Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Things I Considered Writing About On My Cruise to Alaska

I just returned from a seven day cruise to Alaska. Seven days of no phone, no internet, no responsibilities. Well, the phone and internet were available, but I was too cheap to pay the hefty service charges. I did post a quick blurb to my blog when we found free wifi in a McDonald’s in Juneau. So, I didn’t spend any quality time writing, but in those brief periods that I momentarily stumbled out of my self-imposed exile these are the topics that I considered:

  • Hey, was that a celebrity? There was a guy who was a dead-on look alike for Andy Rooney; Andy Rooney with slightly better groomed eyebrows. I thought this topic had great promise, but when I looked around the ship, other than the too-old- for- Glee cruise performers, there wasn’t anyone else who came even close to looking like a celebrity. 

  • The Deadly Sins on a Cruise Ship: As hard as I looked, I could really only find evidence of two out of seven sins. Anyone who has been on a cruise knows that there’s lots of gluttony going on. Anyone who saw me totally relaxed by day five would have recognized sloth.

  • What to Do When Bored by the Splendor of the Glaciers: We were at Hubbard Glacier, a spectacular natural wonder, on a clear sunny day. We heard the “white thunder” and saw dramatic avalanches of ice as the glacier calved. I was surprised that so many passengers sat at the slots in the casino while we cruised one of the world’s most spectacular glaciers. The white and blue face of the glacier passed by the windows of the casino and their eyes were glued to the spinning cherries. There were also hordes of people earning their gluttony badges at the buffet.

  • Boat People: The ship demographics were equivalent to an AARP convention…lots of gray hair. For seven days we were citizens of a parallel universe. In the boat world there was always a scooter person working his way through a crowd, “Excuse me. Mind your feet. Excuse me, coming through…” There was a group of women who spent every day sitting in a lounge on deck 4 doing needlepoint, and an Indian couple who we saw over and over again.  She was always three steps behind her husband who was constantly pointing...pointing...pointing, and she walked on stone faced behind him. There were plenty of opportunities to eat and many of the boat people were loading up their plates like it was their last meal. Many visually interesting characters, but very few who were interesting when we were seated with them at formal meals.

  • Towel Folding:  Every evening the room steward folded a towel into an adorable animal and left it on the bed (along with chocolate!)  The monkey, dangling from a hanger, was my favorite.  But, what else is there to say about folded towels?  This topic doesn't really transfer into the real world.

All in all, I had a very relaxing seven days and I gained only one pound. So, I guess the only deadly sin that I managed to accomplish was sloth.


  1. I have been wanting to take this cruise, but being trapped on a boat with nothing to do but eat and grow fatter (after paying a hefty price for the privilege) has kept me from it. I did enjoy going along with you, though, and hearing about the incredible glaciers. I once worked at Harrah's Casino in Lake Tahoe and never once pulled a handle. It's a little scary to see all those old people pouring their life savings into the maw of the slots.

  2. I would love to take that cruise. Sounds lovely. I can't imagine staring at a slot machine instead of that beautiful scenery.

  3. It sounds like a marvelous cruise! Hope you have lots of pictures to share in the days ahead.

  4. I would love to take that cruise too......but are there only old people on it?

  5. Sounds like you had a great time;cruise are fun.

  6. My favorite part of this is your description of the people you saw, and the glacier. It sounds like you had a great time.

  7. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You ~Ron

  8. I have a monkey towel picture somewhere from a cruise my parents went on. Interesting but pointless :0). Would love to do the Alaska cruise, its on my very long list of places to go.

  9. DJan...there are interesting things to do. Quite by accident one day I attended an accupuncture lecture and got to watch the technician stick needles in various audience members. I never get that kind of action in my real life!

    September...obviously I was shocked too. I think gambling instead of watching a natural wonder might qualify as a warning sign for an addiction!

    Lakeviewer...Since this was the second time we've taken this exact cruise, I guess it's obvious that it's a favorite of mine. Stunning scenery and complete relaxation, what's not to love!

    Gayle...the percentage of old people (myself included) is greater than in the regular population, but there were multigenerational families and young couples and some really talented young adults who I watched dance in the disco the night my husband was so ill. They were lovely kids, at the disco with their mother, and they showed everyone how to do the moves. We were a small group of hardy souls; the rest of the ship was seasick and we had the boat to ourselves that night!

    Toyin...you are right!

    Deb...One of the fun aspects of a cruise is finding a cozy place by a window to read and watch the other passengers. We saw whales and dolphins out the window and very interesting characters walk by!


    Mrs. Midnite...and when you take that cruise, come visit me in Hermiston, a short 5 hour drive from Seattle!

  10. I'm so glad your cruise was such a success. I also found that when we were on our Alaskan cruise that there is much excess. Many seem to only go on these cruises so they can shop and gamble. I agree, if one is so glued to the gambling scene that one cannot be amazed by the natural wonders that they encounter, one must come out of the denial about a possible addiction problem.

    Congrats on the one pound gain. You must have made very wise food choices and done a lot of walking.

  11. We took a cruise last year from Boston to Montreal, and I made similar observations. We also noticed the elevator, and lines of people waiting to use it between floors. We climbed seven flights of stairs every morning to breakfast, so we didn't gain weight.

    I've decided I may take other cruises, but not yet. I still prefer active vacations. Might make an exception, though, for Antarctica.


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