Jay's Internet Log

Alaska LPC 2016 – Day 7 – Victoria, British Columbia

by on Jun.03, 2016, under Alaska 2016, General, Vacation

At lunchtime, we will pass Cape Flattery on the Washington Olympic Peninsula and enter the Strait of Juan De Fuca. At around 5:00PM, we will cross the International Boundary into Canadian Waters and set a Northerly heading past Race Rocks on our Port side. At 5:45PM, we will embark our Canadian Pilot by boat on the Starboard side and enter the harbor to be all-fast on our berth by 7:00PM. On departure, the Canadian Pilot will disembark and a Southerly course will be set towards Port Angeles where we will embark our Puget Sound Pilot at approximately 1:20AM. An East and then Southerly course will be set into Puget Sound towards Seattle where we will all fast alongside at 6:00AM.

I mentioned yesterday that I “might try their lamb chop and maybe a small steak”. Well, that’s true to an extent. I did have their insanely amazing lamb chops, along with a rather large and excellent NY Strip Steak, while Heather had filet mignon and four lobster tails. Also, we shared garlic fries, mashed potatoes, salads, French Onion Soups, freshly-baked rolls, ice cream, and a sampling of four different desserts. It was amazing as the Crown Grill usually is. This is the first time that we’ve visited them twice on a single voyage, and I’m glad that we did.  After dinner, we watched an episode of The Love Boat and went to bed at around 10:00PM.

We slept in today all the way until 8:00AM, which is the record for this trip. We got up and went to the Thermal Suite to sit in the hot tubs and steam rooms for a bit before we got packing. There’s not a whole lot going on today, so we’ll be packing our bags most of the time so that we’re ready for our tour later on. We’ll be revisiting the Enchanting Buchtart Gardens, so I hope it doesn’t rain later on!

Mid-afternoon, I saw what ended up being the Norwegian Pearl coming up strong and close on our port side, and as it got closer, both ships entered heavy fog. This was the first time this trip that we’ve seen such dense fog, and it was a lot of fun listening to the two ships blow their fog horns back and forth to each other. We were the last ship to dock in Victoria, after the Pearl and Holland America Amsterdam.

After dinner of Tom Turkey and custom-made French Onion Soup, we returned to the room to find my Captain’s Circle information, which made me very happy!

The Buchtart Gardens were phenomenal as always. I think we were a bit early in the season, as many of the flowers weren’t much more than buds at this time, but it was still an amazing trip. It was good and dark by the time we left the gardens, and once we got back on board Ruby Princess, we had enough time to put our luggage outside the door and get a 5-hour nap.

As I said in the first post, the main reason for this trip was to get Elite status in the Captain’s Circle club, and that goal was attained, along with some much-needed relaxation.  I’m now very-much looking forward to our next voyage!

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Alaska LPC 2016 – Day 6 – At Sea

by on Jun.03, 2016, under Alaska 2016, General, Vacation

Our two SE Alaskan Pilots will disembark at 11:00AM and we continue on a Southerly course down through the Chatham Strait. At 5:30AM we will enter the open waters of the Gulf of Alaska / North Pacific Ocean and set a Southeasterly course, taking us past the Prince of Wales Island, Dixon Entrance, and Haida Gwaii Islands. Late tonight we will pass to the west of Cape Scott, the northern most tip of Vancouver Island, and will continue off its Western shores on a Southeasterly heading towards the Strait of Juan De Fuca.

I didn’t make it far into Star Wars last night, but that was expected due to the temperature here in Alaska this early in the cruising season. Clouds also rolled in while I was up there, so I decided against staying up to see stars, as I don’t think I would have.

We awoke this morning at 7:00AM as we both had massages booked at 8:00AM. My massage was basically 75 minutes of getting beat up with bamboo sticks by a very strong Romanian woman. As I write this 8 hours later, my legs are still in pain. I very rarely get massages, and I sit at a computer all day, so my muscles were very tight. Afterwards, I met Heather in the Thermal Suite, and then we came back to the room.

Heather went off to get her nails done, while I started my very last load of laundry ever on a Princess ship. This wasn’t so easy though, since this is a huge ship and it’s the last sea day of this voyage. I went to decks 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14 just to see every single washing machine full. As my last hope, I wandered down to deck 8 to see two machines empty.

I started them up, put some soap in them, then headed back to the room to grab the clothes. After dropping them off, I had some fries and a Diet Coke. When I went to change the clothes over, Heather showed up with beautiful nails. We then went and had our normal lunch of cheeseburgers, fries, and pizza. You really can’t go wrong with that combination on a Princess ship!

At 1:45PM, we watched in full, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s always fun to watch with people who have never seen it before, and this theater was packed full of them. We had a blast. Heather’s now taking a nap before dinner tonight, which we’ll have in the Crown Grill again. I’m thinking that I might try their lamb chop and maybe a small steak.



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Alaska LPC 2016 – Day 5 – Skagway, Alaska

by on Jun.03, 2016, under Alaska 2016, General, Vacation

Once clear of the berth we will set a southerly course back down the Taiya Inlet & Lynn Canal. At 5:45PM we will pass the historic town of Haines on our starboard side and then at approximately 6:45PM we will pass Eldred Rock Light. As we continue to head south, it is worth staying on the upper decks as providing the visibility is clear, the view of the mountains, glaciers, and general landscape is particularly dramatic.

Before I start with today’s entry, I must touch upon dinner last night. After having some issues a few nights back, one head waiter told us that if we ask for him by name, he will have a table for two set up for us each night for the rest of the cruise. Dinner last night was fantastic. It was Italian night, and our head waiter sat us at a table for four, but just for the two of us. He provided us with some tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. He made us some fresh pasta that was very spicy and good. We also had spaghetti and meatballs, prosciutto and melon, and I had braised pot roast while Heather had Alaskan Cod. The service was excellent and exactly what I’ve come to know Princess Cruises for in terms of “dinner”.

Last night, two people were late getting on the ship, but we waited for them like always. I’ve never seen a Princess ship leave passengers ashore, even though it is threatened. I think it’s just that though. This time, the culprit came running towards the ship with a 12-pack of Heineken in hand, noticeably intoxicated. My guess is that they lost track of time in some Juneau bar.

Today we were in Skagway, which is my favorite port on this itinerary. This is Heather’s second time here and my fourth. This will also be the fourth time that I’ve taken the White Pass & Yukon narrow gauge railroad up the mountain. If I had to only choose a single Alaskan tour in any port we visit this trip, the train ride would be it. As soon as we were allowed in the train area, I booked it to the front car, right next to the engine. This happened to be a brand new car, with a nice balcony on it. The train takes you up 3000 feet above the ships in Skagway, into British Columbia, with breathtaking views the entire way. At the top, a conductor comes and detaches the engine from all the cars, then takes it and attaches it to the other end of the train, meaning that the ride down is much more relaxing than the noisy ride up. All you hear are the click-clack of the tracks as you descend the mountain. It’s very relaxing.

