Cruising around

One of the last things I ever thought I’d end up doing in life is going on a cruise.  I like to travel, but I like to have freedom when I travel.  For example, a few years ago, I went to New Zealand for three weeks.  When I left, I had booked the round trip ticket, 2 nights in Auckland, and a cancelable flight to the south island.  It was a great vacation, and I got to do a ton of great stuff (details available for anyone who’s interested).

 I’ve always considered cruise ships as “prisons on water.”  However, when my mother-in-law suggested that the whole family go on a cruise to Alaska for her 60th birthday, my only choice was to say yes.

I’d have to say that I was (am) pleasantly surprised.  It’s certainly not the best vacation I’ve ever taken, but it has been fun.  I think it’s a great way to see southern Alaska – most of the places we stopped are only accessible by air or water.  I also got to do some hiking and kayaking, and found some time to explore away from the masses of tourists.  As I mentioned above, I like to travel, but I don’t like to be a tourist.  I know that doesn’t make sense to anyone but me, but I’m the biggest reader of this thing anyway.

The food on the ship has been pretty reasonable.  There are enough restaurants to get variety – in fact; I didn’t get to eat at a few of the restaurants that I wanted to.  In addition to the restaurants, the ship has a 24 hour buffet style cafeteria.  The cafeteria food was…I was going to say fair, but it really wasn’t that good at all.  I was amazed, however, at how many people ate there.  The food on the trip was included, so they could have eaten at a restaurant, but they chose to eat in the cafeteria.  My theories on this anomaly are that the cafeteria eaters 1) didn’t want to wait for someone to bring them their food, and 2) they wanted to eat large quantities of food not available in the restaurant.  Needless to say, there were a lot of obese people among the cafeteria eaters.

Overall, I can’t say I’m a cruise fan, nor do I think I’ll ever go on another cruise.  I can say that I’ve had a good time.  I’d also recommend an Alaskan cruise for anyone who hasn’t been to Alaska before, and wants to see a bit of the state.

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