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Quantum of the Seas May 29-June 5 2023: Quantum Vision of a Christmas Gift Part 2


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For Christmas we prefer to give our kids experiences instead of random gifts. Either we're on a cruise on Christmas or we give them a trip as their gift. This year they got a Quantum Vision of a Christmas gift: TWO cruises, Southern Caribbean on Vision March 31-April 10 and Alaska on Quantum May 29-June 5, hence this is Part 2. If you're interested I also did a live blog on our Vision cruise. Hubby and I have been on two Alaska cruises and after sailing on Ovation just after the restart we decided we should finally take the kids. We've been on two Quantum class ships, Anthem and Ovation, and are excited to experience Quantum of the Seas. 

Who's sailing: Hubby and I and our 4 kids: D16, S12, S8, D5. D16 has minimal time to enjoy Diamond benefits as she'll be relegated to Emerald when she turns 18 next summer, as I understand it. S8 is technically still S7, but his birthday is on embarkation day. This is not considered a birthday cruise, it was just the least expensive time to go to Alaska without missing school. Also sailing are MIL and FIL, as well as MM (my mom) and MD (my dad). We are all on deck 11. The adults are all in balcony rooms, and kids are across from hubby and I in an inside room with virtual balcony. We have cruised with parents before, but never both sets of parents at the same time. MIL loves warm weather Disney cruises and snorkeling all day every day. They just returned from B2B Southern Caribbean sailings on Disney on Saturday and snorkeled 10 days straight. So she's really unsure about this cold and rainy cruise and I can't wait to show her the beauty of Alaska and all of the fun stuff on a Quantum class ship. 

Where to: Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Victoria.

If you weren't aware, all of Quantum's visits to Skagway were cancelled this season. Some were moved to Icy Strait Point, others to Ketchikan, and some to Sitka, I guess it depends which ports were on your original itinerary. We got switched to Ketchikan. We're taking it in stride, but I am quite bummed. Our favorite excursion ever was in Skagway where we took a boat to a remote area and along the way saw lots of wildlife and waterfalls. We then canoed to Davidson Glacier where we got to touch the glacier and it was just really amazing and the college age tour guides were hilarious. They live in this remote area with no electricity and no cell service and in their free time make up skits using boxes. We had the three older kids as well as MIL, MM, and MD signed up for that. D5 isn't old enough so we were going to take her on the train with FIL, then a bus ride back down to see sled dog puppies and many other sites. Bummed to miss such exciting excursions but especially bummed my kids didn't get to see a glacier up close.  Mendenhall glacier is just too far away. So instead hubby and I are going to wake up early in Ketchikan and do a 5 mile hike, MM and MD are doing an ebike and hike excursion, and MIL and FIL are going to stay with the kiddos and meet us for the 12:45 lumberjack show. Then we'll look for a delicious crab lunch. Good news: saved a ton of money...or so I thought. Last week Royal FINALLY released the excursion that allows us to get off the ship directly onto a boat in the middle of the Fjord. I figured since it hadn't been released at 30 days out that we wouldn't see it, so was surprised for it to appear less than 2 weeks before sailing. The ship will continue to Juneau arriving around 1 and we will meet it there at 2:30. This is one pricey tour, so no money saved by hubby and I in the end, but yay for my kids being able to see a glacier up close after all. However, MIL and FIL did have to cancel their helicopter tour in Juneau in order to go with us. I think FIL was relieved, he gets motion sick easily. MIL decided that she would be super disappointed if they got to Juneau and the helicopter flight was cancelled due to weather and so then they had no excursion at all plus she wants to be with the grandkids. 

Getting there: We were going to drive to Seattle, but then I checked Air2Sea and the flights were....drumroll.....$137. Roundtrip. Nonstop. First Class. On our preferred airline. It'll be the kids' first time in first class, but shhhh they don't know yet. I thought for sure this was some Royal IT glitch, but nobody has called me to up the price or return my money. I've never used Air2Sea but for this price I couldn't resist. The flights showed up on the Delta App within hours for us to make our seat selection. We fly out on Sunday!


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Day 1

Today is S8’s bday! Today was embarkation day. 

