I have now officially set foot in Alaska! For while we’re still rehearsing this week (to get our third and last main production show up and running tomorrow night), we’ve had time off to go into port in three Alaskan towns: Ketchikan, Juneau, and today Skagway.
Of course, I must confess that I only explored Ketchikan this week. Next week, we should have more time in each port, so I should be able to give Juneau and Skagway their due. Granted, I’ll be back each week for the next couple months, so I don’t suppose there’s any particular rush!
This being my first time in port, I didn’t try to do anything particularly exciting. Just walking around and getting a feel for the town seemed like my best bet, so that’s what I did, along with my fellow singer, Candace, and a singer named Lauren from the Golden Princess, which was docked next to us. We strolled up and down the rustic streets, drooling over the gorgeous forests and a river which the salmon run in late August (pictured right, with Lauren). Provided our schedule cooperates, next week I’ll go hiking in the hills of Ketchikan. Nothing like a good sweat in a lush, cool forest to compensate for all that cheesecake!
Later on we stopped in a cute bookstore, as I’m thinking about getting a book to help me learn to identify the various plants and trees in nature (too many historical/adventure books in my blood!). I didn’t find one, but then I had to exercise considerable restraint not to buy everything in sight. Belle and I have a lot in common, I tell you what. Then we grabbed fresh fruit smoothies at the sweetest café, appropriately called Sweet Mermaids. This was their major wall decoration, which I thought a beautiful encapsulation of The Little Mermaid tale.
…I decided just to sit on the promenade deck and spend the time catching up with people on the phone. Definitely a good choice. It was very peaceful and moody, with the rain varying from aggressive drops to a gentle mist and the occasional fish leaping across the water like a drunk uncle playing tennis. I’m not sure what this gondola ride below is connected to, but if it’s a tourist attraction, I’m going to try to ride it! It looks really cool.
Later that night, Candace and I headed up to the Adagio Bar to listen to the jazz quartet play. All four of the guys play on stage for our “Stardust” show, so we know them pretty well at this point. To my delight, Candace took them up on their request that one of us sing with them, and she absolutely floored us all. She can do everything from Ella to Sarah to Chaka, and her use on timbre and texture was like a mini master class in jazz performance.
I confess, I panicked when asked what jazz songs I knew! I couldn’t think of any of them (my dad, brother, and husband are all shaking their heads sadly at this, I know), and so I was more than happy just to listen to and cheer on Candace and the quartet. Don’t worry, when I got back to my room that night, I reminded myself what songs I know and their respective key signatures, so next time, maybe I’ll stand up and sing. It’s funny how much fear I have of singing in uncontrollable situations like those. Give me a cabaret and a musical theatre ballad I know, and I laugh at the notion of stage fright, but toss a jazz tune and improvisation into the mix, and I freeze up like a deer in headlights.
Anyway, today after rehearsal, I stepped outside to see what Skagway looked like. I didn’t really have enough time to go exploring, so I contented myself with walking around the promenade and sky decks, drooling over the gorgeous Alaskan scenery. I mean, really:
Tomorrow night we have the opening of our third and final production show, “Colors of the World,” for which I’m very excited. (Say it with me: “Ariana Grande hair!”) It’s a very costume-heavy show, in some cases quite literally, so I’ll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I don’t burst into laughter when I’m supposed to be singing, or, at least, not as many times as I did during our runs today…
Though I am an employee of Princess Cruises, all opinions are mine only and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.