BOARDING SMOOTH AS GLASS: THE CORAL PRINCESS

When you know you are going to board a ship you may or may not agonize over the long lines and grueling wait. Not this time. The boarding went as smoothly as glass. These friendly people and efficient employees deserve a raise. We came early because of the line and wait fear. I thought we would have to wait in the lobby or the buffet area for hours before we would be able to rest in our cabins.  The minute we stepped onto the ship, we were escorted to our cabins.  I brought my antiseptic washing pads, but the stateroom was spotless, but I rubbed telephones, door handles and doorknobs just to be safe. This is the cleanest ship of all.  What planet are we on?

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We are on the Coral Princess: 10 Day Denali Explorer.

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Busy Harbor of Ketchikan

Today we docked in the busy harbor of Ketchikan, described as the Salmon Capital of the World.  Our guide told us of the fantastic travels of their salmon.  Why they travel to Japan and back to spawn is a mystery and how they come back to within inches of their birthplace to lay their eggs is also a mystery. I was thinking to myself of the Hansel and Gretel story and of them dropping their bread crumbs to guide their journey back home, perhaps salmon drop scent bags to guide their way home to the place of their birth.

Our guide was a local fellow so he could spill the beans without getting into hot water.  He told us that all of the dockside businesses and a good part of the town of Ketchikan are owned lock stock and barrel by the cruise lines. There were actually places we were not allowed to enter while not on a Princess tour from the ship. For example, we were not allowed to enter the carving building in Totem Bight State Park, which is owned by Princess Cruise Lines, because we did not purchase our tour through Princess. This news put a damper on eating and/or buying anything in the town.

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We did enjoy the visit to the totems and learned that there are six kinds of totems. There is the Mortuary Pole, Memorial Pole, Heraldic Pole, Story Telling Pole, and the Pot Latch Pole which are all honorable poles except the Ridicule or Shame Pole and if you have not lived up to your expectations or bargains you have made, the Ridicule pole made in your likeness will remain and you will be ostracized until you repent and make amends.

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Look at the photos coming next of an unincorporated part of the tour that seemed to be hidden from most of the tour participants that day and I am sure it is like that every day May through September. This little hidden miracle is this forest behind the bus parking.  Look how beautiful unspoiled land can be and I know cruise lines do not own it because there is no cash gain, but perhaps this tiny portion of land is at the edge of Totem Park. I would really like to believe it is owned by all of us, the inhabitants of this planet.

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