After the train dropped us off in town, we walked back over to our ship, had a quick burger and pizza, then headed back into the town of Skagway in order to shop, mail some items back home, and hopefully find Robert Lee (LeeBob) who we met in 2010 and bought a totem pole that he made. We entered the shop where we bought the piece, only to see that he wasn’t there, but a new, 6+ foot tall version of it was in the window. We inquired about him from a woman who ended up being his aunt, and she told us that he was at one of three possible stores, but wasn’t sure which one. We ended up tracking him down at an ulu and knife shop, and chatted with him a bit. It really felt good to catch up with LeeBob, and we exchanged email addresses.

We mailed our items home and continued to shop around. We picked up a small carving that was made out of an antler for our display case at home, then headed back to the ship. We headed to the Thermal Suite for about 30 minutes, then got ready for dinner.

Dinner tonight was just as excellent as last night. I had country-fried chicken while Heather had scallops, and we shared a few pieces of chicken on sticks. When we came back to the room tonight, there was a large, bright rainbow outside our room, and salmon jumping all over the water. It was really beautiful.

 It’s now 8:30PM and Heather’s in bed. Star Wars TFA is playing up under the stars in 30 minutes and I’m hoping to go watch it, but it is absolutely freezing outside now, so I may just go watch a few minutes, as they’re playing it inside tomorrow afternoon, and that’s more Heather’s speed… especially since she’s already in her pajamas. There is a stargazing lecture where they turn the deck lights out at 11:00PM, so if I can stay up that late, I’d like to try it out, but we have bamboo massages at 8:00AM tomorrow, so I’m not quite sure. We’ll see.

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Alaska LPC 2016 – Day 4 – Tracy Arm Fjord & Juneau, Alaska

by on Jun.03, 2016, under Alaska 2016, General, Vacation

At 5:00AM we expect to cross the narrow, shallow ‘Bar’ and enter Tracy Arm, and at 5:40AM round ‘Big Bend’. Our progress through Tracy Arm is very dependent on the ice conditions, which change on a daily basis, further broadcasts by our Naturalist to update you will be made during the course of the morning. At around 9:00AM we re-cross the ‘Bar’ of Tracy Arm and set a northerly course into Stephens Passage. At 11:00AM we will enter the Gastineau Channel en-route to Juneau. On departure, we will retrace our steps back down through the Gastineau Channel and then overnight transit Stephens Passage, Favorite Channel, the Lynn Canal, and Taiya Inlet towards Skagway. 

Well, it was bound to happen someday. Last night, we had some really bad service in the dining room. This whole trip, the dining room staff has appeared overworked, and tonight was the straw that broke the camel’s back. First of all, we are sitting in Anytime Dining, which we don’t usually do as we’re usually traveling with Mom and Dad, who require set meal times.  No matter when we arrive at the dining room on this voyage, be it for lunch or dinner, there is never a table for two available, and we are made to share with others.  This is fine and all, but the staff at the door has been very rude to us, which is something that I don’t normally see on a Princess Cruise.  The day before, we walked into the dining room to see over 5 empty tables for two, but none available for us to use.  So last night, we were told that the only table available was for six people, and there was another couple waiting with us, so they seated the four of us at that table.  As soon as we were about to order, another couple joined us, so we then had to wait for them to look at the menu and order.  Dinner has not taken any less than two hours this entire cruise, with wait staff running around crazy-like, and noticeably sweating. I ordered a Curtis Stone-inspired Chicken and Leek Pot Pie, which on paper sounds very good, but as soon as I cut into it, I noticed what looked like mushrooms, which prompted a head waiter to come and tell me that there aren’t any mushrooms in it.  It was apparent, but I also found out that Ruby Princess is running wait staff of 1 team per roughly 20 guests.  This sure explains why dinner takes so long.  I really feel bad for these waiters and junior waiters. This head waiter reserved a table for two for Heather and I for the rest of the cruise.  I’ll let you know how that works out in a future post, and that’s all the negativity that I’m going to spew today. We’re here to relax, and that’s what we’re going to do!

[short update post-cruise] – Best Head Waiter Ever

We awoke at 5:00AM and opened the blinds up to the absolutely stunning views of Tracy Arm Fjord.

This place is magical, with lush forests that turn into huge rock formations that tower over this large ship. The last time we were here, we got a balcony breakfast, which was awesome. Today however, we dropped some laundry off and had some fruit for breakfast, before heading up onto the Observation Deck to check out the scenery up there. Two small boats had tied themselves to us for tours that we had thought about jumping on, but never did. These tours must only be offered on the large ships, as they can’t make it up too far into Tracy Arm. They then take you further up while the ship turns around and heads to Juneau. The tour guests will meet us in Juneau later in the afternoon. It sounds like a lot of fun, and I’d like to do that tour in the future.

In comparison to the last time we were in Tracy Arm Fjord on Royal Princess (currently Fathom Adonia [my favorite ship currently sailing]), we barely scratched the surface of Tracy Arm. As we started our way out, Heather and I went down to the Thermal Suite and sat in the tubs and steam rooms for a bit. My body got so hot that I had to cool down afterwards by walking around the open deck in my swim trunks, flip-flops, and an undershirt. All sorts of people bundled up in winter gear looked at my like I had three heads, but it was very refreshing.

We had a quick lunch of cheeseburgers and pizza before the ship arrived in Juneau.  Holland America Zaandam, Grand Princess, and Coral Princess were already in port. Our only tour today wasn’t really a tour, but we bought tickets to go up a tram that has a great lookout over Juneau. I didn’t know that there were all sorts of hiking trails up there as well. We looked around the gift shop and Heather saw a magnet that she wanted to get for her sister, but we figured we could just get it down in one of the shops below later on. We sat in on some local folk music being performed, visited an Eagle that they have in captivity up there, and then took a short hike up to some observation areas to get some photos.  This is probably the best “deal” for a tour in Alaska.  It cost around $35 per person to ride the tram all day, and there’s more to do up there than just look down, though looking down is worth the price of admission alone!

We then took the tram back down and walked around the various gift shops. Not a single one had that magnet that we saw up top, so on the way back to the ship, we decided to take the tram back up since our tickets were good for the whole day. We bought a few magnets, then headed back down. We’re now in the room getting ready for dinner, which I hope is a whole lot better than it has been so far this trip.

Libby Riddles is onboard to give a lecture tonight, but I’m not sure if we’ll be able to catch up with her. She’s a dog musher who was the first female to win the Iditarod. We met her back in 2010 when she came onboard for the same type of thing.

