Alaska – Day #2

August 14, 2013
Day two on the boat.

I woke up occasionally during the night to feel the boat rocking, but I generally slept pretty well. Joel, however, woke up about 3AM because the rocking had increased and it was making him feel queasy. Thank goodness they had left us some Bonine in our basket of goodies, and one of those quickly made him feel better. I thought it felt very strange to feel the whole room swaying and rocking with no regularity or predictable pattern, but thankfully it didn’t make me feel sick.

It felt so good to sleep. We finally got up about 9AM, showered, and headed out for some breakfast. Today there was no land to be seen. The weather was gray, misty, drizzling, and quite chilly. I was happy to learn that there wasn’t anything to see. We had slept late, and I hate to think I’ve missed anything.

Breakfast was very good with all the usual breakfast foods. If other people were seasick you wouldn’t know it from the crowd! Afterward, since it wasn’t very inviting outside, we decided to explore the lower levels of the ship. There are tons of sitting areas everywhere, and I think I counted four grand pianos in various bars and lounges. Most places we visited were busy since everyone was looking for things to do and places to relax.

It’s a good mix of people on the ship – everyone from families with young children to senior citizens, and no one predominant age group. There are many nationalities and languages also, especially Indian and Asian people. The staff is also a mix of nationalities and I have heard many different languages spoken among them.

I wonder about being a staff member. I see them constantly serving food, cleaning up after everyone, cleaning the ship, taking care of rooms, and making themselves available for whatever the guests need. It’s a lot of hard work and I know they are away from friends and family. And, what does cleaning up involve? How many dishes do they wash? How many linen napkins do they wash every day? How much water does it take to do all that? It seems like the work is never ending, and the flow of things going to be cleaned is constant.

So, we spent Wednesday watching the activity on the ship, walking around, and spending time with our books and computers in various sitting areas. When my computer battery ran out, we ended up in the internet café on deck 3 where they have both power outlets and windows, and a very interesting employee. He told us he’s from Romania and there are employees from 52 countries on board. He says he enjoys the job because he gets to travel a lot. This ship started out in New York, where it sailed to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, then to Mexico and the west coast before it started doing the summer route from Seattle to Alaska (and probably other destinations I’ve forgotten). He’s also a photographer and had some great Alaska photos. He said the weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow so we should be in for some really beautiful views.

It started to clear up in the afternoon so I went out to take a look. I thought I saw something in the water, but it could have been just a white cap on a wave. But, then I saw it again, a spout of water, and another next to it! As I watched it became clear that there were whales or some sort of animals in the water. I couldn’t see them, only the water spouts but it was still very exciting!

Deck three also looked like a good walking area, so we decided to get some exercise. We figured if you go out one door you can walk all the way around the ship to the door on the other side. Then, come in and go out the door where you started, and you can walk the route again. When we got around to the other side we also saw that there were some beautiful hills and mountains visible in the distance. Joel had convinced me that we could go walking without cameras, but I had to go back for one after our walk.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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4 Responses to Alaska – Day #2

  1. Allison says:

    We were on Star Princess (your ship is gorgeous). Our Friday at sea was so wet, they closed the decks off. We had to stay inside to read, but there was always plenty to see and do (or nap). My daughter and I watched a movie poolside as well in the mist under blankets–we wanted to take it all in.


  2. Pearl.Barnes says:

    Hi Kris:

    I have been following your blog and really appreciate the information.  I am not sure if this is the proper venue for me to ask you a question and if not please let me know.  I am contemplating moving to David, Panama next year.  Just two questions:

    1. What is the approximate time it takes to apply for Pension Program (I am retired) ; and

    2. How difficult to leave after 90 day stay to return back to Panama?

    Thank you so much for your response.

    Marlene Barnes


    • Kris says:

      Hi Marlene
      Sure, contact me however you wish 🙂
      It takes a few months to get your pensionado visa and you will need a lawyer. It helps if you get your fingerprints done before you leave the US, and documentation of income and whatever other paperwork you need to get together. Just getting the fingerprints through the FBI check takes 6-8 weeks.

      You can stay in Panama indefinitely by getting your passport stamped every 180 days, or 90 days if you want to drive here. It is easy to come and go, but friends are hearing that you can no longer just go to the border and come back again. You have to be gone for 2-3 days. My friends are in the process of doing this now so keep an eye on their experiences. and But to my understanding, as long as you have proof that you have a way out of Panama (money, credit card, travel tickets, etc.) you can come in and out as you wish. In my experience though, if you fly back to the US they won’t let you come back to Panama without a return ticket out – cash, credit card, etc won’t do, just a return ticket.


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