Yesterday the kids were very excited by their surprise first class tickets to fly. As a reminder they were a ridiculous $137 with air2sea. Basic tickets were $197, so weird. 

MIL and FIL flew in early this morning. Generally don’t recommend but there are lots of flights from SLC to Seattle plus they bought through air2sea and knew if something happened they’d at least be able to meet us in Sitka on day 3. We took a Lyft from our hotel and then were on the ship within 25 minutes of arrival. My parents took a shuttle and arrived just after us yet somehow took an entire hour to get on the ship. The people in the check in area said they went from things being quiet to being absolutely slammed. We grabbed pizza at Sorrento’s then we all found each other in Windjammer. I usually prefer to go to cafe270 but MIL and FIL were already in windjammer and the kids wanted to see them. (Side note we live 15 minutes away from each other and see them multiple times a week so it’s not like they haven’t seen their grandparents in years.)

While we waited for rooms to be ready we checked in at adventure ocean and teen club. At 1:30 we all found our rooms, tracked down our luggage and unpacked. D5 wanted to swim so she and S8 headed to the indoor pool with hubby while I unpacked for them and myself. Then I got more pizza and met them at the pool. We went for the late dinner seating this cruise so the kids got to play in the pool for a long while. Then they got ready for dinner and since they had time to spare D5 wanted to go play with the toys in the Adventure Ocean open play area.

In case you didn’t know, free reservations for iFly and North Star open at 8pm the day before the port day. I thought they used to all be open as soon as you boarded but I guess this way everyone has a fair chance to reserve rather than having a later boarding time and everything is gone. 

Birthday dinner with our group of 10 was fun. Of course D5 and S8 got their standard spaghetti with butter and Parmesan cheese “with nothing green.” S12 and D16 got regular spaghetti. The most popular appetizers were the crab cake and shrimp cocktail. My dad loves the escargot and was happy to see it on tonight’s menu. Most of us got fish except MIL who got steak and MM who got the fried chicken. MM really enjoyed the chicken and I thought the fish and au gratin potatoes were delicious. I got the sugar free chocolate custard which was pretty much chocolate pudding. The peanut butter bar thing wasn’t all that great, pretty much a very crumbly Rice Krispie treat.  All in all we were all pleased by our meals. S8 was sung to by the wait staff and had a candle in his dessert. Dinner took about 90 minutes. 

Afterward was the comedian Rocky Osborn. He was quite funny and I’m not really a LOL type of person but he made me laugh and was mostly family friendly. D5 fell asleep on my lap and was carried back to the room for bed. 

For this cruise we have a total of 4 rooms. My family is split between hubby and I in a balcony room and the 4 kids “across the hall” in an inside room with virtual balcony. I say “across the hall” because the silly thing is that they were required to be in a room consecutive in number to ours but the room itself is more like across the hall and two doors down. If they’d let me reserve the actual room I wanted for them they’d actually be across the hall! 


Tomorrow is a sea day. My dad loves pickleball but open play is at 7am! Yuck. There’s also an adult pickleball tourney at 9am so I’m hoping to at least be up to watch him play. Who am I kidding, I’ll be up by 6am. IMG_0242.thumb.jpeg.7bfc14a83690713554b3c1fd1e5f330b.jpegIMG_2748.thumb.jpeg.def4940b5f73f1a8474b73c7d297c66e.jpeg

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Day 2

Today was a sea day. We saw a few whale spouts but nothing too exciting. We started the day in windjammer. Again, not my jam, but the kids like eating there. On Anthem in December 2019 there was a delicious crepe station at the very back of the windjammer so we were hoping for that but no such luck. 

After that I watched my dad play in the adult pickleball tourney. He made it to the semifinals and apparently was known by the name “grandpa.” After the tourney there was a little bit of open play and the kids joined grandpa. 

Then I dropped the littles at adventure ocean and exercised. Picked them up at noon and grabbed Sorrentos followed by much MUCH needed naps. S8 slept for an hour and a half and D5 was finally woken up after 3 hours because I knew she wanted to go to the theatre to watch the movie strange world. 

