Almost 3,800 passengers and crew were aboard the Star Princess, but only a handful were up on the bow in the blush of pre-dawn as the cruise ship glided into Vancouver, B.C.

Share story

Almost 3,800 passengers and crew were aboard the Star Princess, but only a handful were up on the bow in the blush of pre-dawn as the cruise ship glided into Vancouver, B.C.

One couple dashed topside in their bathrobes for the first-light city view as the 951-foot-long ship sailed under Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge.

Below decks, the rest of the passengers slept, showered or had a last meal at the breakfast buffet.

This was a one-night autumn voyage from Seattle to Vancouver at the end of the season when ships offer some short Pacific Northwest cruises.

It was about the cheapest sailing available from Seattle: $99 per person, double occupancy, including most charges and all the desserts and entertainment that could be stuffed into a 15-hour journey. My single room, with a balcony, cost $178.

People partied. They danced on deck for prizes. They laughed with a Comedy Central comedian who had one PG-13 show for kids and another R-rated for adults. A Las Vegas-like revue filled an auditorium. People shopped in shipboard shops, watched “Star Wars” under the stars and splashed in the ship’s pools. Some gambled in the casino once in international waters.

And people ate their way across the waters at the lavish buffet. Almost always choosing stairs over elevators, I thought, why not one more slice of chocolate cheesecake before we arrive?