My previous cruise to Alaska was in 1998, coincidentally on RCI's Rhapsody of
the Seas. I've definitely noticed a change in the demographic of the passengers from then to now. The average age today is much younger, with many families onboard. The Vision of the Seas has 300 kids, 18 and under onboard. Obviously the cruise line marketing is working. Alaska is no longer a destination for "blue hairs" only.
Last night, after dinner, we convinced our dinner mates to join us for the game of Novel Quest. For those new to RCI, it's sort of a scavenger hunt with a major twist. I don't want to give away the dynamics of the entire game, so suffice to say it's a game played in teams, and a cruise ship is the only place I've come across where particants willingly take out their false teeth, or men willingly wear their wives underwear in public. Our dinner mates joined the game with "Kuki" vigor. I sat back, advised, and watched, while laughing myself silly. I thought I was going to wet my pants when one of our team members attempted to remove a bar waiter's false teeth to use in the game.
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There were quite a number of whales visible from the ship last night. From the bridge, Captain Bang kept passengers well informed on where to look to spot the whales.
Friday Aug. 4 - Ketchikan
Today was an amazing day! It was a Caribbean day in Alaska. Temperatures soared into the 80s, and when people returned to the ship from their excursions the pool deck looked like a typical sea day in the Caribbean. Waiters were serving trays full of umbrella drinks with snow capped mountains for a background. A cruise line couldn't ask for a better visual image of an Alaska cruise
Unfortunately Mrs. Kuki and I got shut out of the bear watching excursion today. It has apparently been sold out a month in advance, and our trip wasn't planned in time for me to pre-order our cruise line excursions.
This situation is more likely to occur in Alaska than on Caribbean itineraries, because many of the most popular excursions here have flights involved. The shortages come about mostly due to lack of equipment (either float-planes or helicopters). The lesson learned is if coming to Alaska, book your shore excursions early.
As a replacement Mrs. Kuki and I chose to stroll around Ketchikan and take in the Alaska Lumberjack Show, which is right in town. While the show is a bit "kitch", it was a lot of fun. The lumberjacks had competitions which included springboard chopping, bucksawing, axe throwing, log rolling, and tree climbing.
The dialogue amongst competitors between competitions was cute and entertaining.
While not a wilderness adventure one might look for in Alaska, it's an enjoyable way for the lazy people, like myself, to spend a couple of fun hours.
Tonight we cruise the surrealistic beauty of Misty Fjords