North to Alaska: Cruise Day 1


The Canadian coffee shop chain, Tim Horton’s, was near the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel so we popped in there for a quick breakfast. Their breakfast burritos were quite big and the husband and I shared one. We each had one of our own autumn muffins to celebrate September and the cooler temperatures.

After the hotel picked up our luggage from our room, we headed on over to the cruise terminal. I must say it was a much nicer experience than boarding Carnival in Galveston. For Carnival, we had our assigned boarding time and arrived about ten minutes after our departure window (lunch at a restaurant with ten couples took a bit longer than expected). We didn’t realize how strict Carnival was with their “windows” and since we were late, we had to go to the end of the line. We stood in the long line snaking along the side of the building and watched as the next “window” was announced and a crowd of cruisers passed us to board. So did the next window, and the next. Eventually we boarded as well, but it felt like the popular ride at Disney without a fast pass.

Royal Caribbean, however, moved everyone through quite quickly, even with customs. We arrived a little before our departure window and were told to go on in. The line move quickly and smoothly—passports, Covid vaccine cards, and security. Before we knew it, we were on board. 

We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day in Vancouver to get underway. Sunny skies and warm temperatures as we passed under the Lion’s Gate Bridge. A fellow cruiser had posted on the Royal Caribbean FB group that the helo pad (forward, deck 6) was the place to be when departing, so that’s where we headed. It definitely was.

We had a great view as we left Vancouver and headed through the Strait of Georgia. We hung out there until sunset, enjoying the sunshine and scenery. And I was impressed with our cell coverage as we transited through the inner passage and past all the little Canadian towns.

That evening, after dinner—knowing it was a full moon—we headed to the fantail where we were treated to an amazing view of moonlight flooding the wake of the ship. I left the cabin curtains open when we went to bad, so we could watch the Canadian landscape pass by in the light of the full moon.


About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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