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Unread 28 Oct 19, 08:18 PM  
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Melanie R
Sprinkling Pixie Dust

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Glaciers & Glowtinis - Day 10 Victoria

For the first time of the trip, I overslept this morning! I had spent time reorganising this day so that I could do the whale tour, and now that it was all sorted, I was running late!

My excursion ticket instructed me to meet in the theatre at 8:40 and it was 8:15 by the time I was awake and alert enough to realise I really needed to get a move on if I wasnt to miss this tour and believe me I had no intentions of missing it!

I was quickly up and dressed and collected together the bits I was going to need for the morning taking advice from the expert onboard the last ship, I had decided I was going to leave my iPhone behind today, but given the lack of charging facilities, I didnt really have too much choice!

I skipped breakfast Im not good at eating as soon as I wake up and I really didnt have the time, so I hurried off to the theatre and collected my tour sticker I was the last in the group to arrive, but I was at least on time!

I took a seat in the row I was sent to and we waited about 5 minutes before our tour number was called I then followed the rest of my group out of the theatre and down the single flight of steps to the deck where we could exit the ship. We all followed the directions to the outside waiting area and before too long we were collected by a member of the crew of the tour boat. It may seem really stupid, but I had half expected to be taken to the boat on a coach, but obviously we had docked in the harbour, and that was where the tour boats would leave from, (yes I know, but in my defense it still felt really early!) so it was a very quick 2 minute walk to the boat and we were soon all onboard.

The tour was run by Orca Spirit Adventure and the all female crew were so lovely and friendly, and as soon as we were all seated launched into the safety briefing and the rules for the tour. They explained that there were no guarantees of any whale sightings, but in the whole season so far they had only had 2 tours where no whales had been seen, so the odds were very much in our favour, and at this point they set off and we were underway.

As soon as we were off, there was a mass exodus from the downstairs cabin and everyone headed up to the outside viewing area and there was a general scramble for a decent viewing spot it seemed to be that the bigger the lens on the camera the person had, the more entitled they felt to have the best spots, and there was quite a bit of pushing and jostling at first and this was before we even saw anything!

Before too long, the crew member who was up on deck with us pointed out the first sighting of the morning a group of around 5 orcas hunting. She was extremely informative in pointing out the behaviours we were seeing and giving lots of info on the different types of whales we may see in the area, and also telling us about the other wildlife as well, but to be honest, most people were only interested in the orcas and getting the best view/pics they possibly could! We were not allowed to get too close to them and the crew cut the engines so that we maintained the required distance while we watched. I have only 1 word to describe the experience of seeing the orcas in their natural environment and that is awesome It is a word that gets very overused in my opinion, but today it was most definitely the only appropriate word to use.

We spent some time here watching them before they swam off and we started to move away to see what else we could see. The crew pointed out the lighthouse with sea lions on the rocks and explained we would see them in closer proximity on our return to harbour.

I was really thirsty by this point, so headed back to the inside cabin to get a cup of tea (refreshments were included) and a banana as I had skipped breakfast. At this point I realised that there were only 4 of us inside (including me) and the crew downstairs had opened the doors on either side of the boat so there was actually a great view and totally unobstructed! The crew member downstairs was also taking pics and confirmed they would all be uploaded to their Flikr account and would be available free of charge for us to download, so I was happy that at least I would have some decent photos from today.

We soon spotted another group of orcas and spent some time watching them before we were told it was time for us to start to return back to Victoria.

I took a seat back at one of the tables and got another cup of tea, and I was joined by one of the other ladies who had followed me back inside. We were soon chatting and telling each other all about our trips she was actually on a Holland America ship and was also travelling alone as she was widowed several years earlier. She was from Chicago and I was amazed when she told me she was almost 80 I would have knocked 20 years off if I had been asked. She was such an interesting lady to talk to and had done so much with her life that I could have happily spent another couple of hours chatting to her, but before too long we were back at the lighthouse watching the sea lions so conversation came to a halt for a while.

As we set off for the final stretch back we chatted some more, and then we were docking back at the harbour and saying our goodbyes as we headed back to our respective ships. I was struck again at how easy it is to fall into conversation with people when you travel alone had I been travelling with someone, I probably would never have met this lady and would have missed out on such an interesting conversation, so I made a mental note if I travel in the future whether solo or not to look out for chances to chat to people 😊

I was back onboard around 12:30 and headed straight to get something to eat I was starving by this point having missed breakfast, so I headed to the grill around the pool and ordered a cheeseburger and fries, and ordered a gin and tonic to wash them down.

It was a short stop in Victoria, we were due to sail at 1:30 so before too long we were heading out to sea next stop would be San Francisco after a final sea day tomorrow.

Once we had sailed, I knew the shops would have reopened, so headed off to find the general shop which I was hoping would have some form of electrical adapter so that I could charge my iPhone I didnt have a plan B if nothing was available, and would have to come up with some method of borrowing a charger as all my details for hotel and tickets for San Francisco were on there!

