Ok, this post is late. I signed on to the Radiance of the Seas on June 13 in Vancouver. I enjoyed my jobs at home, but I kept getting antsy and traveling every chance I got. In October I asked Royal Caribbean if they had any bass contracts available, and they offered me this ship starting in June. I knew that Radiance went to Australia, Alaska, Hawaii, and New Zealand, but I had no clue how long the contract would last or how much I would get to see. The company got back to me in March, and I accepted a contract from June 13-December 13.
After a horrible job packing, I flew to Vancouver on June 12, and I had most of the afternoon and a full night to enjoy the city. I had a friendly roommate in the hotel, and she introduced me to a few other sign-ons, so I had a few familiar faces in my first couple weeks.
I should have written sooner because now it’s hard to think of everything I should say. I love Alaska. Rainy days are common, but the mountains and glaciers are beautiful anyway. I’ve been able to go zip lining, kayaking, and hiking in Icy Strait Point, Skagway, and Juneau. One Juneau I went on an excursion that included a sea plane ride over five glaciers to the Taku Lodge, and we were served a huge salmon feast.
Radiance has been an amazing ship. The band was all friendly, welcoming, and we’ve had a variety of shows to play. There’s a good upright on this ship, so the jazz sets have been great. This week has been a jazz charter cruise, so I haven’t had a ton of work to do. We’ve been able to watch some big name people, and I think my favorite so far was John Butler. Either tonight or tomorrow Chris Botti will play, and that’s a show we’re all excited about.
Oh, and I celebrated my birthday this week! I was a bit sick at the start of the week, so I didn’t do much the night before my birthday. The day of my birthday we were in Tracy Arm Fjord, so it was a sea day, but we stopped at the Sawyer Glacier. My friends organized a big group dinner since we were all off that night, and they even got a cake from room service! It was all surprising, and it turned out very well.
This week we’ve had about the best weather in ages, but we’ve mostly been eating at our favorite restaurants and walking around the towns. On Friday we start our crossing to Hawaii, and hopefully my friends Cassie and Diogenes will cruise on standby! It takes ten days to Hawaii (five sea days followed by four Hawaiian ports before ending in Honolulu), and then we’ll do an eighteen day cruise from Honolulu to Sydney. I’ll write more along the way, but so far this contract has been wonderful.