June 25th: We were a little tardy arriving at College Fjord which provided opportunity for an extra hour of needed sleep. To insure we did not lay abed too long I had phoned in a wake-up call to the automated system the night before. We were not initially aware of this service but used it during the entire cruise. We had requested our room service breakfast for our entry into the fjord and were not disappointed as the timely delivery came just prior to the first glacier. Although Lesley and I had previously hiked about Yannert glacier in Denali, we were still excited about viewing others from the vantage point of our balcony. Needless to say, they were just beautiful to see as we leisurely floated by, sipping our coffee and enjoying our morning meal.
Our time in the fjord was short, about three hours, but again the weather was beautiful and afforded us a wonderful time on our uncovered balcony. (Authors note: We had been upgraded to Dolphin deck which afterword I understood has totally uncovered balconies. With the beautiful weather we experienced throughout this did not prove to be a detriment and in fact was a plus considering the amount of sun that we were able to bask in. But, were the weather to be more inclement, I imagine the uncovered deck would prove a liability. If we are to sail in Alaska again I will opt for at least a partially covered balcony because I don't think we could realistically expect similarly sunny skies.)
After we left College Fjord we began sailing in more open waters. It was here that we first felt the ship swaying. The waves themselves were not overly large but their angle of approach set the ship to rocking. Lesley has spent a good part of her life on boats but even she found herself bracing the walls of are deck's narrow corrider as we moved about. I was not sure if I was prone to seasickness and never felt nauseous during this time but later in the evening did break out into a slight sweat and ended up retiring somewhat prematurely.
Tonight was the first formal night. I happen to own a tuxedo that I break out a couple times a year for parties and events that are held at Lesley's hospital, (she is an excellent O.R nurse) and rather enjoy the occasional formal atmosphere, up to and including the actual donning of the clothes and arrangement of the bowtie.
I had made reservations for two soon after embarkation for this night at Sterling Steakhouse, one of the surcharge restaurants. Dressed in our finest, (Lesley looked like a movie star attending a premier in her beautiful gold gown) we enjoyed a window table with excellent service from the waitstaff. Prior to ordering a waiter presented a large tray of various cuts of meat and the diner would select their cut of choice. Here I must say, (realizing it was but one meal) that I was not that impressed with the filet I recieved. It was cooked to order but just not of the quality that I was expecting from a surcharged restaurant. It was acceptable and I did not send it back to the kitchen believing the piece I recieved was probably as good as it would get that evening. The other portions of the meal including salad, appetizer and accompanying vegetables were quite tasty. The wine we ordered was quite excellent as well and overall we enjoyed Sterlings. As we finished our meals we took note that there was still a bit of wine left. Presumably because I was not drinking my fair share due to the rocking of the ship. After a query, we discovered that we could have the bottle corked and not only sent to our cabin if we wished but it could also be held and then delivered to any another restaurant onboard at the time of our choosing. An excellent added service and one that we took advantage of during the cruise.
After dinner we went to the Wheelhouse lounge where we met our new friends. I was not feeling entirely chipper at this point, (the boat was still rocking) but felt the need to go, if for no other reason than to just validate the time spent in getting prepared for our first formal night. We all chatted a bit but Lesley took note that I seemed a bit green under the gills and in time we apologized and took leave to our cabin.
Once settled in bed I felt much better and knew that I was in line to have a comfortable nights rest in anticipation of yet another highlight of our trip; Glacier Bay National Park.