I learned the Diamond club has frothy milk in the cappuccino machine and it was delicious and the perfect temperature for making hot chocolate. We enjoyed those while watching the movie. 

After the movie the littles went swimming at the indoor hot tubs while we watched for whales nearby. Then it was time to get ready for our first formal night. Dinner tonight was meh. I actually missed a lot of it. I made some ifly reservations that weren’t agreeable to the group and apparently you can’t cancel them on the app which is quite obnoxious. And you can’t no show because 1. You can’t make new reservations. 2. You’re charged a $25 fee which I think is per person. The app says to go to the sports center deck 15 but that’s closed in the evening so i had to go down to guest services and wait in line. When I got back to dinner everyone was finishing up and my courses were piling up at my seat. The French onion soup wasn’t as good as I remember it; there weren’t many onions. The calamari was really tough, like gristle on a steak but the sauce was delicious. I think that was a one off thing because I’ve never had such chewy calamari on a ship. The chicken cordon bleu was surprisingly tough to cut through but upon eating wasn’t nearly as dry as it appeared to be. It did need more sauce. The tenderloin was good but over cooked, but that’s my own fault. Since I came back to the table late the waiter kindly put my main dishes in the warmer while I ate my appetizers so the steak likely over cooked while it sat. For dessert I got the dark chocolate chip cookies. They were a disappointment on my Vision cruise but this time were nearly inedible. They were so bland. No other desserts sounded that great. So the meal as a whole was a bit of a disappointment for a formal night but that may have been skewed by my own disappointment over having to cancel the ifly reservation which made me unhappy. 

Afterward we went to the sequins and showgirls show. It was VERY provocative so make sure you read that 16+ recommendation. I don’t like when there isn’t a child friendly show because I came on this trip to spend time with my family. 

S12 went to teen club instead of the show; I’m unsure what he did there. Then he and D16 went to the hush silent party. When I checked on them tonight they were already asleep so I’m not sure how long they stayed. 

Overall it was a pretty chill day. Tomorrow we are in Ketchikan for some hiking (hopefully, weather dependent; it’s not looking so good though) and the Lumberjack show. 

Side note on my side by side of S8. Left picture is from Navigator in Christmas 2021, right side is today. We’re not so much the “be fancy at the dinner table” type people. More like have a little fun without being disruptive to those around us. 



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Day 3

Today we were in Ketchikan. Oh boy the morning started out, well, early. I woke up at 6:20, but wasn’t sure if my watch had adjusted to Alaska time so I checked my phone. It matched my watch so then I checked the app which matched everything else. So I opened the blinds and got ready then woke up the kids and we went to cafe270. As I’m sitting in 270 I realized my phone wasn’t connected to WiFi. I connected it and got a message from S12 who was eating in the main dining room and he said we’ll meet in the room at 8:15. Which to me was 10 minutes. So I look at ship time and realize I’m lucky 270 was even open when we arrived because I had woken up at 5:20 and then woke my kids up at 6:20! I knew the clocks were going back but thought I’d checked all the right places. Which I did but without WiFi nothing was right. 

The royal breakfast sandwich in 270 is so good. I also love the bran muffins. Since we had so much time to kill the littles practices their cartwheels.

Anyway, we knew the morning forecast was going to be crummy but were really hoping it would just be a general rainforest mist/drizzle. Nope. It was pouring. So we spent an hour or so in the seaplex playing ping pong (alone because remember it was EARLY). The rain calmed down around 9 so we headed off the ship to find a taxi to the deer creek trailhead. This is a 5 mile hike hubby and I did October 2021 and loved. Water is constantly just flowing down the trail so it’s like hiking up a creek. There’s a lookout 1 mile up the trail we were hoping to get to this time. Hubby and I had no problem with the hike but the kids, mostly D5 was really struggling. Also MIL and FIL were having a hard time. There was a lot of stepping up rocks and over logs and it was quite strenuous for them. We probably made it 3/4 mile up the trail and turned around. Hubby ran up ahead to the lookout point then met back up with us. It was constantly drizzling and misty and just so beautiful. Alaska is so lush and green and I love all mushrooms randomly growing up trees. Those last minute waterproof hiking boots for all the kids on clearance at REI were worth every penny. 

