Friday, August 14, 2015

Cruising in Alaska

Taking a cruise is something entirely new for me, and I found a lot about it to take in when we went.  Some gentle readers probably experienced the scene already; but for me, everything was different.  Let's face it, it wasn't riding the Algiers ferry!  So here's my take on the experience:

1.  The ship, the Westerdam, was beautifully decorated, with artwork in the public places and stairwells.  Nautical paintings were common.

2.  The bars were nice; mostly noisy but we found a quiet one called the Crow's Nest high in the front.  They had entertainment there in the form of a guitarist.  And, amazingly enough, I was not carded once!  We could charge drinks on our room card.

3.  The main dining room had good food; some tarted up and ascribed to big-name chefs, at least according to the menu.  When our dinner came, we thought, like, "You got to be kidding!"  The size of the steak was humongous.  And looking at nearby tables, some people went in for two appetizers or two or more entrées!  I don't know about the other Six Deadlies, but Gluttony was in full force!  

4.  While the demographics of the passengers were more heavily 50+, there were some 20's that gravitated together. And gathered in the bar.    

5.  I tried Alaska Amber beer, and it was delightful!  

6.  When the vessel was cruising, away from the ports, the casino was very busy!  No, I didn't play.  

7.  The crew was largely Indonesian and Filipino; but the ship's officers were Dutch.

8.  I brought my swimsuit along; but my friend and I found the swimming pool to be too cool and out of doors.  Temps were in the 50's or 60's in Ketchikan and Juneau; but jacket, hat, and long johns were needed at Glacier Bay. 

9.  There were several pricy shops selling overpriced merchandise in the public areas on the lower decks; apparently shopping is a bona fide cruising activity.

10.  Holland America had games; but they were more sedate.  No wet t-shirt contests like some have.  They had a stage show at night, but it was not our taste.

11.  I was amazed that the emphasis that some people put on drinking: imagine full-fledged older adults drinking like college freshmen!


John Hill said...

We went on one cruise. I would do it again but my wife said it's really not her thing. I imagine that an Alaskan cruise would be different, though.
I did make a trip to Alaska for a convention once. A friend with a small plane took us out over the glaciers and mountains for the price of the gas. It was pretty neat (I was going to say it was cool, but that might have a double meaning!).

Glad you had a good trip and I am sorry for the guys in the 50+ crowd that you opted out of donning your swimwear!

Take care, Angel.

TexWisGirl said...

gluttony made me laugh. guess there's a hardy appetite built up in cooler air. :)

Linda Kay said...

The food supplies on these ships is amazing, and really overwhelming. It does seem that those of us in the 50+ range are out enjoying these kinds of adventures, and many of us really enjoy a good time as well. But I'm not in on the heavy drinking crowd. I do find it interesting how many of my friends drink more than they ever did as young folks. Glad you had a good time. We haven't signed up for an Alaska trip as yet...not really on my bucket list.

Mike said...

My wife has been on a cruise but I haven't yet. Not really that interested.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

John, It wasn't the ctowd' it was cold, unlike Seattle

TesWisGirl. they were trying to eat their money's worth.

Linda Kay, I was awestruck at the quantities of food! It must have been a mammoth job to prepare it!

Duckbutt said...

We've cruised on Holland American ships several times, they go to interesting places. Lately been using Celebrity.

Cloudia said...

Well described!

Bilbo said...

Agnes and I have been on four cruises so far (all with Princess), and will go on our fifth one in November. Your observations about life on board ship are pretty much spot-on ... although I think Princess tends to have a somewhat older and quieter clientele, and the teen clubs tend to be well-isolated from the rest of the ship. We really enjoyed having a quiet drink in the bar before dinner, and the dining has always been great. I didn't find the portions to be as large as you described, but you could keep ordering and ordering and ordering and they'd keep bringing you whatever you wanted until you stopped. That leads to a lot of wasted food, unfortunately. Glad you had a good time, and it's good to have you back!

Robert Bennett said...

Never been on a cruise but more primarily for the reasons you just stated. My wife's parents are really big into them and, having had them describe it to me before, I never thought there was much of an appeal for myself. I'm a "let's go to a museum" or "see a show" or "visit a cultural exhibit" kind of guy and the idea of sitting on a boat surrounded by people drinking heavily sounded more frustrating than enjoyable.

I'm glad you had fun though!