As I mentioned in yesterdays report. The Golden Princess was not an easy ship to find your way around and it took me ages to find the general store which sold day to day bits and pieces. Eventually after wandering through the art exhibits several times (and stopping to admire the Disney Thomas Kinkade prints!) I finally found the shop I must have walked straight past it when I got back on the ship in Victoria, but clearly was so focused on food I hadnt noticed!

They didnt have any electrical adapters for sale, but they did have an international USB charger a genius device which can charge up to 4 items at any time and can be used in the UK, USA and in Europe as well, so Ill definitely get some use out of it 😂

I headed back to my cabin to put my iPhone, iPad and power bank on charge and headed out to sit around the pool with my Kindle (the only device which still had charge) . I may have decided that I hadnt finished my ice cream comparison so had another cone just to be sure 🤔

I spent a very pleasant afternoon around the pool reading and relaxing in the sunshine, then headed back to by cabin to collect my iPhone so that I could send a quick message home to let them know I had finally managed to see the orcas. I collected my now fully charged phone, went to the Wi-Fi log in screen to be met with the message that I couldnt log in.

I headed down to the internet caf to see what the issue was, to be informed that they were having server issues and the passenger Wi-Fi was down. They were expecting it to be back up within the hour so to try later.

While I was out and about, I headed to the dining room to see what was on the menu tonight, but however hard I looked, I couldnt find the dining room I had been assigned to, so I checked out the menu on the open dining restaurant instead. It was Italian night, so basically a repeat of the menu from the previous cruise 😊

I headed back to my cabin to get changed as it was now gone 6, and set off again to try to find my restaurant. Looking at the map of the ship, it was immediately below my cabin on deck 5, but when I went to the lifts, there was a sign telling me that the elevators on the left did not go to deck 5. So I waited for an elevator on the right, only to find that one didnt have a button for deck 5 either! I checked them all but not one of them was able to go to deck 5, so I headed down to deck 6 and thought Ill take the stairs.

As I left the lift, I saw a sign directing me to the dining room, but having followed the directions ended up back in the lift lobby where none of the lifts had a button for deck 5! At this point I decided I didnt need meatballs and spaghetti that badly, so decided to head to the buffet instead! As I headed down the corridor to the front of the ship, I passed several signs along the way giving directions to the dining room, so clearly it wasnt just me who was struggling, but Im not convinced this room actually exists as I never did manage to find it!

I headed up to the buffet where the Italian theme had been continued and enjoyed the pasta and meatballs from there instead they were very nice and as it was much quicker to eat there, I was in time to catch the movie under the stars this evening so headed up on deck.

The movie tonight was Aladdin, which I have seen a couple of times, but do enjoy so was quite happy to settle down to watch again with a cocktail in hand 😍

As I had still not been in touch with home, following the movie, I tried to log in again to the Wi-Fi, but was still receiving the error message it seems the IT definition of an hour is the same the world over!

I decided to round off my evening with a latte and headed back to my cabin to chill with my iPad before finally falling asleep.

Tomorrow would be my last full day onboard so I planned to make the most of it as I had a very full day planned once I arrived in San Francisco 😂
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Unread 29 Oct 19, 08:51 AM  
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Fabulous photos of the Orcas, what a fantastic experience! I love that you enjoyed chatting to other solo travelers, you probably made that ladies day too. Finding it odd that the ship seems such a maze! I would hate to miss a meal lol! Your trip seems to be going so fast...
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Unread 29 Oct 19, 10:52 AM  
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Those are fantastic photos, and it seems so close (or were you one of the people with the long lenses? &#128521 it's a pity you didn't have longer in Victoria, as it's a lovely city, very British and some interesting side trips. Looking forward to hearing what you get up to in San Francisco.
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Unread 29 Oct 19, 11:18 AM  
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Great photo's of the Orcas and I'm so glad you got to see them after the cancelled excursion earlier in the trip!

Loving your report; thank you for sharing it.
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Unread 29 Oct 19, 11:19 AM  
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So many whales! Glad you saw them and the photos are great.
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Unread 29 Oct 19, 02:16 PM  
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Fab trip, the photos are great, I experienced the same with photographers on our Monterey whale watch. I have what would have been a great lunge feeding photo, expect someone decided that it was totally acceptable to stick there GoPro on a selfie stick directly in front of me 🙄

The rest of the day sounds very relaxing. Apart from the elusive dining room lol

Previous trips (mostly villas,) '98,'00,03,04x2,06,07,11 (first onsite stay SSR),12 villa and RCI cruise,14 OKW,15 RCI cruise, Clearwater and Int Drive. 16 West Coast DL, 17
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Unread 29 Oct 19, 11:41 PM  
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Amazing photos of the Orcas - Victoria and Vancouver Island as a whole is a wonderful place to explore - if you ever get the chance to go back make sure you see The Butchart Gardens.
Have thoroughly enjoyed reading your report - sad to be getting close to the end
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Unread 3 Nov 19, 12:57 PM  
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So glad the trip was such a success! The photos are fabulous!
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