We are on our last 2 days at sea. It's Thursday morning and we are soon to go ashore and do the shops in Ketchikan. There are lots of little freebies and a few real bargains so we are hunting for the freebies. Bit like a treasure hunt and quite fun except for all the other thousands of cruise ship people shopping. I am surprised by how tired we get and even John is stiff and having trouble bending. You could blame the food but I think we haven't been too excessive there. The atmosphere feels like altitude and I am often short of breath. Very weird. Had the hottest day ever on Tuesday in Skagway. Someone said it was into the 90's. I'd love to come back with more time and money ... tried on a very nice ring with yellow and white diamonds then nearly fell over when I read the tag .... $6675 USD. Hmmm. Was told I have good taste .... Oh Yeah! I heard one woman saying she tried a ring they wanted to sell for $18000, but had a price tag of $24000. The last cruise of the season is likely to be full of bargains before they pack it all up and take stuff down to the Carribean, although there are also a lot of locally owned shops which stay open all year round. Have seen some wonderful art work etc by local designers. We would love to come on the first cruise of the season, when there is still a lot of ice and snow, and follow it up on the last cruise for all the bargains. I tell you $300 NZ would even go a long way here although the best of the lowest priced rings are closer to USD$400
Talking of tired, yesterday afternoon we went to a talk and slide show by the first woman to win the Idoterod dog sled race .... average person 10 harrowing days, fastest ever 8 days, slowest 1 month. I was looking forward to this and TWJ had saved it for the return trip so we could go together. I fell asleep through the bulk of it so missed all the interesting bits about the race she won. This week we have been to a few more ship board entertainments. A song & dance show on Monday eve, which was excellent but so loud I had my ears cover right through and still plenty of sound to enjoy. Last night we went to another and I coped so well with the sound I fell asleep through 90% of the performance. We've also been a show by a local singer/writer who does folk stuff based on local stories and history. He was good. Then on to the Ho Down! And line dancing and later the Crew's Talent Show. Amazing how many multi-talented people, but the crew numbers more than 1000. We were handed balloons as we entered the theatre for that show and people began to blow them up and toss them around. It was all a lot of fun and a great way to warm up an audience.
The Whale and Dolphin sightings are pretty ordinary but the scenery is wonderful.
I had better move. TWJ has gone to the last opportunity to win a very expensive piece of jewelery and I'm in for it too.
Later ... we are all shopped out, our feet are falling off. We've lunched, showered, rested, done most of our washing in preparation for packing our cases tomorrow afternoon leaving us with carry off luggage only. Now we are all dressed up for the last formal night and have to make up our minds which restaurant to go to. Tough life.
We had a fun time shopping if at times we did the big cringe. It was like a treasure hunt. I'd gone through the ship's shopping guide for which we paid $25USD and another voucher book making a list of all the shops with freebies. Many of them were high end jewelery stores and we had to run the gamut of very professional and insistent sales people who would reduce the price a little more every time we told them we didn't have enough money. I understand the recession is hurting sales quite significantly. I had to keep reminding myself that these people had not seen me doing this in the previous shop and I would probably never see them again. I don't envy them their jobs, especially the ones who are here under contract for the season. On the other hand there are probably 10,000 new people shopping every day so just by numbers they would get some high rollers and decent sales.
We chose formal dining rather than the buffet and I enjoyed it except we were packed into the dining room with possibly a French ?Canadian couple next to us who ignored us to the point of rudeness. We ate elegantly of shrimp salad, a mold with pink caviar, Beef Wellington perfectly cooked and tiramasu flavoured icecream.
That's the news for now. Am on my last few minutes of internet time on board so no more news until we reach a motel with free wireless.