Saturday, June 13, 2009

Alaska, aye? Oops, that's Canada.

Mr. Woo and I have had the luxurious privilege of going on another cruise this year. This time we were celebrating the Senior Woos' anniversary - or so we thought. It turns out that we were just spending time together and they wanted the whole family to come along. Uh, free cruise? No teeth pulling necessary. Today I'll briefly talk about food, service, and activities onboard; tomorrow will cover sights of Alaska.

7 nights on the Celebrity Infinity, journeying to one of the most beautiful states of our America. Our itinerary: Seattle, WA; Inside Passage (cruising); Ketchikan, AK; Hubbard Glacier (cruising); Juneau, AK; Victoria, BC; Seattle, WA.

Now let's talk business - FOOD. Y'all should know by now that the Woo's take eating very seriously (hence my 15 lbs post-marriage pooch). We dined with the other family (Sr Woos' friends) at the same table every night. Breakfast and lunch was usually done quickly at the buffet. The food gradually tasted better. Nolie tried escargot, Mr. Woo tried frog legs, and I played safe with my variety of fish and beef. Oh, but those fries... During the course of the day, or even at 11pm, I would crave those french fries. You could taste the potato in every bite! Another memorable noshing was the Baked Alaska. Of course the parade that started on the floor above and ended with all the waiters stopping at their respective tables, all the while having the entire room of adults and children alike swinging their napkins in the air is what I remember rather than the taste. The midnight dessert buffet left me a similar impression as well.

The STAFF on the Celebrity Infinity were a rainbow. The first hour aboard, I had the attendant for our room read me a script from a binder. One of the lines was "How are you?" o_O Then I had to explain to him that we didn't request our beds to be separated and had to ask that it be changed back to one. I was not going to be spending the vacation sleeping 2 feet away from my hubby! Then, the waitors upstairs (yes, we went to eat right after we saw our room...) were breaking glass in the kitchen and toppling drinks on the floor. So I thought to myself that these must be the newer staff. But then(!) - we met Artie. Artie is the farmboy become teacher (who taught Kirsten Dunst and the Olsen twins) become singer/performer in Vegas become Celebrity Infinity cruise director. And he absolutely made up for everything above. He became such a familiar face that we actually wanted to look for him to say good-bye before disembarking the ship.

The way we were able to meet Artie was through the ship's ACTIVITIES. Artie was the ship's guest choir director. We named ourselves the InfiniTunes, and Mr. Woo and I were a part of it. We had rehearsals and a performance and everything. It was great. Other activities that I found interesting included: the Art of Arranging Flowers seminar, the Sea Otters and Orca lecture, and the Watercolor Painting class. All were free of charge and left me with useful information. Of course I can't leave out the production shows at night nor the acapella group nor the musicians. All were fantastic, much more so than the Princess entertainers. In between our schedule, we found ourselves playing ping pong, basketball (the guys, not me), and exploring. Yes, I brought my gym clothes this time and walked over to the gym, but my intention was not good enough to get me to use the fancy equipment. There wasn't even a raffle drawing in the gym this time which shows that I really did scout the place with the intent of using it. But who has time for the gym when you can watch a chunk of ice being sculpted into a chief and eagle or witness a steam of men, women, and children take the Polar Bear Plunge into the cold pool? All the while eating those fries... Oh! We were on TV twice! Once for our guest choir performance, and the second for the Newlywed/Not-so-newlywed Game! One of the staff came up to me and asked, "Excuse me, ma'm. Are you married?" "Yes..." "Would you like to be on our game show?" And that was the beginning of our one hour of fame. (After we disembarked a boy came up to me and said, "Heeeeey, I saw you on TV~") We didn't win, but it was fun. They also gave each couple Celebrity t-shirts and a painting for participating/having fun (or being embarrassed, whatever you want to call it).

I am loving those facial expressions. More faces to come tomorrow!

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