May 17 – 23, 2004
I am not a fan of traveling on cruise. But cruise ship has become such a popular way to travel that sometimes it becomes unavoidable, especially when traveling with family. Setting aside the obvious problems like pollution or a lack of time at each port, I guess cruise ship does offer positives like reasonable prices and convenience when traveling to places like the Alaskan Panhandle or the Caribbean Islands.
This would be my second time to Alaska. Our cruise would take us from Whittier (1.5 hour train ride from Anchorage) to Vancouver over seven days. I was taking the place of another family member, who couldn’t make the trip at the last minute. My first cruise to Alaska was quite a boring experience as the weather was miserable throughout the entire week.
The trip turned out to be better than expected, which was obviously helped by the fact that I had minimal expectation prior to the trip. The weather was fantastic – a retiree actually quipped on the second morning of the cruise that Alaska felt hotter than his home in South Beach, Florida.
The scenery was much better than I remembered from the previous time. The glacier, the fjord, the lakes… every clueless shot I took resembled the postcards available on the cruise ship, which says as much about the beauty of Alaska’s scenery as the low quality of the postcards.
My only complaint is the ratio of old people (retiree) to everyone else on board. The ratio was at least 3:1. I know a cruise that sailed in May was bound to attract mostly retirees, but I didn’t quite expect to be trapped on a nursery home on sea for a week.