After the hike we had the taxi come get us and take us back to town for the Lumberjack Show. We had time to kill and wanted to eat at The Alaska Fish House but the line was insane. Instead, we got a pizza at fat stans and each got one slice to hold us over. That pizza was so delicious, I highly recommend the fat Stan’s pizza, it had pepperoni, sausage, and prosciutto on it. By then it was time to go into the lumberjack show. My kids really loved this show and it was quite entertaining. Afterward, my parents were done with their excursion, which I’ll talk more about in a minute, and we met at the Alaska fish house for lunch.

At the Alaska fish house I got the fish and chips sampler, hubby got the fish and rice bowl, and MIL and I each got crab. She got 1/2 crab and I got a whole one. Order for hubby and I alone was $106 so prepare yourselves for that. The kids didn’t want to eat there but S8 loved the crab and probably ate 1/3 of it. The fish and chips was so delicious, I can’t decide which of the fish I liked better, salmon, halibut, or cod. The fries were also fantastic. Of course, the Dungeness crab was the star, despite the hefty price tag. I’m terrible at taking food pictures but I highly recommend eating there, just be prepared to pay. 

My parents did a tour through Ketchikan Kayak company called E-bike and hike. They had a lot of fun and highly recommend it. The tour guide was very knowledgeable on all the plants and their use in the ecosystem, such as which ones bears use to get constipated before hibernation and which one they use upon waking to clear their digestive tract. My parents learned some really cool information. 

After lunch we headed to the ship. We got there around three and the gangway went up at 3:30. We went back to play ping pong, then we went to the quantum of the seas birthday party. The other day S8 got an invitation in his room for a birthday party. We were really curious what this was, so we made sure we didn’t forget to go. It was in 270 and was so cool, they gave the birthday people raffle tickets, and there was an amazing cake and a brief technical show. The birthday boy won the raffle and was so excited. 

Bumper cars opened at six, but I had been there a different day and saw people starting to lineup 45 minutes before and the line already wrapped half way around the seaplex by then, so I headed up there at 5:15 to get in line. D5 has been begging to do bumper cars so I was willing to wait quite a while to make this happen. Hubby took the kids to shower while I waited in line. Sorry if I’m the type of person you hate but that’s pretty much what all the adults there were doing. I was probably the 20th person in line and luckily they ended up opening up bumper cars 30 minutes early so D5, hubby, S8, and I were able to do a quick round of bumper cars before the evening show. Once you’re 5 years old and 42” tall you can drive so the kids were absolutely thrilled. 

Evening show was an a cappella group called Mo5aic pronounced Mosaic. They were very entertaining and did a fantastic job. I really enjoyed it, and it was super family friendly. 

We then headed to dinner, and it was taste of Asia night. Most of us got the chicken and dumplings appetizer. I got the teriyaki salmon which I had on my previous cruise in April and really enjoyed. A lot of people got kung pao chicken and enjoyed that. The banh flan was quite tasty, but the Matcha passion fruit cake wasn’t all that good just like in April on vision. The kids love the royal chocolate cake and will get it anytime it’s on the menu. 

The Captain had said that at 8:30 we were going through an area known to have lots of whales, so we tried to quickly get through dinner and back to our room. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any whales after an hour of watching. While whale watching, there was an alpha, alpha, alpha call, so I’m hoping that person is OK. The kids then went to bed  because they want to wake up early to play pickle ball with grandpa. Then we have our ifly reservations at eight, which I’m so excited for. It’s one of my favorite things to do on the ship. It’s just really exhilarating, and I can’t wait to see D5 enjoy it, as well as S8. S8 did it when he was 3 on anthem and had such a blast. Back in 2019 D16 absolutely refused to try it so I’m excited to see what she thinks tomorrow. After our iFly reservations, we’ll grab some breakfast then go ashore. We’re doing Sitka on our own but I have very specific plans in mind. The weather is supposed to be terrible. Yay. 

My apologies in advance for the  upcoming picture overload. 

