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Southwest Non-Stop to Seattle

Taking the Opportunity


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Alaska & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

My husband Bob had said that he did not want to fly anymore. Which restricts us to locations or cruise ports that we can drive to. So our first trip in 2011 was a A Back to Back Cruise on Enchantment of the Seas to the Bahamas and the Caribbean and then a road trip down to Key West and out to Texas. We got home from that in March 2011

But he came upstairs sometime in the spring of 2011 and said that since Southwest had non-stop flights to Seattle, that we might be able to do an Alaskan cruise. I had the flights booked, and booked a scooter from Special Needs at Sea that afternoon (before I had booked the cruise). The scooter was quite reasonable to rent, and it really helped because we were pretty far forward and the dining areas are all aft.

I booked one day before the final payment. When they finally gave me my cabin it was an ocean view on the Lower Promenade Deck in a good location - except it was under the kitchen. Having been in that location before, I was aware of that and the people who were next door to that cabin confirmed that they were awakened each morning at 4 am with metal wheeled carts rolling around overhead.

Therefore when I was given an opportunity to upgrade to a Veranda by paying extra, I decided that if I was ever going to do a Veranda, Alaska was the place to do it. We were on the port side just a few cabins behind the wing bridge.

I had been to Seattle for a week for work in 1994, but Bob had never been there. I wanted to show him a couple of the places I had been in 1994.

I booked at the Mayflower Hotel instead of at the normal HAL hotel - I wanted to take the monorail and have dinner in the Space Needle, and see Pike Street Market in our short time in Seattle.

Flowers for Mother's Day from our son

Flowers for Mother's Day from our son


Two days before we were to leave, I had a bad cough and I went to the doctor and they gave me some antibiotics. I asked the doctor if I should go on the cruise and he said that I wasn't contagious and to go ahead and go. Just to be sure, I asked my pulmonologist and she also said since I was taking antibiotics that I could go.

May 11, 2011

I've stopped coughing so much and I think Bob is practically all better. He says he is down to 180 lbs., but he still can't get into the trousers of his good suit. Of course that suit is probably over 20 years old. I lost some weight too.

I think we are ready. Bob was packed by Sunday. He is taking the brown bag which weighed about 42 lbs, and a carry on bag. I closed my suitcase this afternoon. I have mother's little red bag and a yellow duffel plus the computer bag/carry on.

The last thing that I found was my Golden Age Passport for the National Parks, and it was in the bag that I brought in out of the car after the last trip and hadn't unpacked yet. My notebook with the list of things to take was in there too. I make a list for each trip. It helps me not to forget too much.

Bob has mowed the grass one last time and put the pot plants out where they will get rain if it rains. We rented a car to get to the airport - it is cheaper to rent a car one way than it is to park at the airport. The car rental people gave us a Versa with GA plates

He was thinking that on that long flight we wouldn't have anything to eat, and it is true that all they serve is snacks and drinks, but I think there will be plenty of time to get a hamburger before we board. The flight leaves at 11:25

I tried to print out the boarding pass, but because we have a senior rate, we have to show ID at the airport, so all what I printed out will do is get us past security. Our boarding numbers are B37 and B38, but when I talked to SW this afternoon she said if I have difficulty walking that I should get a blue sleeve on my boarding pass. We will see how that works.

Tomorrow we get up really early and Bob turns off the water and unplugs the electronics and we leave.

May 12, 2011

Bob put the radio to go on at 0615, but the radio station isn't on that early so it was just static. We did manage to get up and dressed, the electrics and water off and out of the house by 0710.
Leaving home rental car on left - 7:09

Leaving home rental car on left - 7:09


I told Bob to let me and the luggage off at the front of the rental car return place because the hardest part for me is walking from where we leave the car in that enormous garage to where we get the shuttle bus. It apparently had not occurred to him that doing that would solve my problem. We were there by 0900, and then turned in the car ($51.00). He almost managed to leave with the keys, but they wanted them for some reason and made him turn them in!!
Rental car shuttle

Rental car shuttle


The Southwest area was the first stop so we unloaded, and they got a wheelchair for me immediately, and checked the bags at the curb. Bob tipped the bag people $5.00 a bag. The wheelchair person zipped us through security and down to the gate where I got a blue sleeve for priority boarding. Bob gave him $5.00. I realize this is the first time he has experienced travel where I'm in a wheelchair.

There were 8 people in wheelchairs - 5 of us old ladies were lined up against the wall. The lady next to me said she was visiting friends in Baltimore and was continuing to Spokane.
Bob in the airport

Bob in the airport


Bob brought himself a sandwich and some celery from home, and he got me two pieces of cheese pizza and some bacon in the airport. He ate a piece of bacon.

