Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Legendary Trip North to Alaska- Victoria, B.C., Canada

10 Year Anniversary Cruise 2016- Carnival Legend

SeaDay or Port Day? 
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Monday, June 27, 2016

Welcome to Canada... for the 3rd time this trip! 

As the Alaskan portion of our cruise was coming to an end, we still had a major port we had to stop at and that was Victoria, B.C., Canada. This was yet another unique day where the morning and afternoon were treated like a SeaDay and the evening was a port day. The Carnival Legend was in port at Victoria, BC from 7:30PM to 11:59PM. We loved this day and Victoria but were so sad to see our cruise come to a close. 

I woke up around 7:30AM to the sound of the closet doors vibrating and shaking. The entire cruise the seas had been smooth and clear as glass so I looked outside but I saw much of the same. We had wondered if cruising in the aft (back) of the ship meant lots of swaying and vibrations and neither of those had proved true until this day. We were in the open pacific ocean coming around the west side of Vancouver island and the seas were still calm but the vibrations were just too much for me. 

My view this morning... always is my favorite sight!
No matter the cruise itinerary, no matter the location! 

The Ruby Princess leaving Seattle and sailing towards Alaska! 

I got ready for the day and went outside to have my quiet time and take in as much of this as I could. Chris must have been real tired because he did not even flinch and kept sleeping until well after 8:30AM. He then got up and jogged while I walked around the very empty ship. I love it when the ship is empty as it allows for wonderful pictures. 

The "STAGE" on Lido deck. This was mid-ship near Off the Grill and we loved the live music. 

Mid-Ship Lido deck... Competely covered (ALL THE TIME) with glass paneling. 

The pool and hot tub area on mid-Ship Lido (covered)

The forward pool on Lido. 

The walking area on Deck 10. This goes all the way from the front to the back of the ship and 4 laps equal 1 mile. 

Chess area near the foward pool. 

The Forward pool area... It is NOT covered but notice the ample amount of deck chairs! 

Along deck 10 in the aft were these clamshells. I would guess 20-30 on EACH side of the ship. These filled up fast (especially on the glacier day) but confirms my theory of seeing Alaska via an inside cabin... IT CAN BE DONE! 

The WaterPark/ Splashpad area... I completely forgot to do this! Bummer! 

The Serenity area of the ship!
This was the nicest and best well-kept Serenity I have seen. 

We met up at the whale talk by the ship naturalist, Michelle. Once again, she was monotone and boring but the topic was so fascinating. We learned so much about whales and their habits. If this would have been given EARLY in the cruise I would not have cancelled our whale watching tour, no matter what. I think Carnival should re-think having this talk/ event to the beginning of the cruise as I think it would help answer lots of questions from the passengers. 

Since we were docking at Victoria at 7:30PM we knew we wanted to eat dinner early so we decided to forgo breakfast and eat a large brunch style of meal. This meant going back to the very slow service in the MDR for the SeaDay brunch. We arrived at 10:30AM and there was a very long line. We ended up waiting about 10 minutes just to get a table and eventually got put at a booth table. As soon as I sat down I noticed that the napkins on the inside had been used and it turns out that the place settings had not been changed and everything was just placed on top of the old stuff. I was completely grossed out and asked for a new table but there was not one without another wait and since we wanted to spend as much time on the balcony as possible we just had them change it all. Brunch went downhill from there. Our waiter was hardly noticeable and our food took nearly 30 minutes to arrive. That brunch took nearly 2 hours overall and so long we asked for our dessert to go. This is a situation I would be mentioning in the final survey email. 

We took our desserts to our balcony and sat watching the ocean sail by for over an hour before getting chilly and coming inside to go the 80s party and trivia. This turned out to be a GREAT trivia and one of our favorites of any cruise (except Corey Rogers on the Conquest 2013 of he truly is the BEST). We did not win the 24K piece of SHIP on a stick but did pretty well. Afterwards we did some final cruise ship souvenir shopping and then went to our 1st TeaTime of the cruise. This has been one of our favorite things on ANY cruise line but this cruise we were not able to go due to so many port days. Carnival's new system of Lipton tea was AWFUL and what used to be the best desserts on board were TERRIBLE. (worse than the Lido desserts) This could have been a bad day or just the way it is now that Carnival has cut corners in this area too. We were very disappointed. 