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Alaska LPC 2016 – Day 3 – Ketchikan, Alaska

by on Jun.01, 2016, under Alaska 2016, General, Vacation

In the early hours we will cross the International Border into Alaskan waters and embark our SE Alaskan Pilot off Twin Island. Various northwesterly courses will then be followed through the Revillagigedo Channel and Tongass Narrows towards our berth. On departure, we will continue through the scenic Tongass Narrows and into the Clarence Strait. At around 7:15PM, we will approach and then transit Snow Passage. Overnight, various courses will be followed through Sumner & Chatham Strait, Fredrick Sound, and Stephens Passage.

We slept in until the wee hours of 5:00AM as the sun started rising around 4:30, after setting at about 10:30PM last night. When we opened the curtains, we saw lots of pine trees as we approached Ketchikan.

As we got closer, we saw some boats, and folks with binoculars on the deck above us spotted three Eagles across the water. Binoculars are one of the items that we didn’t bring on this trip as we were trying to fit everything into one piece of luggage.

We had a quick breakfast and then walked off the ship to meet our tour group on the pier. I noticed that there were three ships in port: Ruby Princess, Grand Princess, and Holland America Zaandam. We walked a few blocks to our tour, which was a repeat of one we did back in 2010, the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. One of the lumberjacks came onboard yesterday, and we talked with him for a while. His name is Boone and his father is the owner of the Lumberjack show.  

He told us that for the last year, he’s lived out of his truck, and travels between Colorado, Alaska, Wisconsin, and Florida. He was part of the show today, and gave me a post card signed by all the lumberjacks. We bought some calendars on the way out. YO HO! (That’s what lumberjacks yell).

We walked around town for a bit, got yelled at by a local for not walking in the crosswalk even though there was no traffic, and made our way over to the famous Creek Street. This is an area with shops that in the gold rush days were brothels. They’re raised up over a creek on what seems like wooden docks. We were told yesterday from a crewmember that there were salmon jumping up the creek, but we didn’t see any. After Creek Street, we made our way back to the ship. There was now a fourth ship in pier, but I could not make out the name. It was quite a bit smaller than the rest of the ships.

Once onboard, we bee lined it to get cheeseburgers and pizza, both of which had lines 10+ long. At 2:00PM, we went to the Princess Theater to watch the movie Brooklyn, which was nice. After the movie, we headed back to the Thermal Suite and sat in the steam rooms for a bit. It’s now dinnertime, and we don’t have much planned for the evening. Tomorrow is a very early day of sightseeing, so we may not do much tonight.

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Alaska LPC 2016 – Day 2 – At Sea

by on Jun.01, 2016, under Alaska 2016, General, Vacation

This morning, we will continue our northwesterly course off the western shores of Vancouver Island. We will pass Cape Scott, enter the Queen Charlotte Sound at lunchtime, and for the remainder of the day, steer a northerly course through the Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance.

It’s nice to have an at-sea day after a long travel day. I slept until about 8AM, so close to 12 hours, which I desperately needed. We woke and went up to the buffet for some breakfast, and I let Heather know that I could somewhat breathe out of my nose… at breakfast, I was able to taste both the fruit AND the bacon, so I feel as though I may be getting back in business. I did however take a 2-hour nap afterwards, so I might be jumping the gun a bit.

For lunch, I had lamb medallions and shoestring fries, and they were great. We had to skip dessert because at 2PM, I had an appointment to get the Royal Shave, which is a not-so-inexpensive shave with facial and scalp/neck massage. I also had a haircut because I was being told that I needed one for the past few weeks. This is the second time I’ve had the Royal Shave; last time was onboard Royal Princess when Dad and I got them done side-by-side. Now, if you’re thinking about how lame this might be for a man to get, I don’t really care… it’s awesome, and I won’t stop getting them on each cruise!

When I returned to the room, Heather was in a deep sleep.When she awoke, we walked around the ship for a bit before dinner.Tonight is formal night, and since we’re relaxing this trip, we’re skipping all the formal aspects.Yesterday, we found out that there were two formal nights this cruise, so we booked reservations at the Crown Grill for both nights as they don’t require you to wear formal attire. I also really like the Crown Grill. It costs a little money, but they have some amazing steaks. I had French Onion Soup, a salad, and a 22 oz. Porterhouse steak. It was tough to finish, but I did! For dessert, a few waiters serenaded us as we’re celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary on this trip. We also tried a dessert sampler, which Heather really liked.

We decided to take a walk around the Promenade deck after dinner. The Grand class ships have Promenade decks where you can walk the entire circumference of the ship, and it’s really a great experience. The Promenade deck on the Royal class ships however are basically useless for this, as much of them are barricaded off. We also went up to the observation deck, on top of the bridge. It was SO very windy up there, and we spent just a few minutes up there before heading back inside. We’re now back in the room, getting ready for bed as we have an early morning tomorrow. Luckily, we’re setting the clocks back an hour!

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Alaska LPC 2016 – Day 1 – Boston –> Seattle –> Ruby Princess

by on Jun.01, 2016, under Alaska 2016, General, Vacation

On departure, Ruby Princess will cruise through Elliot Bay into Puget Sound. At Point Wilson, Ruby Princess will sail into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As we cruise the Strait, the Olympic Peninsula lies to our port and Vancouver Island to starboard.

Travelling to get to a cruise is never the best part about it, and this was no exception. I’ve actually been dreading this for about a week now as all we’ve seen on the news are nightmare stories about how long the TSA lines were at all major airports. We had a 7:00AM flight, but arrived at the airport at 4:00AM. We were second in line for the Alaska Airlines booth, which opened at 4:45AM. After checking our luggage, we were sent towards the TSA line, which wasn’t open until 5:00AM. We were also second in line for them. They got us through quickly and efficiently so that we could sit at the gate for two hours. This sure was better than missing our flight! The plane trip was uneventful, and we arrived in Seattle around 9:30AM local time. We took a shuttle to the pier along with some passengers who were on Holland America Amsterdam, which was also in port.

This is my 14th cruise with Princess, and I’m currently sitting at 145 days at sea. I’m calling this trip Alaska LPC 2016 because this is my Last Platinum Cruise with Princess Cruises. At 150 days at sea, I’ll be pushed into Elite status within the Captain’s Circle, which basically means that we get to have our laundry done for us. This may not sound like much, but it really is. Mom and Dad aren’t traveling with us this time, so it’s just Heather and I.

Once we boarded Ruby Princess, we ran all around the ship getting treasure hunt stamps for the raffle, only to be told that the raffle wasn’t until tomorrow, but that wasn’t correct, so long story short; we missed the raffle drawing due to incorrect information provided by multiple people at the passenger services desk. This did not make me very happy, as we generally do well with this particular raffle.

