One of the nicest things about cruising is the people you meet. I loved a couple we met early Tuesday morning by the hot tub. Max was from Belarus and his wife, Laura, was originally from Moscow. They were admiring my husband’s tattoos, particularly the one containing the initials of his children. Max was true to his fatalistic Soviet roots. “John, when you have a stroke, the tattoo will help you remember the names of your children.”

At lunch, John studied the menu before we met a couple who had been married 62 years.


Their secret? “She can’t hear,” Fen said. Betty smiled.

Then there was Richard and Ann — Californians we met at a wine and cheese tasting event. A retired fireman and school teacher, they now work part-time at a winery in Livermore. We shared travel stories in between sips and nibbles.

We spotted our first whales on Tuesday making our way north through a narrow channel.

Ever wonder who started the whole “towels-in-the-shape-of-animals” thing? Towel origami is one of the fun things about cruising. Check out this red-eyed bunny.


Today we arrived in Ketchikan. Here was my first look.


Now I am off to explore.

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