Monday, May 16, 2022

European Union Drops Airline Mask Requirements, But Pack Your Mask Anyway

Our friend Ben covers the latest developments in his One Mile At A Time blog.

European Union Drops Airline Mask Requirements, But...

Basically, the situation was complicated before, and as of now more than half of the EU countries are continuing to require passengers to wear masks.

The situation regarding vaccination and booster requirements is even more fluid, as we search for reliable and up-to-date information for taking a grandson to Europe in July.

In the meantime, if you're traveling to Europe, keep your mask handy.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The 'Best' North American Airline?

It depends on which class, according to JD Powers rankings highlighted in USA Today.

We can't help but notice that our current airline of choice, Alaska, scores in the top five in all three categories.

Which is the best airline in the US? Depends on the class. See JD Power's 2022 rankings.

 We do raise eyebrows to see that Allegiant slightly outscores Alaska for "Basic Economy," but then we've never flown Allegiant.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Aboard Quantum: A Canadian Sunset

Please forgive the musical play on words. It was a lovely evening as we sailed out of Victoria, situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and thus south of our Birch Bay home.

Of course, our Birch Bay sunsets are equally spectacular. We do live in a pleasing little corner of the world, and it was an easy two-hour 15-minute drive there Monday morning from the Seattle ferry facility in Bob's comfortable pickup truck.  

A great time was had by all.

Aboard Quantum: A Quick Stop in Victoria

After one sea day, we docked at the Victoria, B.C. Cruise ship terminal. We saw helicopters, seaplanes, and even the Coho, the 60-year-old ferry that sails between Victoria and Port Angeles, Washington.

The Coho looks small from our Deck 13 balcony. Of course, it’s only about 340 feet long, so it is small compared to our 1149-foot behemoth.

We had time to taxi out to say hello to Brian’s stepmother, Louise, who just turned 96. Happy Mother's Day, Louise!

Then it was back to the ship for a sunset sail away and the final short cruise to Seattle.

Aboard Quantum: Lunch in Izumi

We enjoyed lunch in Izumi. The food kept coming, thanks to Alex’s skillful ordering.

We savored it all - Sashimi…


And Mochi ice cream for dessert (Brian liked it, while it was too sweet for Kathy)...

Yum! Another great meal in a Quantum of the Seas specialty restaurant (the only way to cruise on RCCL in our opinion).

Aboard Quantum: A Simulated Skydive

“Suit up for some high-flying fun on the only skydiving simulator at sea, Ripcord® by iFly®.”

We watched admiringly as Bob’s son Alex and Alex’s girlfriend Abby suited up for this.

They each had a two-minute turn in the tube, with an instructor who resembled a magician performing a levitation trick.

The instructors give a short demonstration at the end with the airflow turned up to high.

Alex and Abby said it was great fun. It was fun to watch as well.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Aboard Quantum: Sailing Out of Ketchikan

A beautiful evening after a rainy morning…

Aboard Quantum: A Revealing Lunch

We rode the bus back from Ketchikan almost immediately. We’d visited Ketchikan a few years ago, and once is really enough.

Once back abosrd, what to do for lunch! We bought the specialty restaurant package. Alas, there are no specialty restaurants open on this port day.

 We tried the “dim sum” restaurant up on deck 14. No dim sum to be found, and we tried some exceedingly tough beef satay.

Then it was down to Sorrento’s, a pizza joint on deck 4. The pizza we tried would have been disappointing out of a supermarket frozen food section.

We retreated to the buffet, which is dismal in its own way. Decent wine (our beverage package) in plastic glasses.

It was a tossup for the “winner” between Brian’s pork schnitzel and the pizza.

 Pretty dismal.

Aboard Quantum: Docked in Ketchikan

We’re actually docked a 20-minute bus ride away in Ward Cove, the biggest of the five cruise ships stopping here today.

We’ve been here before so a quick look is enough for us.

Aboard Quantum: A Champagne Bottle

Our friend and neighbor Carmen likes Champagne. This bottle intrigued her.

Aboard Quantum: Dessert in Wonderland

An amazing display..,

A spectacular evening that kept us entertained for three hours!

Aboard Quantum: Wonderland - Through the Culinary Looking Glass

We didn’t expect to like this place, but we all thoroughly did.

Splashing water on the menu reveals the print, just like those books our kids used to use.

Most of the appetizer courses were bite-size…




Short ribs…

And the dessert course will follow…

Aboard Quantum: Dinner in Chops

We bought the specialty restaurant package, and those are the places we dine. So far they’re exceeding our expectation.

Their “pepper bacon” appetizer is, as we expected, pork belly.

A good steak…




Aboard Quantum: Italian Lunch at Jamie’s

Quite an appetizer plate - good pasta too!

Aboard Quantum: the Solarium and More