We stopped into the Lotus Spa in order to sign up for the Thermal Suite, which used to be called the Sanctuary before Princess Cruises made the Sanctuary something entirely different. The Thermal Suite is a set of steam rooms and saunas, which are just incredible. Heather loves them, and the Lotus Spa limits the number of people who can visit them to 40 per cruise, so we always beeline it to the Spa as soon as we board.

We had a little pasta and some slices of pizza, all of which I couldn’t taste one bit, but more on that a little later. For dinner, I had some prime rib and Heather had Alaskan Cod. She liked it a lot. I can’t tell you if I liked the prime rib or not because I’m just getting over some extreme congestion. We were surrounded by amazing food, none of which I can taste in the least. I knew that the pizza was good and crunchy, but unfortunately, I couldn’t taste it. After dinner, Heather gave me some medicine, which I took along with some NyQuil, then promptly went to bed at around 8:30. I slept very well.

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1000/1000 Club

by on Dec.14, 2015, under Gaming, General

[UPDATE] – I seem to consistently update this post, so I will place the newest update in red from now on.  Carry on.

People on the GameFAQS boards constantly tell everyone else when they’ve completed the board’s game 100% with the maximum 1000 gamerpoints per game.  I thought I’d start my own little section here for this since, well, this is my site and I can do whatever I want really.  So here goes!

Call of Duty 4 – 1000/1000 on 1-21-2008

This game, as some of you know, has become one of my favorite alltime games, not for the single player but for the multiplayer.  At this writing, I’ve amassed over 500 hours on online play.  Achievements however were only awarded for the single player campaign, and some of the harder ones were REALLY hard.  I would have to say that beating “One Shot One Kill” and “No Fighting in the War Room” on Veteran dificulty caused me the most mental anguish.  The last level, “Mile High Club”, though fun on Normal difficulty, became a nightmare on Veteran, though it felt SO good to complete it, knowing that all that was left to do in order to 100% the game was find a few tapes and destory a lot of televisions 🙂

Fallout 3 – 1000/1000 on 12-15-2008

If you’ve read anything on this site about Fallout 3, you know that I’ve really enjoyed it.  From being a game that I told myself I would never get to being one that I will probably never forget, Fallout 3 is a complete masterpiece, and I’m sad that the story is over.  It took me about 75 hours to 100% it and the entire time was like a wild rollercoaster ride.  I won’t spoil the ending here, but it was pretty sweet.  Bethesda is releasing some DLC for this game which I will most definitely pick up, as it is one of the most engaging games I’ve ever played.
[UPDATE – 1-29-2009 – 1100/1100 now after Operation Anchorage DLC]
[UPDATE – 3-27-2009 – 1200/1200 now after The Pitt DLC]
[UPDATE – 5-20-2009 – 1350/1350 now after Broken Steel DLC]
[UPDATE – 7-6-2009 – 1450/1450 now after Point Lookout DLC]
[UPDATE – 8-11-2009 – 1550/1550 now after Mothership Zeta DLC]
Since Bethesda has not announced any further DLC for this masterpiece, I am taking this as the end for me. If they do decide to release more, I will pick it up, but if they don’t, then the ride was a great one and I will look forward to the next game in this series. Fallout 3 is easily one of the best experiences in gaming that I’ve ever had, took up 1497 save files, and lasted me well over 120 hours.

Tales of Vesperia – 1000/1000 on 12-28-2008

This has been months in the making and I can finally say that I have completed this masterpiece.  The “Tales of” series is huge in Japan and I have played two of the games in the series: Tales of Symphonia on the Gamecube, and now Tales of Vesperia on the 360.  These games are traditional Japanese Role Playing Games, meaning the style is very anime and the characters have a lot of personality.  They also implement a crazy live action battle system, which make them a complete joy to play.  Anyways, I played through Tales of Vesperia from launch day until I beat the game about a month later, totaling about 95 hours.  I then immediately started over again, and played through it again to tie up all loose ends and basically get everything in the game, which took another 50-60 hours.  The last two achievements would require a third playthrough, one for finishing the first chapter at a very low level, and another for finishing the game within 15 hours.  All in all, I finished this playthrough in 9:37:31, ranked 791 on the leaderboards for time, and the entire playtime for me is about 173 hours.  I have done everything there is to do in this game, probably a few times, and all I can say is that it is by far the best JRPG I’ve ever played and I’m really looking forward to Namco’s next installment of this great series.  Tales of Vesperia is an epic, long journey that is worth playing for anyone who either likes the series or the genre in the slightest bit.

Fable II – 1100/1100 on 1-25-2009

I consider this to actually be 1300/1300 as I have fully completed the Fable II Pub Games as well. Fable II was a game that I have owned for many months, but stopped playing almost immediately as it was horribly bugged and people were complaining that their games glitched out and got wrecked. This scared me, so I played Fallout 3 instead. A few weeks back, Fable II was patched so I started playing it again. It is a blast to play and is very relaxing. Albion has a very medieval feel to it and you can basically do whatever you want, whenever you want. As far as achievements go, this game has them brilliantly placed. There are only a handful of story-based achievements, and Fable II focuses more on craziness when it comes to them. There’s one for kicking a chicken. There’s one for killing a rabbit. There’s one for shooting the weapons out of an enemy and then hitting him with a headshot. There are so many weird achievements. Some of them require you meeting people online and trading items with them. This can be tedious, but I met some nice people that way. I bought the Knothole Island expansion pack, which honestly only takes about an hour or two to complete, so $10 might be a bit high for it, but I really enjoyed it and the new weapons that it adds. It also adds another 100 to the score, so that’s why this one is more than 1000. I’m not really “done” with this game as there are other things that need to be done in it, but for some reason, there aren’t any achievements for them. I think it would have been cool to have an achievement for opening all of the demon doors for example. Overall, this is an excellent game if you don’t run into a crazy bug along the way!
[UPDATE – 6-4-2009 – 1350/1350 now after See the Future DLC]

Resident Evil 5 – 1000/1000 on 4-1-2009

I had been looking forward to Resident Evil 5 for a few years now, and told myself that I would be taking the release day off of work when it was announced last summer. More on that can be read here but this update is to discuss the game after full completion. That is to say the story mode of the game. Resident Evil titles seem to consistently change with each incarnation, and fans seem to always have some sort of problem with that. I’ve learned to take it as Capcom gives it and enjoy what they’ve created. Resident Evil 5 is without a doubt my favorite in the series, seconded only to the genre-changing Resident Evil 4. The addition of co-op to 5 worried me as so many game publishers are just trying to slap on the words “co-op” as marketing strategies, but when realized, they don’t add anything or are completely one-sided towards the host. I don’t think that Capcom could have done any better with their implementation of co-op, and in this game playing with someone else over XBL trumps the single player in every single way. Finishing this title to 100% took just over 43 hours, making it one of the shorter games I’ve played to get every achievement in. It is truly a masterpiece and I am now going to tackle The Mercenaries, an arcade-like minigame of sorts that is packaged with Resident Evil titles. In a few weeks, Capcom will be releasing an online versus mode based on The Mercenaries, so it’s time to train!

