July 20, 2011
The day began lazily with a bit of sleep in followed by buffet breakfast and a visit to the one of the kids’ clubs. The kids went in with barely a goodbye and the parents split up to tour around the ship according to their own interests. But we soon found our own interests were short-lived: despite the inevitable arrival of a princess to lead the gathered children in dancing, our kids were bored with the proceedings in the club that was generally geared to a younger pre-school crowd. Two five-year olds, it seemed, were on the cusp of something bigger.
Something bigger…like swimming in the pouring rain. The deck was spotted with parents tucked in under umbrellas and covered seating; the smart ones had their feet up on nearby chairs to prevent the repetitive soaking flows that rolled across the deck with every movement of the ship. Some of us hardier folk were in shorts and tees with only our morning cup of coffee in one hand to keep up warm. Others were excessively bundled in gortex, toques and mittens, ready to brave the elements in their Alaskan adventure, no doubt, though we were yet to leave Canadian waters.
Eventually, the coffee wore off and the day wore closer to lunch. Children were pulled from the water and returned to their rooms to warm up, eat and find clothing appropriate to greet a princess. Or four.
Fortified with cameras and autograph books, we got in queue for meeting the Disney princesses in person. Despite the long wait, the princesses were well worth the time. They were, each, every inch a charming princess and the Magpie was in awe of getting her photograph taken in turn with Snow White, Ariel, Tiana and Belle.
The delay in line meant we were too late to attend the showing on Winnie the Pooh, so we found a snack and decided to try out the other kids’ club – the one for the slightly older crowd. We had the time to spot a whale and catch a bit of photographic evidence of his existence, if not any good ones of him in full jump.
After the adults had another hour of downtime to check out the rest of the ship and enjoy a glass of wine, the phones rang again. The kids had had their fill of fun.
We were not sure what to make of this. There are plenty of activities but the kids aren’t forced to participate, and perhaps that’s what the girls are running with. They are still used to daycare and kindergarten. They’re used to being a captive audience. Given the freedom to choose, they take it but find the alternative boring. Even parents are more fun than hanging out with activities that may be too young or a bit too old. And, really, how am I to complain that my kid would rather spend time with me? I’m not going to. She spends enough time in daycare and this is a family vacation. We spent rest of the afternoon playing cards, relaxing and getting ready for dinner. The Formal Dinner.
Formal dinner night meant more princess gowns (for the kids, this time) and serving staff in tuxedos. It also meant photos taken by the ship’s staff and a tour of the photo gallery after dinner to preview our princess pics. The photographers did a great job, but spend the $10 for each 6×8 photo? I think not. There is a digital photo package available…but it’s going to depend on how many photos we end up in that I don’t have decent versions of on my own camera. And, even then, it’ll be a struggle to pay the funds. Sorry, Disney, I appreciate a well-done photo, but I could spend that money on more camera equipment of my own.
Tomorrow is photo-op day for Alaska. We get to Tracy Arm and our side of the boat seems to be the side to be on for photos. We don’t even have to leave our rooms. With a movie planned in the morning and a quieter day around the boat, we’ll be ready for some fine sight-seeing.
West coast weather permitting.