Vision of the Seas - Alaska

Kuki's Daily Ship's Log - August 1 The Captain's Dinner

Kuki - Moose
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Kuki meets Kiki! Last night Mrs. Kuki and I attended the Captain's Welcome Aboard party with Darlene Bang, the Captain's wife, and their daughter, Kiki. I told Kiki we must be long lost relatives, but for some reason she just wouldn't believe me. I think the fact that Kiki is her real name, and Kuki isn't mine, must have tipped her off.

After the cocktail party we proceeded to the dining room for dinner, where we were joined by another couple and Hotel Manager, Tony Curtis. Name cards were set for our seating arrangements, and I was delighted to see Mrs. Kuki sitting across the table from me. Was it because I was hoping someone would think she was lost, and turn her into lost and found, or that I enjoy gazing directly at her beauty? The latter of course; she's going to be reading this.

It was a delightful experience dining with the Bangs, their family and the other guests. The Captain is a most sociable and gracious host who made a point of speaking directly to each person at the table. His is an interesting job, combining the technical skills involved in running a ship this size with the social skills to be the head of public relations.

It was formal night on the ship, but the dinner with this family was not formal. It was a most relaxed and enjoyable evening. So much so, that we closed the dining room. As Darlene Bang pointed out, "There's no rush. My husband has the key."

Captain Bang invited the group to get together on the bridge the next day as we cruised Hubbard Glacier.

Tuesday (I think that's what the carpet in the elevator said)...

We entered the bridge in time to watch the Captain and crew maneuver through the glacial ice pieces drifting with the current. I found it interesting to think that this navigation into the bay has to be different on each week's visit.

Luck was with us today, we got to see bears along the shore line while sailing in and out of the bay, and seals resting on the ice flows. I couldn't believe how close we could get to the glacier. It felt like I could just reach out and touch it, if I had REALLY long arms.

What caught my attention, besides the obvious beauty of the glaciers, was the great enjoyment Captain Bang derives from all of this. He turned the ship to allow passengers on both port and starboard sides to watch the calving ice sheets fall into the bay, great for those with balconys.

As he shouted greetings to passengers on the deck above and those out on their balconys, pointing out where the calving was talking place, his wide-eyed enchantment and excitement was childlike and very infectious. At one point he asked all passengers within the sound of his voice if they were enjoying the day. When they replied "YES," I passed him my moose hat, and he joked with them that we'd be passing it around.

Today was a truly "Kuki" experience, courtesy of Captain Bang. Tomorrow we visit Skagway, and gold rush country. The adventure continues..... Next Installment Go to the Beginning of Kuki's Adventure

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