Lost: Via Domus – 1000/1000 on 6-28-2009
Lost: Via Domus I’ve been trying to think about how to put this back when I was still playing the game and knowing that I’d be writing a little blurb about it eventually for all of probably 3 people to see, but this is easily one of the worst games I’ve ever played. For anyone who knows me well enough, you know that I adore the show Lost. It’s my favorite television show that is on television now, and may be of all time. I’m thinking about The A-Team here, but I kind of put them in two totally different categories, so we’ll just ignore that. When Lost: Via Domus was announced and released, it got pretty bad reviews, and I passed over it thinking that it probably wasn’t worth $60….and it isn’t. I found this game a few months back for $10 at Best Buy and figured that I couldn’t really go wrong. I think I got a so-so deal on it. Anyways, when you boot up the game, you first see a Ubisoft logo. If I had read the box and saw that it was a Ubisoft game, I might have just left it be, as I am terribly upset with them and what they did to the Prince of Persia a few years back. But I didn’t see that logo and bought the game anyways. You play the game as a guy who was on Oceanic 815 and crashed with everyone else, but you don’t have any memory. You look almost exactly like Jacob’s nemesis from the Season 5 finale, which I find very strange, and I look forward to seeing if others feel the same way about this. It’s just uncanny how similar you look to him. As you “play” this game which consists of you walking around the beach talking to horribly created versions of the cast, being chased around the jungle by the smoke monster, doing stupid fuse puzzles that make no sense whatsoever, and recovering your memory via looping scenarios where you need to take pictures of things, I realized that I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t a Lost fan. I’m kind of on the fence about this one. If I wasn’t a Lost fan, I wouldn’t be so critical about the modeling or voice acting, though John Locke repeating “I’m over in the Banyan Trees” and “Hey, Look at me in the Banyan Trees” over and over again was actually funny, but the funny part was when he said “Banyan Trees”. I don’t know. I’m weird. Hurley, believe it or not, it even fatter in this game. The controls are very loose, and your actions seem to make you float around. You can trade fruit and stuff that you pick up for lanterns and guns, etc, but you only need to really shoot 1 or 2 people, so you never ever need a clip, though they seem to have lots to trade. What sucks even more is that in the end, all your stuff is taken from you, so it’s all pretty useless. They should have just given you what you need when you need it, but then this game would have been even shorter probably. It only took me about 2-4 hours to complete in its entirety, but it seemed like a chore. Would I rather deal with this mess or play CoD4? I had to force myself to finish this game so that I could delete it from my hard drive. One thing that I can say positively about this game is that I didn’t run into any game breaking bugs. That’s a nice thing, but there are some annoyances. One level starts out with you having to run away from the smoke monster, jumping over trees and running across wooden planks, but if you trip up then the smoke monster gets you. That’s not the bad part though. The bad part is that the game is set up episodically, so when you die, which you will a few times, you have to go through the whole 30 second long “Previously on Lost” crap. Argh! Anyways, Lost: Via Domus can’t be recommended by me. If you like Lost, and can get it for cheap (or borrow it from me), then check it out, but don’t expect much.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 1000/1000 on 12-13-2009

Well, it took me much less time than I thought it would to get 1000 gamerscore points in Modern Warfare 2.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this game is easier and less annoying/time consuming as its predecessor, and I had a great partner in Glenn for all of the co-op missions.  Glenn and I had a really fun time playing through the Spec-Ops missions, and we’re looking forward to more of them via DLC.  The story in this game is not as emotional or as good as it was in Call of Duty 4, and it definitely does not wrap up with a satisfying conclusion, but I believe that this is done on purpose, so that in a few years, we’ll see Modern Warfare 3.  It is also very difficult to follow.  Being a self-proclaimed expert in this series’ storyline (I played through the CoD4 story four or five times and know it by heart), I was confused most of the way through this game.  The writers don’t really like setting the story up beforehand, but rather just drop you into the middle of it, and your squad mates seem to tell the story around you.  The problem with this is that while they are talking, you’re being barraged by bullets and explosions, so your mind isn’t really paying attention to what they are trying to say.  It’s a small gripe about an otherwise excellent piece of work.  All in all, Infinity Ward made another masterpiece with this game, and now all that’s left is multiplayer!!

Assassin’s Creed II – 1000/1000 on 1-18-2010

I was very skeptical about Assassin’s Creed II.  I wrote up about that in my Initial Impressions, and now that I’ve completed the game in its entirety (for now) I have to say that I have much more faith in Ubisoft.  I’m still a bit uneasy about the Prince of Persia series, but now that I’ve completed Assassin’s Creed II, I might give that series another try when it releases a new entry this summer.  Assassin’s Creed II did so many things right.  The graphics are amazing, the story is deep though a bit confusing at times, and the sound is simple extraordinary.  This was a game that I played both with and without the A40’s, and when playing without them, I lost out on some subtle details such as birds chirping in the background.  These things make up the feeling that is Assassin’s Creed II.  I absolutely love how you’re given a walled-in city that is in terrible disarray, and asked to upgrade it by donating your money.  Over time, you see new structures going up and more people flocking towards this city, earning you more money to build it up more.  It has a very medieval feel to it and I just loved it.  After completing the story, I went hunting for feathers; a remedial task in most games, but it is something that I really enjoy.  I have so much fun doing this and the world that the designers created is nothing short of fantastic.  There is only a single missable achievement (Flyswatter) in this game, but I’ve read that in upcoming DLC it will again become attainable.  Overall the achievements were on the easy side, and I almost wish that some of them were integrated better.  Finishing ALL of the races would have been more of an achievement than just finishing a single, easy one.  As I said in my previous segment about this game, I was mostly interested in the Venetian portions of the game, and they really did not disappoint.  Venice isn’t just created to look like you’re in Venice.  It’s created in the same layout as the islands, with the main Grand Canal bridges intact, St. Mark’s Square is nearly identical to the real thing, and even the market is in the correct location on the eastern side of the Rialto Bridge.  One of the funniest moments in the game for me was when I overheard a public speaker informing the public not to eat fish that came out of the canals.  The only thing that made me cringe about playing a game set in Venice is when I would accidentally jump in the wrong direction and dive into a canal.  When I lived in Venice, I worked on a project to drastically change the way the Venetian sewerage system works, so that may help you understand why I have reservations on jumping into the canals.  🙂


Bulletstorm – 1000/1000 on 3-6-2011

Today, Bulletstorm joins my list of fully completed games.  This is a game that exceeded all of my expectations, many of which were set very high.  The story is fun adn hysterical, the time trial mode (Echoes) is challenging and great to compare scores against friends, and the co-op multiplayer mode (Anarchy) is a blast to play with friends.  As far as achievements go, only a few require other people, and most are easily doable.  Red Barrels was difficult for me to get, and a few chapters on Very Hard difficulty were a pain (I’m looking at you 7-1), but overall it wasn’t terribly hard to fully complete.  This is a spectacular game for adults, and I whole-heartedly recommend it.