When they came to loading time, they had everyone line up by number and then they came and got us wheelchair ladies one at a time. I decided not to sit in the bulkhead row, and sat about 3 rows back by the window. Bob sat in the middle. Another lady came and sat on the aisle.
taxi to take off

taxi to take off


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Bob didn't talk to her, but when she got up to go to the bathroom, we all went, and the seats were shuffled around and I ended up in the middle - it turned out that she lives near us in Hollywood MD and was an elementary school teacher. She was doing another cruise from Vancouver next week with her brother and sister-in-law. I didn't find out her name until we were just about ready to land and can't remember it now. It was alliterative and Bob thinks her first name was Francis. She did elementary PE.
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She had a problem when we were landing as it was a little bouncy and said she felt sick but there was only one sick bag in the three seats. In the end by the time we got the bag to her, we had landed.

We took off about 10 minutes late, but arrived early. We wheelchair people were told not to get off until the wheelchairs were there but after the plane was about empty (and some of the other wheelchair ladies were off), we got off. There was a wheelchair there but with no one to push, so I commandeered it and Bob pushed. I had both our carryons on my lap and I couldn't see anything.

We got to the luggage claim area (after a little problem finding the elevator). When I made the hotel reservation, I had talked to the concierge at the hotel because I didn't think we could make it on public transportation with our luggage, and she recommended getting a Town Car. I had programmed the number into my phone. I called the Town Car dispatcher and told him we were getting our luggage. In about 3 minutes, I got a call back The driver had just dropped someone off when the dispatcher called. We loaded into the Town Car (and Bob turned the wheelchair in to Southwest) and zipped into town.
on the way in to Seattle

on the way in to Seattle


The driver had a CDL and said he had been working in Alaska driving big trucks. The car was $45.00 and Bob tipped him $9.00

We got to the hotel and there was really SERVICE - they took our luggage and the whole nine yards. ($5.00 tip) We have a room with a little anteroom and two TVs - one in the couch area and one in the bedroom.
5089981-Coffeetea_area_in_room_Seattle.jpgAnteroom Coffee tea area and wine glasses

Anteroom Coffee tea area and wine glasses


Object in corner of bedroom

Object in corner of bedroom

Shower

Shower

Hotel bathroom

Hotel bathroom


from bed looking toward door of room

from bed looking toward door of room


We have no view - we look out on the
airshaft

airshaft


I decided not to try to go to Pike Street Market today as I knew Bob was getting tired. So I tried without success to log onto the internet. Then it was time to leave to go to the Space Needle where I had a 1700 dinner reservation - that was early but it was really 2000 our time. I made a reservation at this hotel because I knew it was in the same complex as the Monorail station and we could walk through the hotel to the monorail
walking to the monorail

walking to the monorail


When we got to the monorail, we got two old people's round trip tickets (total $4.00).
monorail tickets

monorail tickets

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Monorail to Space Needle in 2011

Monorail to Space Needle in 2011

large_101_0069.JPGMonorail station at Space Needle end

Monorail station at Space Needle end


The monorail ride was short and then we had to walk around to the other side of the Space Needle
Space Needle

Space Needle


to the dinner elevator.
5090684-A_Free_Ride_to_the_Top_Seattle.jpgDesk at the space needle

Desk at the space needle


Ticket for the elevator

Ticket for the elevator

5090622-Bottom_of_the_Space_Needle_Seattle.jpgView from the elevator going up 2011

View from the elevator going up 2011

large_2355277-Map_to_identify_what_you_see_Seattle.jpgFrom the Space Needle restaurant

From the Space Needle restaurant


Dinner was very good.
Whole Fried Rockfish $55.00 - Seattle

Whole Fried Rockfish $55.00 - Seattle


I had deep fried rockfish which was a whole fish - fins, eyes and everything. Bob had corn clam chowder which he practically licked the plate clean,
Seattle Corn Clam Chowder $9.00

Seattle Corn Clam Chowder $9.00


and a pasta seafood dish.
Bob's Pasta Seafood

Bob's Pasta Seafood


We went all the way around once and then did another half circuit
On a clear day 2011

On a clear day 2011


1994 Hotel from Space Needle 2011

1994 Hotel from Space Needle 2011

Shadow of the space needle on the hotel 2011

Shadow of the space needle on the hotel 2011


5090646-I_5_in_2011_Seattle.jpgI-5

I-5

5090647-Another_section_of_I_5_Seattle.jpgHelicopter not flying in 2011

Helicopter not flying in 2011

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Cruise ship dock

Cruise ship dock

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We took the monorail
Monorail

Monorail


back to the mall
Motherhood Store

Motherhood Store


and walked back to the hotel.
Selfie

Selfie


When we got back to the hotel, the internet worked. They had laid a bathrobe out on the bed.