My last afternoon aft time! 

After TeaTime we went back to our room for the worst thing on any cruise... packing! Oddly enough, we had an entire large suitcase full of clothes we never wore (we packed for 40-50* and it turned out to be 65-75*) so I had to really cram everything into our bags. Luckily we planned for lots of souvenirs and brought an extra duffel bag. If you plan on buying a lot on this, or ANY, cruise be sure to pack a small duffel style bag in your luggage to put your purchases in. 

ALL of these clothes were not worn or used... Wow, we are TERRIBLE at packing!

Since we were porting so late the MDR was open from 5PM to 8:30PM and we knew we wanted to be there early, so at 4:45PM we made our way down to deck 3 and found at least 200 people already in line. Despite the long line to get in, this was the best dinner and the best service we had the whole cruise. The servers knew that 2,600 passengers would need to get in and out within a few hours and really rushed the orders. This was PERFECT for us and as Chris said "Where have you been my whole life cruise?" We enjoyed our free drink coupons (for being gold members on Carnival) and then made our way to our room to continue watching the approach to Victoria from our balcony. 

We learned years ago at a Q&A session that all cruises who leave from a US port MUST stop at an international port or the entire crew must ALL be American. The only ship to have 100% Americans is the Pride of America who sails round-trip from Honolulu to the various Hawaiian islands without stopping at an international port. So in other words, the ship MUST stop at Victoria just to have the international port, which would explain the crazy port hours. It is a complete waste if you ask me and as much as I liked Victoria, next time we sail to Alaska we will sail from Vancouver to avoid this wasted day and shortened Alaskan port times. 

Nonetheless we wanted to get off the ship just to say we got off so we decided to make our way to the lobby around 7PM and so did the rest of the ship. It was a MADHOUSE. We waited not knowing where the line was forming until 20 minutes later. We waited in line about 200 people deep until 8PM when they opened the lines for us to get off the ship in Victoria. We got off the ship and made our way to the shuttle bus that took you to downtown Victoria. This bus was at the end of the pier and cost $10 (USD) per person for round-trip. This also was frustrating as downtown Victoria is too far to walk with this shortened port time. Once we arrived in downtown the shuttle dropped us off and we began exploring this beautiful city. 

The 1st look at Victoria from our balcony! 


Oh Canada!

We were able to see the Provincial Parliament building, the Empress hotel and much more. After exploring this city we made our way to an Irish Pub, had some drinks and relaxed as we knew tomorrow meant it was all over. After some great drinks and Irish music we made our way back to the shuttle bus pick-up location and back to the ship. We were back on board around 10:45PM and the Carnival worker I asked said  more than 50% of the people were already back on board so most people had our mindset of "get off just to get off". Keep this in mind as you port in Victoria. We liked Victoria and really wish we would have had more time in this city as it reminded us of London where we honeymooned 10 years ago. We were back in our cabin, all packed up and asleep before midnight as we knew tomorrow would be a long day for us. 

I love this and reminded me of SeaWorld. 

The Empress hotel in downtown Victoria! 

We loved this city! 

Parliament building... it was gorgeous! This picture does not do it justice. 

The beautiful flowers around the Parliament building!

The bay area near downtown. 

Victoria already made us think of London but this was deja vu!

I loved these classic Canadian shirts and their sense of humor! 

Irish Coffee for Chris! 

We enjoyed the live Irish band! 

Our home for one more night!

My 8th (or 9th?) time to Canada! 

The Carnival Legend in Victoria, B.C., Canada! 

She was a beauty! 

This day was a treat for us as it acted like a SeaDay with a port day bonus at the end. We loved Victoria and hope to come back one day! The next day we would be disembarking the ship and spending the rest of the day enjoying Safeco Field and baseball as we crossed off yet another MLB stadium off my Bucket-list. We feel so lucky to have been able to see Alaska this way and cannot thank God enough for this tremendous blessing! 

Next Up- Disembarkation and Summary 

God is good... ALL the time! 

No comments:

Post a Comment