Portal 2 – 1000/1000 on 4-28-2011

When I first heard that Valve was creating Portal 2, one of the first thoughts in my head was “What kind of crazy achievements will this game have?”.  I was also worried about the length of the game.  Portal 1 took all of 2 hours to fully complete the story, so could Valve create a game that people would and should pay a full $60 for?  The story portion of Portal 2 took just over 9 hours to complete, without a single moment of boredom.  The co-op portion took about half that to complete, but I’ve since played it through two to three times.  The achievements range from smashing 11 TV’s in a single play session to simply hugging your friends.  This game is perfectly executed in every way, and one not to miss out on.


Brink – 1000/1000 on 5-15-2011

Brink is an interesting game. It was marketed very well, but is missing some key aspects that could make it great. The concept of gaining experience whether you play against robotic AI or humans is a breath of fresh air. The same can be said for being able to fully map the controller layout. Every game should have this feature. One thing this game is lacking, and I can not being to contemplate why, is a multiplayer lobby. Brink promotes playing with friends, but there is no easy way to group friends together and then play against other humans. It’s a mess, and I have no idea how this decision was made. Anyways, overall I’d say that Brink is a good game. It throws gamerscore at you like nothing else, and within five days, I’ve completed every achievement. The only one that I could see giving trouble would be “Tough as nails” which requires you to finish the storyline in Hard mode or online. The latter is extremely annoying because of what I mentioned earlier, and the fact that every time a person joins or leaves a team when online, the server comes to a halt for a few seconds. I played through the campaign with friends, and that made it easier, but it wasn’t a walk in the park. The reason this is difficult is because as you rank up, the enemy AI ranks up as well, and while your team’s AI still waits until the last 2 minutes to help out in any fashion, the enemy team’s AI just gets more brutal. Other than this achievement, which is mildly annoying, the rest are extremely easy. I hope the development team adds more achievements with DLC in the future.


L.A. Noire – 1000/1200 on 5-23-2011

This game shiped with two pieces of DLC that are preorder specific. I didn’t get these, but that’s why there are 1200 points total. Instead, I got a sweet light blue outfit called The Broderick. Yippee. Anyways… I didn’t know what to expect from L.A. Noire before release. I’m glad to say that this is not Grand Theft Auto in the 1940’s Los Angeles. I’m a big fan of GTA, but not really of this time period. L.A. Noire is more of a puzzle game than a shooting one, and the story that Team Bondi has created is spectacular. I figured out some of the story from bits and pieces, but was thrown off by others. It’s also nice to play a game without a multiplayer component. You can tell that a lot of work was focused on this single player element. I look forward to playing future games using this engine. Real actors can now successfully play roles in video games, and L.A. Noire is the first game that I believe can show off their talent well. This year is looking great for gaming, and it’s only May!

Deus Ex – Human Revolution – 1000/1000 on 9-5-2011

I never wrote up my impressions of this game when it first came out. This is because of two separate reasons that melded together and caused me to first write up about this game after fully completing it. First off, after playing this game for a few hours, I didn’t really care for it, and I was having trouble figuring out how to write that down. I was upset that the control layout was so radically different than most other games, and there is no way to change it with exception to inverting axes and sensitivity. That right there angered me, along with the fact that I couldn’t aim well and couldn’t hack into anything successfully. It was just somewhat of a mess, and after a few hours, I decided to give it a rest and come back the next day. This is where the second reason comes in. I picked the game back up after a night’s rest, and somehow the controls made sense to me. I started leveling up my character and weapons, making them easier to aim, and making hacking much easier. Most of my problems were almost instantly solved. The only problem now, is that I was somewhat hooked; hence my second reason. The depth that this game goes in each of its aspects is amazing, be it first person shooter, third person spy, even the hacking minigame is probably the best hacking minigame in any game that I’ve ever played. It’s smart, and took me a while to master. The best thing Deus Ex has to offer though is that you can tackle objectives in just about any way you want. You can get there by sneaking by, or by knocking guards out and hiding their bodies. You can also just run in and kill everyone. It’s up to you and in every single situation in the ~25 hour long campaign, it worked flawlessly. This is easily the best game that’s come out this year so far, and possibly even last year as well. As far as achievements go, all but three were completed rather easily on my first runthrough of the game. A second playthrough was completed in order to 1. finish on the hardest difficulty, 2. without killing anybody, and 3. without setting off any alarms. Playing through a second time like this wasn’t as difficult as it may sound because I knew every nook and cranny of the game already, and it was a blast to play through again.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 1000/1000 on 3-23-2012

I don’t quite know where to begin with this one. I’ve never played any of the previous games in this series, but was in complete awe when I played Fallout 3, another amazing Bethesda piece of art. If you scroll up in this post a bit, you’ll see that I completed that game as well. Skyrim plays very similar to Fallout 3 at its core, but the world and characters here are vastly different. I started this game and played for about 40 hours as a pure mage before starting all over again as a stealth Khajiit assassin, and never looked back. When all was said and done, I’ve got over 1500 save files and 130 hours into this character. Skyrim also now sits atop my list of greatest games ever played. It is masterfully made and a pure joy to play. You can lose yourself in this world, and whoever designed the city of Whiterun is a complete genius. None of the achievements seem really difficult to get; the hardest if probably Oblivion Walker which requires you to find 15 of the 16 special Daedric weapons scattered in numerous dungeons in the land. I’m still not done with the game, but I’m done with the achievements until DLC is inevitably released. Some minor bugs aside, this one is a complete winner.

SSX – 1000/1000 on 4-14-2012

SSX is the first sports game that I’ve ever completed fully. This game’s achievements are a mix between easy completion awards and tough, time consuming challenges. Some require grinding, but not too much. They are generally very easy to attain. Some of them do happen to require many people playing online, so the older this game gets, the tougher it will be to max out its achievements. In general, SSX is loads of fun, and I plan on continuing to play it as the online challenges are very well made. A maxed out character in this game can do some wildy amazing moves. I made a video of a race recently that can be found here. It doesn’t show off the magnitude of the tricks that can be performed, but it shows some of the more treacherous terrain that the game sometimes throws at you. I had an absolute blast playing this game for achievements, and look forward to setting some sweet scores now!

