Prequel: It’s early morning here in the Midwest, Gentle Reader, and I’ve taken care of the pups, made my coffee, had brekkie, and am now ready to sit down and blog. It’s been fun getting back into writing–Hera knows I need to do both academic and creative writing again!–and this blog has always been my segue into resuming writing after a long hiatus. I’m comfortable; I’m ready to begin.
Seattle, morning: We woke up in Regular Hotel and wandered downstairs to the restaurant for brekkie. It was, in a word, outstanding. I ate an English muffin sandwich with pesto and ham; DH had corned beef hash with an egg on top. We enjoyed it immensely, and went upstairs to finish packing and get ready for our car at 1, which was to take us to the Pier.
Seattle, noon: We wandered downstairs with our many bags, checked out of the hotel, and got into the car at precisely 1:00. Good timing, car company! The driver, a very nice, talkative man, took us to the Pier, chatting the whole way about Seattle. It was good to get this kind of tour, as we had such a short time in the city. We arrived at the Cruise Terminal, grabbed our ridiculous amount of bags (notice a theme, Gentle Reader?), and were on the ship within the hour.
Regatta, afternoon: We weren’t able to head to our room yet, and our luggage was in the Cruise Terminal getting boarded, so we ate lunch in the Terrace Cafe and got to know the ship a bit more. This was our first cruise as adults. I had taken a short economy cruise as a child, but I don’t count it as we were on ship for two days. This was our first cruise, really, our first vacay in a decade, and Oceania Cruises came highly recommended. They did not disappoint. DH and I are already planning our next vacay (in 5 years, not 11!), and we’ve decided to go Oceania again. The people, the service, the ship, the food, God, the food!, everything was wonderful. We wandered around, sat on deck, and about 3, received notice the rooms were ready.
Regatta, afternoon to evening: We went to our room which was well appointed with the tiniest bathroom we’ve ever seen. No matter, and no surprise. It was a cruise, after all! We had booked a balcony room, as I’m claustrophobic, and I’m so glad we did. We sat out on the balcony many a time during the day and night, and when we cruised Hubbard Glacier, we sat out for an hour, just enjoying the scenery. We met our cabin steward, and gave her the present we had brought for her–pralines, straight from New Orleans! We unpacked, enjoyed the room, and at 5:30ish, headed upstairs for Bon Voyage. What fun! What excitement! I’d never experienced something like that before. Taking off on a cruise and waving to the people on shore, on passing boats. We had a great time! DH enjoyed a few Bon Voyage drinks (everything on Oceania is included except alcohol and purchases in the shops) before we went to Toscana, the Italian specialty restaurant, for dinner.
Toscana, evening: We chose Oceania for a few reasons: the reputation, the small size of the ship (fewer than 800 guests on board Regatta), the inclusiveness of the packages, and the food. Oceania has the reputation, and the tagline, best cuisine on the sea, and in every restaurant, they did not disappoint. We were brought into Toscana, seated at the very back of the ship at a window, and enjoyed spectacular views as we ate what has come to be one of the best meals of my life. I had a trio of lobster risotto, homemade tortellini, and fettuccine, while DH had a Gorgonzola-topped filet. For dessert, chocolate lasagna. Yes! Chocolate lasagna! We also enjoyed the olive oil and balsamic vinegar menu, the spectacular bread basket, and the service, which was divine.
Cabin, night: We retired to our cabin, read a bit, and basically groaned over the fullness of our bellies. This was a beautiful day. We had a great first day on Regatta, and looked forward to our next day at sea before Alaska.