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Day 4

Today we were in Sitka. We woke up to lots of bald eagles. As we spent the day in the city D16 said eagles here is like seeing robins at home. They were everywhere. We had iFly reservations at 8am. D5 was very hesitant to go, but I knew she would love it. So I promised her 3 ice cream cones if she’d go and that worked. After her turn she asked to go again; I knew she’d love it. We all had such a blast. FIL wasn’t able to participate so he took videos and pictures. I forgot to get the pictures from him for my family so I’ll post those another day. The grandparents had an 8:20 reservation time so we quickly got out of our ifly gear and ran upstairs to watch them. 

Afterward we went to Windjammer for breakfast then headed off the ship around 10:30. We saw a few eagles closer up high in the trees and D16 discovered sea stars in the shallow coral water at the port right by the ship. So many sea stars; we saw orange, pink, dark purple, brown with white. So beautiful and unexpected. 

We only had to wait maybe 10 minutes to catch a shuttle into town. We walked to the Sitka Sound Science Center. They have some pretty cool ocean creatures there and three touch pools with sea stars, sea cucumbers, crabs, sea urchins, and more. It’s a tiny place given the hefty price tag, but they’re a non profit that also is a salmon hatchery and I was happy to support them. We got a 30 minute tour of the salmon hatchery and learned a lot. We ate at Ludvig’s chowder next door and it lived up to the hype and was delicious. 

Next we walked to the totem poles, through the National Historic Park and crossed the street to go to the Raptor Center. We spent maybe 45 minutes there. Afterward we really wanted to go to Fortress of the Bear but it was 5 miles away and the paid city shuttle only runs every 60 minutes. We were worried with it only running every hour that we’d be pushing it on time catching it out there and then getting back for all aboard. After reading reviews we decided it’s too small to justify paying for a taxi. We walked back to the shuttle pickup area and headed back to the ship and straight to get D5’s first ice cream. 

I got a bratwurst with sauerkraut and onion on an everything bagel seasoning bun in the seaplex. It was really good. S8 wanted to play Xbox but all remotes were checked out so we passed the time with some ping pong. Once the remotes were available he got 45 minutes of screen time and we headed to the room for naps. The kids were too boisterous, naps did not happen, I wasn’t thrilled because I really wanted a nap.

We had Starwater reservations at 6:30 so we arrived at 6 to find seats. I have no idea what this show was about. I know most Royal shows don’t have a plot line but this seemed like it wanted to have one which somehow made it more confusing. If you can get through the super weird first 15-20 minutes the singing is incredible after that. S12 couldn’t make it and left to try to play laser tag. He said that the line went around the Seaplex and up the stairs so he got an Xbox remote and had some screen time today too. 

Tonight was Taste of Italy Night. The beef carpaccio was fantastic as always. The Sole dish wasn’t all that great. The lasagna was good but definitely not great. The chicken Parmesan was ok. The lemon curd tart with meringue was the winner for dessert. 

The show tonight was the ventriloquist Kevin Johnson. He was hilarious but due to the lack of nap I might’ve fallen asleep for a little bit of it. The kids absolutely loved it then totally crashed after. This is why I wanted them to nap. I’m ending the day with almost 20,000 steps logged and am exhausted. 

Tomorrow we go through Endicott Arm and up to Juneau. We paid for the excursion that gets off the ship in the middle of Endicott Arm onto a smaller boat and takes you closer to the glacier and then meets up with the ship in Juneau. The ship is scheduled to port at 1 and the excursion returns around 2-2:30. I’m very excited for this one. Usually we see so much wildlife but despite my long hours staring out the window we’ve seen minimal wildlife. A few whale spouts once the other day but otherwise it’s been pretty quiet. On this excursion I’m hoping we see otters, sea lions, and puffins at minimum. A whale or dolphin would be fantastic, and a bear on the shore would be icing on the cake. 

