Sunday 17th May
Not feeling 100%. Although I am rugged against the cold I can feel the cold through to my bones.
No land in sight.
Gradually as the early morning lightens a little we are entering Seattle harbour. I can see the Washington State Ferries scuttling across the harbour with people and cars going about their Sunday activities.
The city is waking from sleep.
Another cruise ship, the Ruby Princess which reportedly carries 6,000 passengers is heading towards the cruise terminal the same time as us.
At 7.30 am passengers with just carry off bags were due to leave the ship. That did not happen as it took another two hours for the ship to be cleared. The original disembarkation plan was for carry on luggage passengers to leave first followed by passengers in a colour coded time sequence. Due to the delay, that plan was abandoned and all passengers disembarked in a disorderly mob. Us included.
The last few days aboard ship we were asked to wash our hands more often and instead of collecting our own food it was passed to us by serving staff. Even things like tomato sauce and mustard and pepper and salt shakers were removed from the tables. It seems there has been an outbreak of Norovirus which is a severe GI infection. We had noticed the crew cleaning tables, railings, walls and even floor more assiduously and more often. Up to 40 passengers have been taken off the ship by ambulance in several ports.
Belatedly the ship was cleared and we started the process of the feared US customs. The reason for the delay was never explained although a good guess would be the number of infected people on the ship.
Apart from handing in our entry declaration, which they never even looked at, they did not even ask to look at our passports, we suddenly found ourselves on the streets of Seattle and looking for a cab to take us to a ferry terminal. This is my first visit to the United States – apart from Alaska – and I had expected more security on arrival.
Two other ships arrived at roughly the same time as us, so thousands of people were looking for transport at the same time. The line for a taxi was almost a block long and we decided to walk from pier 66 to pier 52 when a taxi pulled up to drop off passengers. Donnis quickly jumped in and asked the driver to take us to pier 52. It sure beats walking and we arrived with enough time to catch our ferry. The ticket office was happy to give me a seniors discount, unlike staff at BC Ferries in Canada who will only give a discount to BC Seniors who hold a discount card.
We caught Washington State Ferry to Bremerton where Doug, Linda and Alecia collected us and took us to Jessica and Johns house at Poulsbo. After lunch I fell asleep on the lounge. They left me asleep and everybody went to a Viking Festival in the port of Poulsbo.
Belatedly I noticed my throat feels dry and I feel cold…even though it is cold and I am rugged in warm layers. I have a dry persistent cough.
I hope I am just tired and it is nothing more serious.
So ends our 10 day cruise to Alaska on the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship THE PEARL.
Tomorrow begins the next stage of our travels within the USA and Canada.