Ode to the BC Ferries
Confession: I love BC Ferries
How I love thy chocolate buffet filled with Roger’s chocolates, decadent cupcakes, chocolate mousse cups, Florentines, four different kinds of chocolate cake, Grand Marnier Mountains, and – oh my, I must go back for more!
I love the serenity of the Seawest Lounge, the chaos of the playground, the flat screen TV’s playing the hockey games, the coffee machines (Dear Lord, thank you for blessing the BC Ferries with Americano machines that make divine coffee for us unfortunate coffee snobs of the world).
I love the Smart Start breakfast (it’s actually good!), the wireless internet, and best of all, the fact that I can get my toes done while en route to a business meeting in Vancouver? Heaven.
Oh sure, the line-ups suck, but I don’t wait in line anymore. I just make a reservation. Basically – let’s all admit it – we have a habit of bitching about BC Ferries. We love to complain, we love to moan, but really, when I think about it, BC Ferries has been a part of my whole life for a very long time, touching me in ways I didn’t think possible (seriously, read on).
I remember as a little girl playing up at the front of the beige interior Queen of Burnaby, beneath the watchful eye of the queen.
Then I’d wanderoff to peruse the magazine stand for an Archie comic book after a quick gawk at the big kids in the arcade. I remember looking forward to the chicken strips, fries, and the gravy, oh, the gravy!! And now my kids love the ferry rides, wandering around on the outer decks, looking at the islands, wondering which ones they are, checking out the life rafts and other boats on the horizon. They love the play areas, the buffet (young kids eat free), and we’ve even recovered (twice!) a precious stuffed animal that was left on board through the care and attention of the crew.
But it was really in one of my darkest hours that BC Ferries really came through for me. I was pregnant with our first, just past the five month mark, and heading over to Vancouver to visit with family, when I got the call from my family doctor that something was drastically wrong and I need to do an about-face and return to Victoria immediately. I had just driven on the boat, we had just left the dock and we were still 90 minutes from Vancouver. I sat in my car as the tears streamed down my face and in complete shock wondered how on earth I was going to turn my car around and get back on the boat, while collecting my husband from the other side.
I managed to make my way to the Chief Steward who took me in her arms and led me up to a state room. She got me tea, she got someone to sit with me, and she took my car keys and made sure that someone would turn my car around for me. I never paid for that state room and of course, no one asked.
We lost that baby, but are now blessed with two gorgeous little kids, and a sincere appreciation for the world class ferry system we all fortunate to have.
I think it’s high time we all embraced, celebrated and promoted BC Ferries for what it is: a gorgeous mini-cruise through some of the most picturesque islands in the world with all-you-can-eat Roger’s Chocolates in the buffet.