Just a few pictures today until I get the ifly pictures from FIL.IMG_0342.thumb.jpeg.e3e31c12d7a228c22d688e48090de766.jpegIMG_0360.thumb.jpeg.bc001c1fc31cec22ac8f8eb2ae67f185.jpegIMG_0370.thumb.jpeg.aca046e959504bca41710d519756678b.jpegIMG_1186.thumb.jpeg.2808c709046120f9ff8b473e048420aa.jpegIMG_1198.thumb.jpeg.ba8e1ffe8f9cfd4c8345c29c3eabb902.jpeg IMG_1196.thumb.jpeg.58861e2f612bffd6d96a8f77eb355293.jpegIMG_0380.thumb.jpeg.1a0b9e11cc6323b166682d3b28acebe9.jpegIMG_5416.thumb.jpeg.1615b02c56720c521392f181e7ad81ab.jpeg


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Day 5

Today we cruised through Endicott arm to Dawes Glacier then on to Juneau. We went to the glacier on the cruise ship and arrived around 6:30 then it turned around to come out of endicott arm and at 8:30 we got off the ship and onto an excursion boat through Allen’s Marine Tours. We then turned around and went back to the glacier and got within 1/4 mile of it. We were told that’s unusual for this time of year because it takes a while for the ice formed during winter to break up this early. An ice sheet develops for a mile or two from the glacier each winter. We watched lots of calving from the glacier and saw a few seals. They go into the arm to pup. Due to all the silt in the water there is no fish or anything to eat so the moms don’t eat any food for a few months while the pups grow then they head out to the ocean. We saw one little tiny guy he was so cute! At the glacier the boat went back and forth for at least half an hour, maybe an hour. D16 loved the glacier calving. 

As we left the glacier we enjoyed some drinks (not included) poured over glacier ice. The only things included on this excursions were hot drinks, a few donut holes, and crackers with salmon spread. This ended up really being a problem. The ship got to Juneau at 1, and the excursion was supposed to have us back at the ship at 2 and specifically said to plan excursions after 2. Luckily my in laws cancelled their 2:25 helicopter excursion because they felt we’d be cutting it too close. The boat ended up having a fuel leak and had to cut some engines so we didn’t explode in a fiery ball. That put us back 90 minutes, then when we got to the ship there was a life boat in the water. For some reason they couldn’t drop us at the pier, we had to get on the ship like a tender. We didn’t end up getting on the ship until 4. There were tears from one woman whose helicopter tour waited 15 minutes but just couldn’t wait any longer and left her. I think tension was high because we were all SO hungry. The only food for purchase were goldfish, granola bars, peanuts, a few candy options and fruit snacks. They didn’t even offer water for free which was really quite shocking to me. 

We got the kids some pizza then went ashore to eat at Tracy’s Crab Shack. That king crab was heavenly. 5 of us shared 3 lbs which was plenty to curb our hunger until dinner but not enough to fill us up. 

We then went to the Alaska fudge shop and got all varieties of brittle. I haven’t tried my coconut pecan one yet to report on it. I also bought a dark chocolate sea salt caramel and it was delicious. 

We went back to the ship and had a bit of time to play some ping pong before our northstar reservation. 

My parents’ helicopter and dog mushing on a glacier excursion got cancelled 5 minutes before meeting due to weather. Weather in Juneau was very nice but I guess not on the glacier. They were so disappointed. Because they were supposed to be on an excursion I didn’t include them in our northstar reservation but there ended up being room for them to join us. 

Afterward it was time for dinner. Tonight was taste of USA. The most commonly ordered food was the fried chicken and steak. The fried chicken inside was a good texture but not crispy at all and didn’t have a ton of flavor as described. For dessert I tried the royal cheesecake and warm apple cobbler. The crust on the cheesecake is yummy so that’s what I ate. The apple cobbler was really good until I got to the raisin covered bottom of the ramekin. I don’t like cooked raisins and had no idea they’d be there. 

There was no show tonight since all aboard wasn’t until 8:30. However they did have the love and marriage game show. Cruise director Mike really did a great job quickly pushing through the Q&A. Some cruise directors drag it on and on. It was entertaining yet concise. 

Tomorrow (or today now because I was too tired last night) is a sea day. We have lots of activities we’re excited to participate in with plenty of rest time mixed in. 