May 13, 2011

Bob said he didn't sleep too well, although he fell asleep before the end of Bill OReilly and didn't even wake up when I changed the channel. He had set the alarm for 6 and got up and showered. I did the same. We went down for breakfast.
Inside restaurant

Inside restaurant

Chandelier in the restaurant

Chandelier in the restaurant


I arranged with the concierge for a 'package' which included full breakfast for two at their restaurant and a shuttle to the port. They gave us a seat by the window and I sat on the bench with my back to the window and Bob faced the street. He commented that there was some device on the front of the buses (it was a bike rack but Bob at first thought it was for skis and then said you'd need an engineering degree to work it)
Bus with a bike rake

Bus with a bike rake


Breakfast

Breakfast


sugar and tea pot

sugar and tea pot

Bob's All American Breakfast

Bob's All American Breakfast

My two poached eggs and toast

My two poached eggs and toast


After breakfast I went to the front desk to collected the wheelchair which I had arranged with the concierge to have while at the hotel. She told me that it would be fairly flat going to Pike Street Market from the hotel, and not that far.

The lady at the desk went in a door on the back right side and popped out with the wheelchair on the left side. We went out on 4th Street (the other entrance had steps), and Bob pushed me across to Pike Street and then down Pike Street to the Pike Street Market.
Leaving the hotel in a wheelchair

Leaving the hotel in a wheelchair


Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo


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We passed several Starbucks and the Hard Rock, and then went into the Market which is a large building with many vendors and restaurants.
Hard Rock

Hard Rock

x100_0102.JPGlarge_x100_0103.JPGApproaching Pike Street Market 2011

Approaching Pike Street Market 2011


Bob pushed me through the first level past the flower shops, the vegetable shops (Bob said melons were more expensive than at home - he does all the marketing and he keeps track)
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Vegetables

Vegetables

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and the fish markets.
Fish - 2011

Fish - 2011

Pike Street Market from a wheelchair

Pike Street Market from a wheelchair


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We did see them tossing fish once, but I didn't get a picture. Actually pictures while Bob was pushing the wheelchair were a bit hard to get because it was somewhat dark.
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Then we came back to the hotel. Bob had the paper to read and he watched TV.

Our shuttle is at noon.

About 11:30, we gathered ourselves up and went down and checked out of the hotel. Bob waiting in the lobby

Bob waiting in the lobby

lobby chandilier

lobby chandilier

The shuttle guy came in a van for us and by 11:45 we were on our way to the dock. We didn't know what dock it was, but he did.
Seattle from the shuttle to the port

Seattle from the shuttle to the port

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The Vandam was also there. The shuttle guy dropped us off at the luggage pickup place and Bob tipped him $5.00. The luggage guy took us and showed us where the kiosk was, and then went off with our luggage.

The kiosk people didn't give me any kind of instruction really, but I got my scooter. We then went to check-in. I walked through the scanner (with my shoes on - some people were taking off theirs) and then went back to the scooter and they prioritized us to the check-in desk. I hadn't even filled out the sickness form yet. Except for that I still have a cough, I didn't lie on the form. Bob filled out his own.

Then I scootered up the ramp into the ship. The biggest problem was that it was awkward to handle my cane while I was on the scooter. They said we could go to our rooms right away, so we did. And it was ready.

Problem - how to get the scooter into the room. The aisle from the room to the door (closets on one side and bathroom on the other) was very narrow and there was just room for the scooter. Once in, the bed was too close to move the scooter around it in any way to get it into the room.
desk area

desk area


I am not sure what we did initially, but what we have done is the following.
a) We moved the night table on the left side of the bed out into the room. Bob has put it in the kneehole of the desk
b) Bob and I pushing and pulling moved the beds all the way over to where that night table had been.
c) We moved the phone from the left side nightstand to the other one by my side of the bed on the right side
d) I moved the desk chair over to the sliding doors.

When we got our suitcases, Bob took the extension cord and plugged it in at the desk and ran it behind the TV, under a little rug to the bed, under the bed and over to my side of the bed where I plugged my power strip into it.

Now I can drive the scooter into the room and make a quick turn and park it next to my side of the bed where it isn't blocking anything, and it can be plugged in and charged.

