Part 6, Return to Seattle via Victoria

The next morning, cruise director Dave treats us to a backstage tour behind the Princess Theater.

We leave the open ocean and curve back into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Suddenly, Andy discovers that we have cell reception! It’s a straight line of sight to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, and Port Angeles is starboard. Sequestered since leaving Skagway two days ago, everyone’s phones suddenly beep with stored alerts.

The Golden Princess glides smoothly into Ogden Point while we enjoy an early dinner. After customs clearance, we disembark. Wynn and François pick us up for a tour of Victoria, visiting the front lawn of the Legislature Building, catching the brilliant sunset from Clover Point, and climbing to the top of Craigdarroch Castle. Back at the waterfront, we stroll through The Fairmont Empress Hotel. It’s nice to have this little reunion to finish our trip.

Soon, we cruise in US waters. We wake up back by the docks of Smith Cove. A quick taxi ride shuttles us to the airport. We’ve beaten the crowds on this early walk-off disembarkment, and we realize how lucky we were as we watch our taxi driver’s dispatch screen calling all the taxis back to the cruise terminals for the thousands of passengers that need rides.

Just like it says in the Princess Cruises tag line, we did escape completely—well, almost. Except for the brief periods of cell and data intrusion, that promise did, for the most part, come true. And just as we had originally planned, this weeklong excursion was the perfect getaway celebration for my favorite sister’s birthday.

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