Halfway through our scrumptious salmon dinner on the Tillicum Village Tour, my Darling said to me “this review is writing itself isn’t it?” OK, well I wouldn’t go that far but yes, this tour was easy to like. We found the starting point easily. Had a nice, easy trip over the water to the island. Bought a few beverages from the on-board bar (I recommend the Bloody Mary). In case we were peckish from the hour long journey we were handed a cup of steaming clams on arrival. Yep, I think I’m old enough to enjoy this.
The meal is a core part of the experience. The salmon is cooked in the traditional Native American way in an open pit over an alder fire. The meal is rounded out with salad, potatoes, bread and dessert. Someone at our table said we could go back for seconds. Not sure if that’s true since our plates were piled so high I can’t imagine anybody would need to.
Turns out the salmon is responsible for more than just the meal. You can thank the salmon for the entertainment as well. No, there aren’t any dancing fish. Because food in the area was so plentiful, the Native Americans of the Northwest Coast were able to develop their art and performing skills. As a result, we can now enjoy traditional art on display and a representative dance performance.
Of course the original dances wouldn’t have had the production values of this one. The theater was far more elaborate than I expected. The show won’t be getting any Tony Awards but it was enjoyable tourist fare. The dances are strung together with a bit of a story and a booming announcer voice on top.
The boat trip over provided an opportunity to get out on the water and see a bit of Puget Sound. We enjoyed the commentary and learned a few interesting tidbits. Thanks to Sleepless in Seattle we all know it rains nine months in a year in Seattle (I know!) but on this cruise we learned that Seattle is lucky it doesn’t happen more. Apparently on the other side of the mountains they measure the rainfall in feet, not inches. All this water is stopped by the mountains and Seattle comparatively gets a tiny bit.
It didn’t rain a lot the day that we went but a rainy day wouldn’t spoil this tour. The longhouse is big enough for everyone to wander around and check out the exhibits. If the weather is nice you can walk around the island and enjoy the scenery. If it’s not, you can just hang out by the fire. Easy.
– Melinda Harrington