Friday, January 25, 2013

Cruising Alaska

By Sheila
Carnival Cruise Ship - An amazing floating hotel!

The three of us have been on some adventures over the years, and in looking through photos this past week, I came across the pics of our Alaskan Cruise.  We went over the 4th of July holiday a few years ago and our husbands were along for the fun on this trip.  We flew into Seattle a few days early to enjoy the sights there and all in all had a magnificent time!
Pat, Heather, Tom, Sheila, David, and Ann at Pikes Market in Seattle
Ann, Sheila and Heather stopping in for a glass of wine
We were on the Carnival Cruise Line, primarily because their dates fit everyone’s rather complicated scheduling conflicts.  We have cruised a few times before.  Enough to know that one of the things we enjoy most is sitting on our own private balcony watching the ocean and wildlife.  For this reason, I can’t imagine wanting to cruise without a balcony room.  I know you can really cut your costs by selecting an inside cabin, but this is not worth it to me.  This is one area where I will definitely spend the extra money.
Ann zipping through the rain forest
 We sailed out of Seattle to the Inner Passage, with our ports of call being Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Victoria, BC, Canada.  We went on a zipline through the Alaskan rain forest, watched whales and bald eagles.  We went in for a close look at icebergs (very Titanic), and mostly entertained each other.  We had happy hour daily in one of our staterooms, and from there headed out for the evening.  Since we had such a great group on our own, we kept the late seating for dinner and had the same table all week.  Dinner was always a fun highlight, and we kept the wine flowing. 
We were at the aft of the ship with the best view in the house - Lucky!

What I like about cruising is you see many places without wasting your vacation time traveling (you do this while you are sleeping). You only have to unpack once, and are not hauling your luggage around.  Also, you can get some very good deals on cruises.  There is typically a variety of on-board entertainment, which can vary from exceptional to so-so.  Different cruises cater to different groups; families, singles, retirees, etc.  This is worth investigating, so ask before you book. The disadvantages are that the “excursions” can be pricey and touristy.  If you are willing to do just a little research, you can often set up or explore your own adventure in port.  Be careful though; when you do your own thing, if you don't get back in time, the ship can (and will) sail without you.  We had a very close call on another cruise, but that is a story for another day.  I am not a big fan of days at sea; I prefer to explore the ports, but some people enjoy unwinding or doing activities on board the ship, so check your itinerary against your preferences.
Happy Hour in our Room
All things considered, I think cruising can be a fun way to relax and enjoy travel, especially if you don’t want the hassle of having to set up your own itinerary, or are not the type to enjoy traveling with no schedule (or advance hotel reservations) or a rigorous schedule of trains, planes, and automobiles, lugging your bags.  It’s a good option for people who like different activities, because you can select from a variety of options within your group.  I do think it is especially fun to travel with friends.  I’m ready for our next adventure….who’s in?
Victoria, BC Canada


  1. What a wonderful trip that must have been. You look lovely in all these pics.

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