Sorry for the delay in adding to the blog. As we suspected, the ship charges 50 dollars for half an hour or 75 cents per minute! No way. Along with everything else on the ship, they are continually asking you for money to buy this or that. We've opted out of the 10$ per person per day automatic charge for tipping, and intend to tip who we want and how much we want at the end of the cruise. It certainly takes the shine off things.
So, we are now in a little business centre in the little Alaskan town of Ketchikan - Richard tells me this is a city but it sure don't look like one. It looks rather sad and neglected. We've decided not to go on an organised trip from here but just look around ourselves. The ship docked at around 6.00 a.m. and was followed in by a Holland America ship. Side by side in a port this size they are overpowering. I got up early and went out on deck to watch all this, it was fascinating. There were little sea planes taking off and landing as well. And we gather this is one of the last times the ships will come in before winter sets in. Today, however, is sunny and very pleasant - no sign of winter on the way.
We've had a very strange two days on the ship. As mentioned above, all they want is money for this, that and the other. I hate it! It is so Americanised - but so far the Americans we have met have been lovely. There is every nationality on board, particularly Chinese. And the staff come from every corner. They are very pleasant and helpful, but again just want you to buy this or sign up for that. I imagine they are on commission! The food is excellent, and there are quite a lot of different styles of restaurant. Last night was 'formal' wear, which was a pain, and afterwards we went to a 'Words & Music' show put on by the crew which was excellent and so professional. Then we collapsed into bed. Doing nothing very much is so exhausting.
We left Vancouver late on Saturday afternoon, and have been sailing steadily up the inside passage ever since. We sail south from here and then turn north again to dock at Juneau (I think) tomorrow. Then we have Skagway, a day cruising Glacier Bay, and finally docking at Whittier - need to check the itinerary. Quite a few passengers leave at Whittier, travel up to Anchorage and then fly home. The weather has been good - sunny, warmish, and the sea has been quite calm. Hope it stays that way. We of course carry on westwards, crossing the international date line on the way. We've already lost another hour last night, as well as about 8 hours flying to Vancouver.
That's all for now. If we find another friendly computer on shore tomorrow, I'll write again