Far Cry 3 – 1000/1000 on 1-2-2013

Far Cry 3 released at a good time for me. I had been playing Borderlands 2 for a good two months, had completed Black Ops 2 for as much as I could handle, and had just played Assassin’s Creed 3, which for me, was a letdown. When I heard that Far Cry 3 was basically Assassin’s Creed with guns, it sparked some interest. I really like the AC series, but the latest installment left me with somewhat of a stale taste in my mouth. Right from the beginning of Far Cry 3, I could see that this was an entertaining and well-made game, even if it copied its core structure from another game. I spent about 15 hours with this game, and was able to complete the achievements in just a single playthrough. The multiplayer co-op isn’t anything special, but the single player portion is really great. I enjoyed the stealth aspects when trying to liberate the outposts the most. None of the achievements were really hard. Overall, I think they were well balanced and spaced out. I’d say that some of the most annoying achievements were just the ones for completing multiplayer, as I never really wanted to go through it.

Borderlands 2 – 1125/1125 on 10-20-2012
I haven’t made many updates to my site in a while. The only game I’ve been playing is Borderlands 2, and though I’ve wanted to write up my impressions, I just haven’t had any time to do so. I guess I can use this space for a few of them. Borderlands 1 is one of my all-time favorite games, and I was really excited for its sequel. I’m glad that Gearbox took their time with this game, because they improved almost every aspect of it. They made an incredible game even better, which seems to be a difficult task now that publishers are trying to milk some franchises dry. Anyways, Borderlands 2 starts you off with no real good items for the first ~10 hours or so, and then starts dropping better ones in a seemingly exponential fashion. By the time you’re at max level, you’ve played through the game twice, and can then focus on farming bosses for better loot. I did this for a few days before starting up a different character. If Gearbox is going to raise the level cap like they did with Borderlands 1, then there isn’t much of a point to collect a lot of maxed out weapons now, or even use my maxxed out character. They’ve already released one DLC pack, which is why my score is 1125 instead of 1000. They’ve also released a DLC character, which I have at level 32 currently. As far as achievements go, the character-specific achievements aren’t as easy as they were in the first game. One character has to get to level 31 in order to earn his achievement, and another to level 25. In the first game, they could all be gotten in the first ~10 levels. Other than these, the rest kind of fell into place. Borderlands 2 is not a game that I play for the achievements. I play it for the amazing world that Gearbox has created, and I will play it until the next entry in the series releases.

1125/1125 on 10-20-2012- Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty – This was a surprise, releasing within 30 days of the actual game. It lasts about 5 hours, and is quite fun to play. I’ve gone through it with my level 50 Siren and level 32 Mechromancer. It adds a new type of crystal called Seraph, that only drops by the DLC’s two raid bosses. These bosses are not easy, and they only drop a few crystals each time. It appears as though the special items that you receive cost around 100 crystals, and they aren’t really that great, so I’m not putting a whole lot of time in here once finished. It is a really nice place for your character to level up, and it is quite comical and fun, so I recommend it for characters going through the story each time.

1250/1250 on 11-23-2012 – Mr. Torgue and his Campaign of Carnage – The humor in this piece of DLC is off the charts. I enjoyed this one as I did with the first, but still question why we haven’t been given a level cap increase to expand our characters some more. The achievements in this DLC were pretty straightforward, with one requiring a bit of luck. Every so often, an enemy will drop a photo of Moxxi, and you need to collect 10 of these. This was the last achievement acquired, and took a bit of farming.

1375/1375 on 5-1-2013 – Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt – So far,  this is my least favorite piece of Borderlands 2 DLC.  For one, if focused only on main story quests, this takes 2 hours maximum.  I don’t usually play without doing the sidequests, but it isn’t as deep as the previous Torgue DLC, which is quite good.  There is one treasure room that can be looted just once per playthrough.  There are two raid bosses, one of which is insanely difficult (Voracidous), and another that requires you to travel around, lighting furnaces with Eridium in order to spawn (Dexiduous).  This one has the chance to drop The Chopper, which is a throwback weapon to Borderlands 1.  This isn’t a bad piece of DLC, but it isn’t as deep as the others.  I think it would be better off if it had given a skill point upon completion, like the Mad Moxxi DLC did in the first game.  By far, the hardest achievement was to complete all sidequests, but sidequest to defeat Voracidous took me a very long time.

Call of Duty: Ghosts (360) – 1000/1000 on 12-8-2013
Call of Duty: Ghosts (One) – 1000/1000 on 2-3-2014

The addition of the Extinction game mode is the highlight of this entry. It was released just before the Xbox One came out so it was split between two consoles. This means twice the amount of achievement points! The game definitley lookes better on the One, but just a fraction of my friends moved over, so it quickly fizzled out in terms of multiplayer. Since the release of Titanfall, it hasn’t gotten much attention except for when new DLC is released.

South Park: The Stick of Truth – 1000/1000 on 3-16-2014

This game caught me off-guard. I’ve been a longtime fan of South Park and was excited for this to come out. I was also a bit nervous, as many South Park games have been attempted in the past, and most of them are horrid. I always did like the first person N64 South Park game though, where you could upgrade your snowballs to yellow snowballs. That was a blast. The Stick of Truth is set up as a side scrolling turn-based RPG, and it’s made very well. I ended up playing through the game twice to get all of the achievements, and I laughed the entire time. This is easily the funniest game I’ve ever played.

Titanfall (One) – 1000/1000 on 5-11-2014

Well, I never thought this would happen. Titanfall has been my most anticipated game since Respawn was born. As a long time fan of the old Infinity Ward who made some of the previous titles in this list, hearing that this team was going to create a new IP made me very excited. As an achievement hunter, this game scared me a whole lot. There is one achievement that I never wanted to even attempt (Pull Harder) where you have to get an airborne kill with a very precise weapon. I only went after this one after unlocking an achievement that takes mostly luck to attain (I Killed Them All). For this one, you have to kill all escaping enemies single-handedly, which can be tough when the whole team is going after them. This one unlocked for me in a slightly cheesy way because all but two of the enemy team backed out of the room, so upon killing just two enemies, I got the achievement. Respawn hasn’t announced any more achievements for Titanfall, but if they do, I’ll be going after them… this game is phenomenal.