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Day 6 was a sea day. The day started early with more pickleball. My boys love getting up early to play with their grandpa (my dad) and both grandmas joined them. For some reason pickleball has always been at 7am. Then we got breakfast at the windjammer and went back to the seaplex for more bumper cars. The two littlest just love being able to drive around and crash into each other. Luckily MIL was there and saved my back from having to do those again. 

After bumper cars we went to the cake decorating contest. It was between cruise director Mike, the head chef, and the director of food and beverage. They took their time and Mike asked them questions about the ship and what it’s like to stock it etc. They said that for Australia cruises they have to stock 5 times more alcohol than when they come to Alaska! Mike won the contest because the winner got dinner at Jamie’s Italia “and two people here get to eat there whenever they want.” So the audience had pitty and voted him the winner. 

Hubby and I enjoyed Izumi on our Vision cruise but the kids did not. So with in-law approval to watch the kids we booked lunch at Izumi for Day 6. Izumi on quantum is small and has a much smaller menu but all we wanted was sushi anyway so we were happy. We ordered a la carte and got the dynamite roll and the spicy tempura shrimp roll. I don’t do sashimi or raw fish. We kept going back and forth between the two and neither could decide which we liked best they were both so delicious! And way cheaper than paying $40pp! I also got the mochi and hubby got the chocolate lava cake which was not lava but just a little gooey. 

MIL still had the kids at the pool and they would not leave. We were going to take them to adventure ocean but she didn’t mind sitting and watching them so I brought them some pizza then hubby and I went to the fitness center. Afterward we had to drag the kids out of the pool after 3ish hours of swimming because Disneynature Bears was showing in 270. What a cute film! Highly recommend and the kids were enthralled. 

We had an hour to get everyone ready for formal night before the next show. So everyone quickly showered and got ready then went to Sonic Odyssey. This is for sure my favorite show I’ve seen on Royal. It was so entertaining. No story line, but the music was so well done and everyone had so much talent!

Then time for lobster night! I got the onion tart appetizer and was not a fan. Lately I’ve also been ordering cheese plate dessert as an appetizer instead. Sometimes it has bleu cheese which I give away and sometimes it has delicious brie. It usually has three cheeses, and the harder cheeses like a cheddar and provolone are so so good dipped in the fig jam. We ordered a lobster per person then divvied out the ones the kids didn’t want, except S8. He loves lobster and ate 1 then shared D5’s with me. S12 was brave enough to try it and that was a no go. Nobody minded that he didn’t want it. It found a place in MIL’s tummy. Most of us also got steak; the herb butter they put on it is so good! I got the vegan banana custard dessert. Ew. I also got the warm chocolate cake. Meh, not gooey enough. I tried the baked Alaska, not my thing. 

Side note, the first night my mom discovered she enjoys the pumpkin seed bread. It’s always been my favorite. It was not given to us a day 2 so my mom asked about it. They said they’d make a note and the next night we had a plate with 8 or so rolls. The next night we got THREE BASKETS of them. Mind you there are three of us at the table that like those rolls. After that it kept just being a plate full when really we only needed 3 and had let them know but oh well. 

Tomorrow is our final day and we don’t arrive in Victoria until 5pm so it’s practically a sea day. IMG_0516.thumb.jpeg.456fb3ec05422607d871bcfbae1b41be.jpegIMG_0520.thumb.jpeg.62d4acb1e773543bc55582fe0a1697ce.jpegIMG_0523.thumb.jpeg.b46ba0c4fbd25fff78bc0d899ac51a42.jpegIMG_0525.thumb.jpeg.d7ec29d98962c9081228760a5fd68ad8.jpeg

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Day 7 half sea day half port day since we didn’t arrive in Victoria until 5pm. We started the day with Laser Tag. The other day when S12 when to checkout laser tag it wrapped around the seaplex, up the stairs, and around again. I guess everyone decided to sleep in because we were nearly first in line at 9:30. The kids had a blast and there was still no line so they went again. After two round they thought they might starve to death so we ate. I ate a small breakfast because I wanted to eat in the MDR for lunch. 

