Today was Ketchikan – pretty much deemed from the start to be the least interesting port of the three. The boat docked in the port at 9:30 and was scheduled to leave around 5:15. My family and I got off the boat around 9:45 or 10:00 and immediately headed to the bus stop. There’s a public bus that will take you to the Totem Bight State Park (the only attraction I saw worth going to). It turns out that this city bus’ last stop is the park so I don’t know if that implies there’s nothing else in Ketchikan beyond this park. There were a few Ketchikan residents legitimately using it to get around. There was one guy on the bus who was getting frustrated with how many tourists were trying to cram on board that he started to yell out to the bus driver, “COME ON FRED! FUCKING FRED! Fucking tourists.” I didn’t turn around to look at him at the time, but later I was really surprised to find that this surly local resident was not a fat white man, but a regular sized asian or else Alaskan native man.
It rained the entire time in Ketchikan – for some reason I didn’t bother taking my umbrella off the ship, and this would have been the only port that would have required an umbrella. Instead, I just wore hiking pants, hiking boots, and my rain jacket. The bus ride took 30 minutes to get to the park and was crammed with probably 90% asian tourists, 5% white tourists and 5% local residents. My research said it would be $1 each way, but it turned out to be $2 each way. I confirmed online that the fares were as we’d been told, because I did initially suspect Fred was skimming off the top (he wasn’t).
The totem park was actually pretty cool, relative to what else was available to do in Ketchikan. Mainly I just like parks that are by the ocean or have old growth forests, and this had both, which is a rarity in CA. We roamed the park within an hour, which meant that we were able to catch the bus back to town, thank goodness. The buses only run hourly and there truly wouldn’t have been much to do if we had missed the first bus.
We got back into the ports area and ended up deciding to go back to the ship to eat lunch, as it was around 1pm. This ended up being a great decision because everyone secretly wanted to get out of the rain but no one said this outloud, and lunch ended up being delicious (on top of already being included in our cruise fare, we saved ourselves the trouble of roaming around Ketchikan looking for a restaurant). This was probably my favorite lunch buffet to date, mainly because they had three great cold salads (one with roasted pork, one that I think was essentially with imitation crab, and one with octopus and potatoes). They also had chicken cutlets stuffed with cheese, lamb empanadas, and mozzarella with tomato dish that I liked a lot. Win!
My brother and dad decided to stay on the boat and out of the rain, while my mom and I ventured out. I didn’t know really what there was to do in town so we just wandered around the shops, which is what my mom loves to do. A lot of shops later, we wound up walking around the waterfront area, which is
really about like two blocks long. From there, you can enter Creek Street, which I think used to be Ketchikan’s Red Light District. I also realized there was a street called Park Blvd, which sounded very promising. Unfortunately, my mom had spent so much time in the shops that we didn’t have much time left to complete the Creek Trail that would’ve led us to the fish hatchery. Oh well, it turns out the fish hatchery is closed indefinitely and I think I was probably only a few steps away from finishing the trail anyhow.
It was lobster tail night for dinner, which I don’t eat, so instead I got a beef wellington. Everyone tonight got the featured dessert which was some sort of round cake made of pistachio creme bulee and a chocolate mousse. It was way too decadent. We also got ice cream, which was supposed to come with mint chocolate, a basil lemon sorbet, and a macadamia nut, but only the mint chocolate tasted as it was advertised. Lastly, our server presented us with a complimentary little plate of small desserts – I tried one and it was SOOOOO good – a chocolate and nut thing. If I had had a ziplock bag, I would’ve taken them all. Laura’s family ended up taking the plate out as we left the dining room, which I’m not sure if that’s considered low classy. Well we did pass an empty table where the group had left their dessert plate untouched, and I did refrain from picking THAT off the table. So I have some standards!
At this point in the trip, I haven’t read a single page of the book I brought (Anna Kendrick’s memoir) and I haven’t gymmed for essentially two nights. Maybe I’ll go tonight. After I close my eyes and listen to this podcast for a little bit…….
So I fell asleep for an hour, then my mom came back to the room and we decided to go use the hot tub on the upper deck. It was FREEZING. There is an indoor hot tub but it’s near seating for the buffet and people are constantly walking by. I knew my mom would not want to use the hot tub with so many people nearby, so instead I took her to the one on the upper deck that I had discovered while doing a night run in circles around the deck. While very isolated, this deck is unfortunately also extremely windy. So windy that even the captain mentioned it today at dinner as a hazard. I had to tie a towel to a metal bar to ensure that it wouldn’t fly away, and hide our robes and clothes behind the drinks bar. Once in the water, it felt relaxing, even though it was clearly freezing outside of the water. AND we were actually situated under a lounge that people take an escalator to get to, and my mom was like “people keep staring at us” haha they were probably thinking “wtf are these insane people doing, hot tubbing in 40 degree weather?!”
After that, my mom and I went to the gym before it closed. I didn’t do very much, because you really shouldn’t be hot tubbing prior to exercise, as your muscles won’t cooperate. Then, while she was showering, I sat and watched my brother and dad eat ramen at the buffet. They have the ramen available every other day, and looking around, it seems like the obvious thing for Princess to do is to just have a ramen bar available every night. All around us are Asians, which make up at least 40% of the population on the cruise, and everyone is thrilled to finally have some NON WHITE FOOD! And ramen is SO CHEAP.