Tuesday, September 28, 2010
There were 29 passengers on the cruise, including two affinity groups -- a family that had gathered from several states to vacation together, including members who had married in (including the husband of one of the sons), and eight from El Paso, Texas. When we're traveling in a contained situation such as a river cruise, we're always a little concerned at first about reaction to our being a gay couple. We do not do anything to conceal it under any circumstances. We refer to "our" house, where "we" go etc., etc. Having another gay couple on board along with their large, interesting, extroverted and totally inclusive family set us at ease immediately and among this group there were only one or two people among the passengers who seemed a little cool, which was totally manageable.
We're now in Salem, OR for four days with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter which will be followed by two days in Portland meeting fellow bloggers Rodger and Mark in person for the first time, after which we fly home on Sunday.
We had a great time on the boat. It was completely informal, a fact emphasized by encountering the Captain early one morning in the Lounge getting the first coffee of the day in his pajamas and robe. there was excellent food (the baker was particularly skilled) and an open bar included in the price of the cruise--although the Captain/owner had it open only between 4:30 and whenever dinner ended which was usually between 7 and 8pm, based on some previous unpleasant experiences.
The cabins were basic, each with a private shower, toilet and sink, some a little larger than others. The smallest one, for a single person, was truly minuscule but, as several of us commented, the object of the cruise was to be out in nature and on the (nicely sized) decks rather than in the cabins. There are a couple of other itineraries that we became interested in from talking with fellow passengers who had done them (people tend to be repeat customers with USA River Cruises, we discovered); one tours the Juan de Fuca Islands and the north shore of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, another visits the southern Alaskan Archipelago.
There will be lots of pictures when we get back to New Hampshire.