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Cruises Open Up The World Of Art

You don’t have to appreciate fine art to enjoy some of the works you encounter in traveling the world on cruise ships — and there is art of some sort virtually everywhere you go. This is a collection of artistic impressions that have caught our eyes, or at least the lens of our cameras…

LimaLove is grand, isn’t it?…even when it’s on display on the waterfront for South American-bound cruisers when they stop in the metropolis of Lima!

ChicagoThis was in Chicago, on the way to a cruise, and it’s not Mrs. O’Leary’s famous cow — it’s the one made famous by baseball broadcaster Harry Caray, whose pet expression was “Holy Cow!”

ValenciaNot quite sure what to make of this somewhat provocative work of art, in one of our favorite Spanish ports, so we simply gave her a name: Valentina of Valencia.

VigoYou’ll find this on the streets of Vigo, Spain — where we’d stopped while on the Celebrity Eclipse — and our impression was somewhere in there must be a cowboy.

MexicoThe beaches of Mexico, and throughout Central America and the Caribbean, are a great source of statues like this that mean more to the locals than the visitors.

KetchikanIt’s hard to imagine that there’s a larger carving of a bald eagle than this one where the Coral Princess — and all cruise ships — are docked in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Why Catch-a-Crab in Ketchikan?

KETCHIKAN — This is the story of two plates. One before, and one after. What you’re seeing is what happens when four people are given the opportunity to eat as much Dungeness crab as they like.

All we know about the other two….er, gluttons…at the table is that they were from Colorado and their appetite for crab was the equal of ours. The crabs were the climax of what Princess Cruise Lines calls its Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast, and if you’ve noticed that this is the second straight day of filling our bellies with seafood, then we know you’re paying attention

Are you noticing a trend?

We could have gone on the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour, but there didn’t see any eating involved, and we passed on the Misty Fjords and Wilderness Explorer because we heard someone say that “Misty Fjords” sounded like an old stripper, and Ketchikan does have its own bordello museum.

The “wilderness” part of our tour was okay, even though it fell on one of Ketchikan’s 260 rainy days of the year, because it’s a chance to see how “crabbers” do what “feasters” need. There are two crab pots filled every day, for tours like this, and everybody on the boat gets a chance to hold a crab without getting clawed. The tour guide, Amanda, was brave enough to wear one as a hat and one woman even performed the local policy of catch, kiss and release. However, lest anybody get too attached to these babies (especially the kisser), they’re not the ones that wind up on your plate after the boat docks.

Those babies are awesome.

Never before have we eaten crab with shells so soft you could break them with your hand. Never before have we been offered re-fills, even of hard-shelled crabs. Never before have we eaten so much crab, and we probably never will again.

On each end of the tour was a short bus ride on potholed streets from downtown Ketchikan, which these days is home to about 8,000 people. On each end of the tour was a 79-step walk to and from the dock where the boat and the lodge were, and even that didn’t make anybody…crabby.

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