Monday, May 13, 2019

Cruising Alaska: Royal Princess in Ketchikan

Here we go with another early morning surprise. Instead of taking the more scenic view red route, the ship took the less-scenic brown route.
While it was super early as we were heading into Ketchikan and most people weren't outside to see it, we did have a beautiful morning even without the scenic route. I tried to watch the bridge cam on the way in but they had the TV system shut down.
I had to resort to Ketchikan's web cams to watch the two tugs helping us navigate into port at 5:30 in the morning. So beautiful. 

What a spectacular day. You know it's going to be a great one when you are sitting on a cruise ship in Ketchikan, Alaska, having breakfast in the sunshine.

We were planning on taking our crew member friend out to lunch today but she had IPM (in port manning) and couldn't leave the ship. Hubby and I headed to Burger Queen to grab lunch for her and her crew member husband. Burger Queen in Ketchikan is a fast good restaurant close to the port, very small, and is super-busy. Today we arrived to a long line out the door and an even longer wait. When I say long, I mean loooooong. From the time we actually placed our order to the time it was handed to us was over an hour. Yes, an hour for takeout cheeseburgers and fries at a fast food restaurant. They do forewarn you when you place your order about the wait time so you know what you're in for. I tootled back to port with my backpack stuffed full of food for four people.

When I arrived back at the ship is when another long wait began. Take a look at this line down the gangway:
Now imagine that line wrapping around the corner, coming back down another area of the port (where I took the picture from), and then wrapping around one more time. The moment I took the picture I was in the middle of the line. Several hundred people all rushing to get back onto the ship at the same time. It was slow going.  I wasn't sure all that time and energy just to go get cheeseburgers was going to be worth it. But I can report they were absolutely delicious. Bordering on the best I've ever had. Yes, totally worth it.

If we hadn't already had our plans to venture out, we would have stayed onboard and had crab cakes. Today the hamburger/hot dog place was featuring crab cakes from Tracy's King Crab Shack (the place in Juneau). For free! I peeked over the edge of the counter and they looked amazing. I'll try and get a pic of them next week.

We have the Most Traveled Guest Cocktail Party tonight. Not sure I'll be ready to eat much, but I'll get my drink on!

I didn't get to see if the Encouraging Words Project was read on the air. When we went to watch the Wake Show on TV we got this screen. I don't know what happened, but I guess I'll be watching tomorrow instead.

Until tomorrow...maybe...

We just had some sad news. The Captain just now announced one of our float plane excursions has been involved in an accident. A second float plane carrying additional Royal Princess passengers was also involved. Our departure from Ketchikan has been delayed. I'll update here as we know more, but the Captain said it was a collision and to let family and friends know we are okay. That makes me think it was pretty bad. Please keep those folks in your thoughts today. A care team is available onboard for anyone who needs it.

I have a very sad update. The Captain has announced that nine passengers from our ship on the Princess excursion were rescued but one is still missing. On the other plane, four Princess passengers from our ship as well as the pilot have died.

We are leaving port now and will arrive late in Juneau. Excursions are being rearranged, and if passengers are booked on any flightseeing excursions during the rest of the voyage they can ask for for a full refund if they wish to cancel.

Counselors are available for passengers and crew. We have a very sad ship right now. Please keep the families in your thoughts and prayers.

An additional update: I learned at the Most Traveled Guest party that Princess also disembarked some staff members tasked to provide support to the families involved. Kudos to Princess.