Photo: H. Maurer, Fall 2005

It is a real summer day when we arrive in the tiny town of Whittier….and the Coral Princess, our cruise boat, is ready for boarding.

The boarding is much like boarding a giant jumbo jet, with check in counters, security checks and what have you. However, once on board there are about as many employees as there are passengers (around 2000) helping you in every way.

Our stateroom has a balcony and is quite spacious (as far as staterooms on ships are), we explore the ship, shoot photos... the ship (that we board around 2 pm) won't be leaving before 9 pm, further passengers to come.

So, it is an interesting afternoon exploring the ship, and it has all you expect: 7 restaurants, 15 bars, and pools, and shops, a theatre, a casino and even an Internet Café (mind you, whoever set it up was so scared of viruses that even ordinary attachments cannot be downloaded!).

Before the ship leaves there is the (obligatory) safety drill, quite a thing with 2000 passengers!