A good friend of mine is retiring next month and she and her husband are looking to celebrate by going on a cruise. They’ve asked me if I want to come along and threw out some ideas, the most interesting of which is a 7-night jaunt to and around Alaska.
In order for me to survive the temperatures, we can’t really leave later than July. In order for my friends to get their passports, we can’t really leave earlier than late June. That creates a very narrow window, but in some respects it’s actually easier to plan.
I’ve never been on a cruise before, except for one of those “cruise to nowhere” ships that I took a friend out on for her birthday. I was surprised and dismayed to find that almost no ship offers a “single” price (we’re not going on a “singles cruise”). So, I’ll have to pay double occupancy.
I did have one friend who likes to travel and was a possibility, but it seems like the rooms are all single beds and we’re not that friendly. So, third wheel it is.
Still, if I book an internal cabin, double occupancy isn’t that horrible. I would expect I could spend most of my time above decks, presuming the air at sea on an Alaska cruise is within my tolerance levels. Let’s hope.
More planning comes in with the plane flights, hotel stays and pre- or post- cruise sightseeing. Most Alaska cruises start out of Seattle and my friends are eager to spend several days in the Pacific Northwest either before or after the trip.
Other cruises start in Alaska or Canada, so there’s that added to the planning mix. In some ways it’s actually more complicated than my GNABRT, since I have to account for three people in the travel equation.
Having never been on a cruise, I’m not sure what fills your days while you’re on the ship. I’m not a gambler or dancer and I’m betting it will be way too cold for swimming. But I did think I could bring along the laptop and use the time relaxing on deck to write.
Once the birthday bbq is over at the end of this month, I’m going to be heading back out to the beach to get started on my new books. I’ve been fleshing out the next Jeremy Shuttle trilogy on my recent walks and I think I’m far enough along to really hammer out the plot.
If I can get the plot done before the cruise, I can spend my “down” time writing. Since I like the ocean as my backdrop for all my writing, it should be a natural setting.
Of course, it could be that between adventures on shore and the never-before-seen vistas from the ship, I may be too occupied to even take up the laptop, but writing also has the advantage of not needing internet access (well, for research, but I can catch up on that when I return home).
In the meantime, I will reach out to a few of my friends who have actually taken cruises for tips on, well, tips…and other things I should know about cruises.
Beyond that, planning is everything. There’s still a large percentage chance the whole thing falls apart due to timing, cost or Murphy. But I’m excited by the prospect of my first trip since the GNABRT two years ago. I vowed then I would not be traveling alone anymore.
Amidst all my preparations for the birthday bbq, I will be planning and plotting on cruises, planes and writing. Madness beckons!