Monday, July 7, 2008

Alaska Day 5: Seward & Cruise Embarkation

We endured a 3 hour bus ride from Anchorage to Seward along the Turnagain Arm after ordering an Alaskan seafood frittata with hash browns and reindeer sausage to-go from the hotel's Solstice Cafe.

The Seward scenic highway was beautiful with the snow capped Chugach Mountains to the right and cliffs to the left. When we arrived in Seward, we checked-in at our ship, grabbed a few bites to eat, and took the bus to downtown for a look around. I'll talk about the ship in detail later.
Chugach Mountains along Turnagain Arm
If the charming theme for Anchorage is colorful murals, then it would be quaint buildings in Seward.
The not so bustling downtown 4th Avenue

And if things had felt slow in Fairbanks, Chena Hot Springs, Denali, and Anchorage, everything is at a standstill in Seward save the constant lapping of the water. It's a bit eerie actually. There is tranquil and there is dead silence. And dead silence occuring when there are people around is a little uncomfortable, don't you agree?

Sea otter (black line in the foreground) swimming in Resurrection Bay

Man taking in Resurrection Bay at an RV park
After a long walk along the bay back towards our ship, we found out why Seward seemed so inactive. All the action was happening at the pier where crowds gather to bid on freshly caught fish! Mom and I encountered a guy and his fishing partner carting a 150 pound halibut off his ship. A 150 pound halibut is considered a medium catch...
150 pound halibut!
We took the opportunity to buy a pound of Alaskan king crab claw at the Seward waterfront for a late night cruise snack, and then we headed towards our ship.

The MS Volendam ready for embarkation

The check-in process was fast and easy with a short waiting time. I was afraid that they wouldn't let us take the crab leg on the ship, but all went well with that.

We had lunch at the Lido restaurant, the ship's buffet restaurant, after checking in. The food was ok. You can't expect too much with buffets even on land, so I won't hold mediocrity against the ship.

brie, smoked salmon with honey mustard and dill, and pate with pear cumberland sauce

pan-seared Alaskan unicorn fillet
After we re-boarded the ship from our walk around Seward, the crew conducted a firedrill for all passengers. I opted to act like a child and fooled around during the drill. Teeheehee.

Here's a look at our living quarters. It was teensy as expected yet surprisingly comfy.

Our first dinner on the ship was perhaps the worst. It's probably because the crew had to disembark passengers at Seward, clean up everything, and prepare for embarkation within less than 24 hours. The dishes looked fantastic in writing, but tasted bland.

Steamed mussels with curry, saffron, and lemongrass

Spiced peach and ginger soup
Roasted leg of lamb with mint gravy and a potato pancake

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmmm....I love lamb!! It has such a distinct, wonderful flavor...yum!

    That brie makes me think of that amazing cheese we had at the French new year party we went to in DC - I don't think I've ever had better cheese in my life -- looking back, though, that party was ridiculous :-)