Monday, August 13, 2007

Alaska II

I spent the last week aboard the Norwegian Pearl which is the newest ship in the Norwegian fleet. The itinerary was the same as it was last July. Seattle to Skagway to Juneau to Glacier Bay to Ketchikan to Victoria to Seattle. The major differences this year being that I booked a whale watching tour out of Juneau and this year I went as a floorman instead of a dealer.

I've been avoiding floor duty at my regular job for several reasons. I agreed to give it a try on this cruise for one very specific reason. My old boss asked me to do it because he was in need of "someone I can trust". Will I ever do it again? .......Maybe.


Speaking of my regular job, we've been without a poker room manager for several weeks. It needed to happen and hopefully the new manager (no word on who that will be) will be able to attach a rudder a ship that has been floating aimlessly for quite awhile now. The room is still painfully slow.
I heard today that Red Rock and Green Valley went back to a $4 max rake. I wouldn't mind if we went back to a $3 rake. My only reservation there is that the type of player who will follow the rake might not be the action type player who makes it fun and profitable to deal. There are many ideas and suggestions floating around but until we have a new leader it's all just speculation.

Speaking of rake, take a look at this!

This sign graced the lone poker table in the casino aboard the Norwegian Pearl. Can you imaging what would happen if a Las Vegas poker room (or any legitimate room for that matter)tried to rape poker players to the tune of $25 PER HAND? Thankfully I never saw a live game being spread on that table for the duration of the cruise. We were 10 yards down the hall raking 10% max $4. A veritable bargain.

Another bargain and an incredible overlay existed in the $150 buy-in no re-buy tournament we spread on the last full day of the cruise. We had a total of 24 players ($3,600) and the prize for 1st place was a $10,000 WPT Foxwoods seat. If you'd like a chance at something similar give Kathy Maura ( ) a call and tell her I sent you 877-736-8516 . There is only one cruise remaining in 2007 but there are at least 5 scheduled for 2008.

The Pearl is a beautiful ship. The food and staff/service, in my opinion, didn't live up to my expectations based on past cruises(this was my 4th cruise). I've come to expect flawless service. On this cruise it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. On the other hand, when I got into my own bed last night my sheets weren't turned down and there wasn't a mint on my pillow.....

I bought a new camera prior to this trip and I haven't quite figured it all out yet. The picture above is a "multi burst" and I guess there is a way for me to remove a single image from the series of 16 but I haven't mastered (or really even tried) that maneuver yet.

By law, boats are required to stay at least 300 feet from the whales as anything closer is considered harassment. At one point we were floating with the engine off at more than the required distance. Aparently no one told the whale that he needed to stay 300 feet away as he surfaced about 30 yards from the boat. It's not an experience that I'll soon forget.

Glacier Bay looks much the same as last year except the glaciers are receding. This glacier twists and turns for 21 miles but it's estimated that within a decade it won't be visible from the bay.

At 41 years I smoked my first Cuban. We purchased the cigars at an incredible Victorian tobacco shop in Victoria, BC. The shop had a lot of beveled, leaded glass as well as an electrolier unlike anything I have seen. Notice the gas jets on either side of the pillar. Unfortunately Health Canada has decided that you can't even light up in a tobacco store.......
For the record, all I brought back into the States was the empty cigar box.

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