we chose this cruise totally based on price. we had planned to take a road trip in that area, and when we saw the price of this sailing, we felt that, while the experience would be different than a road trip, we would never be able to make the trip for less $$$.
even though the ports on this sailing were familiar to us, we enjoyed each of the stops on this cruise.
this was the first time that we sailed after being promoted to "elite-plus" in captain's club status. we enjoyed the perks of free laundry and more free wifi minutes very much! this cruise must have attracted many people who are at the higher levels in the captain's club, because at check-in, the lines for the higher levels (which are touted to be priority boarding) were the longest!
i love being on deck 6. however this cabin was a little disappointing because it almost should be considered an obstructed view stateroom. it is only a few doors down from the most forward cabin on deck 6. and because the "nose" of the ship gets narrower, the cabin right behind ours stuck out further than ours, and blocked a considerable portion of the view to the left.
because we had seen most of the main attractions in astoria a few years ago, we rented a car and drove to fort clatsop (3.5 star) and looked around, then we headed down the oregon coast as far as cannon beach where we stopped at Mo's for some fish and chips and their famous clam chowder. then we headed inland and took an interior route back to the port. we had a little time left after returning the car, so we went to the flavel house museum. (3.5). having a car let us do what we wanted to do. the rental was $55 and we felt is was a great way to see more of the area.
we took the scenic walk along the inner harbor to the royal british columbia museum. the museum was closing at 5pm, so we did not have enough time to do the museum justice, but even our speedy visit was impressive. after the museum visit, we checked out the grounds of the empress hotel...gorgeous flowers everywhere! then we went to the bard and banker for a local brew. my husband was in the mood for nachos after that, so we asked our servers where they would go for a good plate of nachos. they recommended "the local", where we had a 1/2 order of nachos and it was plenty for the two of us to share and tasty too!
we rented a car in vancouver and drove to mount vernon to have brunch with relatives who live there. then we headed to woodinville washington and had a couple of hours to check out the wine scene of that town. we visited chateau ste michelle, col solare, and januik. dinner at italianissimo was very good! we spent the night in a hotel in woodinville, which is quite close to seattle. our flight out of seattle was not till 1pm, so we had time to see snoqualmie falls in the morning enroute to the airport.