Fallout 4 – 1000/1000 on 12-13-2015
Yesterday I attained 1000/1000 in Fallout 4. It’s been a very long time since I’ve updated this log with a gaming post. Earlier in this same post, I saw that Fallout 3 was completed on 12-15, and Fallout 4 on 12-13. Fallout 3 was released about two weeks earlier in the year however, so my 33 day completion is pretty good. I’m far from done with this one though. It’s really been seven years since Fallout 3, and since then, I had always hoped that they would bring the wasteland to

Massachusetts. The season pass was purchased alongside the game, so I’m ready for whatever Bethesda has lined up next for this one! I think it’s funny that I spent a total of 120 hours in Fallout 3 and all of its DLC, and I’ve already put in over 160 in Fallout for in just over a month. The most time-consuming achievement was definitely Benevolent Leader, which requires you to bring the happiness of one of your settlements all the way up to 100%. It took a few hours to get it the last 10% or so.

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SRC 2015 – Day 16 – At Sea

by on Sep.24, 2015, under General, Scandinavia Russian Collection 2015, Vacation

Throughout today, Ocean Princess will follow various southwesterly courses through the North Sea, giving a wide berth to the many offshore installations that ply the oil and gas reserves in the region. Tonight we will approach the Dover Strait, one of the busiest stretches of water in the world.

Well, today is the last day of the cruise. I was surprised that there was no breast cancer awareness walk today, and I planned to walk it anyways, but the weather did not cooperate. The weather has been near perfect for this entire voyage, with just a few drops in Klaipeda, and then some on the At Sea days. I’m hearing that it’ll be rainy in Dover tomorrow, but I could care less.

We woke up and went down to the dining room for our last breakfast. I noticed that the James Beard French Toast was yet again not on the menu. I specially requested it and they had no problem making it for me. I’m kind of glad that I didn’t try this out earlier in the cruise, as this dish is both tasty and fattening. At breakfast, a gentleman sitting next to me told us that he was about to go on an engine room tour. This is something that Dad has always wanted to do, but Princess stopped giving them out after 9-11. We’ve been able to request bridge tours, but nothing downstairs. On the larger ships, Princess likes to charge passengers for bridge tours, but that’s not the case on these. After finishing my great breakfast, I went down to the purser’s desk and asked if they were having any engine room tours today, that my father would really enjoy it. I was told to be back there at 10AM, which was just 45 minutes away. I called their room and told Mom to have Dad ready to go at 9:55, and didn’t give her any more information. When I picked him up, I made sure he had his camera and we walked over to the purser’s desk, where about eight other men were waiting. The tour wasn’t of the engine room, but the engine control room. In there, they had monitors of all the diesel generators, alternators, water treatment devices, and propeller shafts. It was very interesting, and we spent about an hour in there talking with the ship’s engineers. Dad loved it. They let us photograph and capture video, which was awesome. We also met the chief engineer while we were down there.

After this little diversion, I walked Dad back up to his room, and then bolted to the Cabaret Lounge where Heather and Mom were watching the culinary demonstration. They were sitting in the back as I had advised in order to get down to the galley before the mad rush. We then walked through the galley and saw where all the great food was made. I talked with the chef for a bit and gave him my youtube information for when I made up his montage. This is seriously by far the best food that we’ve ever had on any ship and the executive chef is only 34 years old.

We packed for a few hours and had our last cheeseburgers, and then went and lost the last Bingo game. There were only about 40 people in there, which is a far cry from the normal last Bingo games. Before it started, they auctioned off the navigational map; something that we’ve always wanted. I ended up winning the auction, so we’ll have it hanging up at home after getting it framed. It shows the entire cruise, and is signed by all the chief staff.

Before dinner, Heather and I weeded through a two-inch thick pile of photographs, and ended up buying a few of them. I had the Tom Turkey and NY Strip Steak for dinner. The turkey was fantastic. We then watched the parade of Baked Alaska before eating it, and finally weighed our luggage.

Heather was starting to get tired, but I dragged her to the last photo raffle. We ended up winning second prize, which is a CD with around 200 professional photos of locations we visited on the cruise. Heather then went back upstairs while I watched a few minutes of a comedian named David Copperfield. He was pretty funny, and definitely not the magician! Now I’m waiting for one photo to be reprinted as it was creased, while Heather sleeps. We have a 4:30AM wake-up call and should be arriving in Dover sometime in the night. Tomorrow will be a long day, but it’ll be worth it to get home after such a wonderful vacation.

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SRC 2015 – Day 15 – At Sea

by on Sep.24, 2015, under General, Scandinavia Russian Collection 2015, Vacation

On departure from Copenhagen yesterday evening, Ocean Princess set various northerly courses through The Sound. In the early hours this morning, we transited the narrowest point of Oresund, which separates Helsingor in Denmark and the Swedish city of Helsingborg, before we enter the Kattegat.

The show last night was pretty great. A guitarist, bass player, and accordion player jammed for about 45 minutes, singing only in Danish. They explained the songs to us in English, which was nice. After the show, Heather and I went up to the buffet area to get some waters for the night and watch us leave Copenhagen. I wanted to film four large warships that I had seen earlier in the day as we were arriving, but were at lunch and missed out on the opportunity. We went to the walking track and I started to film. Off in the distance, at 10:45, fireworks starting going off, and I got some nice shots of them. It made us feel really good.

There was no James Beard French Toast on the breakfast menu this morning, so I had fruit and bacon in the buffet yet again. We rounded the northern part of Denmark and the sea became noticeably less calm, but still not very rough. We saw some white caps, but the ship stayed very steady. We really didn’t have much going on today as we’re done with ports and tomorrow will be spent getting packed and ready to fly home.

I spent most of the morning finishing up and posting the last few days’ worth of write-ups while Heather had her nails done and some other appointments in the spa. She was gone through lunch and I had some amazing Pasta Bolognese up in the buffet. I had seen it on the lunch menu and decided to see if they had it upstairs; they did, so I tried it and was blown away. Thirty minutes later, Mom and Dad were going up there, so I had another bowl full. An hour afterwards, Heather came back from the spa and I had yet another one! It was really good.

After lunch they were having a get together for pet lovers, but nobody showed, so we went to a talk about Larimar. Mom won the raffle today, but since they were out of Larimar, she won a Tanzanite pendant. Heather’s going to make a nice chain for it.

We took a nap until it was time to get ready for our last formal night. We had some photos taken and then for dinner, had specially-made French Onion Soup. Princess seems to have taken the best soup off their menu, but after a simple request to our Maître D’, we had four bowls of it. I also had pineapple, oxtail pasta, chicken, and a mini filet mignon.

We then made our way to the Cabaret Lounge where we are now for the Captain’s Circle party. He told us that there was a portable nuclear reactor in the Neva River when we were back in St. Petersburg. I’ll have to go back through my videos and pictures to see if I can see it. We’re now waiting for a show called the Magical Misstory Four. It’s four women who are going to sing us Beatles songs. It sounds like it will be great.

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