We went up to the Lido for lunch and it was a zoo. I parked the scooter and sat at a table. It is not possible to eat in the Lido when you are using a scooter. There are no trays any longer and the scooter basket is not equipped for food. This was exacerbated by the fact that they were having people serve you everything instead of allowing you to take it. They told us the reason for that was for two days in case people got on with colds or other illness to keep them from passing it around. That seemed to be a good idea, but it did make things slow with long lines to be served as people did not understand that they could go to the next station. Bob went and got us something - he came back with spaghetti which was the only place that had no line. He had a hard time getting something to drink also. We sat with some other people who were taking turns to get something.
Lido food

Lido food


We got back to the room and our suitcases had come so we unpacked.

Starting at the hall door, we have a double closet of shelves, a double closet for hanging items - full length,
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and a half closet with has the safe and some more shelves.
half closet - safe

half closet - safe


We have four big hooks on the wall - two on each side of the entrance to the hall. We have two bathrobes on two of the hooks, and then Bob and I have our hats and binoculars on them.
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Then along the forward wall are two big colorful prints of fish.
pictures opposite bed

pictures opposite bed


Dresser in room

Dresser in room


On one side of the dresser at the top are two shelves with fiddles. There was some liquor etc on one of them. Under that is a TV on a swivel with a DVD player under it. Under that are two sets of three drawers. Then there is a huge mirror with a small makeup mirror on a swivel arm. On the desk is some stationary imprinted with our names, and also the ice bucket and glasses. In the kneehole is the extra night table and on the other side of that another set of three drawers. We have more total storage than stuff to put there

Then you are at the veranda which has big heavy curtains that can be drawn across. There is a lounge chair, a regular chair and a little table on the veranda.
veranda railing

veranda railing

Coming back along the back wall, I have the chair that was for the dresser. There is a small refrigerator and then a couch.
Bob asleep

Bob asleep


In front of the couch, and there is a large adjustable table with a vase of flowers on it. Then there is a small partial wall and a big curtain that can be drawn to partition off the bed part of the room.
Beds

Beds


The bed has a big mirror behind it and a choice of hardness of pillows. Then we get to the other nightstand with the phone on it.
bathroom storage

bathroom storage


On the other side of the corridor is the bathroom which has a counter around the sink, a shelf under the counter and a corner cabinet. There is a hairdryer on the wall, and a big walk in shower on the other side. The shower is big enough for two.
shower

shower


Bob is pleased that they have Fox News on the TV, and they also have a good bow camera. But when we look at the charts of where the ship is, it goes from a cluttered chart which you can't even tell where the ship is on it, to a really close chart with only a tiny fragment of land and you can see the ship but not where it is.
view

view


We left Seattle on the cruise ship at about 5 pm. We went down to dinner and I see that they have pagers for people. But the guy came out and said we would not have any trouble getting a seat as long as we came before about 6 or after 8. We ate with a couple from Orlando who drove up, and a couple from Washington State who were on their umpteenth Alaska cruise.
Flowers with pagers

Flowers with pagers


Bob had the Scallop Cerviche appetizer
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and I had Mussels a la Mariniere,
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and then we both had the chilled Mixed Berry Soup and the Alaskan King Crab Legs.
Alaskan King Crab Legs

Alaskan King Crab Legs

For dessert, Bob ordered the no sugar ice cream and got a hot fudge sundae. I ordered (and got) the Strawberries Romanoff.
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After dinner, I went out on the veranda and took pictures of a lighthouse I saw which I later identified as Point Wilson

This active lighthouse with an octagonal brick tower with lantern and gallery, rising from 1-story brick fog signal building was build in 1914. The flashing characteristics are somewhat unusual consisting of a white light, occulting every 20 s for 5 s, with one red flash in the middle of the occultation. 49 ft (15 m) . The assistant keeper's house and two oil houses are also preserved.

The station is endangered by shoreline erosion and rising sea level. The station buildings have been flooded several times by winter storms, and the only long-term solution is an expensive relocation of all the buildings. A crude barrier of rocks provides some protection from wave action but not from high tidal surges. The Washington State Park system is somewhat reluctant to acquire it for this reason
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We are right behind the side bridge on the port side and there was someone there so I tried to take a picture of that too.
Side bridge

Side bridge


I saw red markers going up the coast and wanted to know where we were. So I went up to the TV and got right up close to it and saw that we were near Port Angelos. So I went outside and took a photo of it.
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We are going up the Inside Passage between the coast and the outer islands. Most of this will be in Canada, but for now we are still in the US

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:34 Archived in USA Tagged seattle space_needle pike_street_market

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Comments

This brings back good memories of our visit to Seattle - and how lovely to have a verandah on the cruise!

by ToonSarah

Yes this is one cruise where a verandah was definitely worth it. Most cruises it really doesn't matter as all you can see is the ocean, and I've seen enough ocean that I don't need to sit and look at it.

by greatgrandmaR

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