so Sasha looked a little embarrassed. Her grandmother smiled “khorosho!” and Sasha looked at her horrified and shushed her. Sweet Sasha insisted that her grandmother speak English and pronounce my name correctly. She had perfect pronunciation! Her family kept trying to keep her at their table but Sasha wanted to be with me for as long as possible.

The crew brought out the grand Baked Alaska Parade, which I had to try. It was an interesting take on the Baked Alaskan with Neapolitan ice cream. Sasha’s family got up to leave, so she ran up to me for one last goodbye. I snapped an adorable shot of her before she had to leave. We had to have our suitcases packed and out in the hall by 10:30 tonight so they could check them and have our bags waiting for us when we check out. Tomorrow, we will need to leave our stateroom by 8 am.

Last day aboard requires some preparation. You need to make sure your account is clear, but since we had our card registered it wasn’t a problem. Whatever cruise line you are on, make sure that your steward will receive a tip. Princess adds a $12 gratuity per person per day to your account, and that is split between your steward and every waiter who has served your meals, so you don’t need to worry about anything else.

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