For lunch I ordered the caprese salad, mozzarella sticks, chicken sandwich, and some sort of floating meringue dessert. The caprese salad was not great. It needed some balsamic vinegar and way more basil. It was just so bland. The mozzarella sticks were top notch. I removed the bread from the sandwich just because I didn’t want to be so stuffed and it was delicious. The dessert was weird. Usually meringue is either cooked like a pavlova or on top of something with flavor like lemon curd. This was just…meringue. Not super flavorful. For some reason the waiter brought S12 a carrot cake so I stole that and it was very good. 

Then we went to the “talent show.” The cruise planner said there would be guest and crew talent. So we thought maybe you show up early and sign up; D16 can solve a Rubik’s cube in about 15 seconds and wanted to show off her talent. Apparently they pulled the best of the best from karaoke nights so 3 people performed karaoke and 2 crew performances. One sang and two did some sort of bar act flipping bottles and such. Cruise director Mike kept saying don’t leave don’t leave we have a surprise for you. The surprise was a bunch of the crew coming out so we could clap for them. Don’t get me wrong, I love the crew and they work crazy hard, just not my or my kids definition of a surprise. 

Then it was time to pack. Since Victoria was 5-10pm and luggage had to be out by 10 we needed to pack before getting off the ship. We had a private bike riding tour booked for 5:30. By the time we got through the crazy long line and walked the The Pedaler we were 20 minutes late. She was kind enough to wait for us. The only disappointment is I specifically booked two trail-a-bikes with the owner, NOT trailers so that D5 could see without a mesh screen surrounding her and so that I felt safer with S8 riding a bike. The girl there had no idea what I was talking about so we got one trailer and had to trust S8 could ride safely on the road. We also provided everyone’s heights on the booking but no specific bikes were ready, she just started pulling random ones from the back and seeing who fit what. 

The bike ride itself was beautiful. We went through beacon hill park, along the coast, way way up hill up to Craigdarroch castle, through a cemetery then back along the coast. Since I was riding a bike I couldn’t really take any pictures. 

We then booked it back to the ship. Godfrey said he’d save our table as long as he could but that after 8 tables were released to my time dining. We arrived at 8:20. As we approached the ship I could tell not many people had returned yet and didn’t feel so rushed. Our table was available. I had the seafood cake, steak, and dark chocolate brownie. The seafood cake was good, I liked the sauce, the Mediterranean steak with the chimichurri sauce was good but not as good as the other nights with the herb butter. The brownie was just a nice normal brownie. 

MIL and FIL went to Butchart Gardens through Royal and didn’t get back to the ship until 9:20 so they ate in the Windjammer. MIL was not impressed, particularly with the taco bar. 

We went back to the room to get our luggage out and my parents went to the 18+ comedy show. I know from past experience that I do not enjoy the adult comedy shows. They’re generally too raunchy and crude for my taste. I had warned my parents but they went and regretted it. They wanted to leave the moment they sat down but they had climbed over many people to get to their seats and the comedian was heckling people as they left and they didn’t want to be singled out too. 

And so ends our Alaska cruise. We used our free Diamond pictures to get the family pictures. I was a little confused because the kids got papers in their rooms saying they each get a free photo, but at the photo center they said only people 21+ can get one. It was the final day and they were going to be closing so it wasn’t worth arguing but there was one specific picture I was really hoping to get but unwilling to spend $25. Does anyone have experience getting a free photo under their kids’ accounts for my future reference?

Since I’m late writing this I’ll finish up that we have now arrived home. We used a hotel day use site to get a hotel for the day for $150 for all of our luggage and to just come and go from the room as we pleased. We had the room reserved from 8-6. It was the Renaissance in downtown Seattle. In the 6 hours we were actually there they changed up the snacks by the elevator bank three times so we had granola bars, Oreos, and pretzels as well as some juice and water. We walked to Pike Place and had lunch at The Crab Pot. I got the halibut fish and chips and it just didn’t compare to the ones I got in Ketchikan. My parents really liked their seafood Louie salad and hubby liked his clam chowder in a bread bowl. I couldn’t even get through a second piece of fish it was pretty flavorless and so disappointing after such amazing food in Alaska. We vegged at the hotel for a couple of hours then went to the airport to veg some more.  I dread leaving cruises but I’m so happy to be home with my puppies and in my own bed. 

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