Monday, August 30, 2010


I saw my first whale this morning, less than 24 hours after getting on this cruise.

We are on a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise to Alaska. I have been looking forward to it for a while.

I didn’t think we’d ever actually go on a cruise, since my wife is concerned about the reports of norovirus on so many cruises (I think the cruise staff is as well, since they have women at the entrance of every restaurant with spray bottles of hand sanitizer that they insist you use before entering, all the while saying, “Washy washy, smiley smiley, happy happy.” Yes, I may have to kill them). But my cousin told my wife about how much fun she had on her Alaskan cruise, so she decided we could give it a try.

So far, the ship is nice, though we did have to tell them twice that we wanted the two beds made into one bed (really, one bed? One bed? Are you sure?). And I am not overly impressed with the “all inclusive” nature of the cruise. Basically, the all inclusive is not so very inclusive. We knew it wouldn’t include alcohol or the shore excursions. But it also doesn’t include using the internet or the spa or drinking any soft drinks (luckily, I was able to sneak nearly three cases of Diet Mountain Dew on board…they didn’t say I couldn’t and my wife put it in her carry-on. The ex-ray guy actually called his friend over to look at it and laugh). The $12 a day gratuity you pay isn’t all inclusive either…you also pay an “autogratuity” on every purchase. And if you want to eat at any of the restaurants other than the buffets, you pay for that too.

The boat supposedly has stabilizers to keep you from feeling a lot of the movement, but one of them is apparently stuck. It actually woke my wife up last night (not me…she is the one who woke me up) and today the boat is much more rocky than it was yesterday in similar seas. One of the seminars actually got called because the host got seasick. So, I hope they get that fixed soon.

But in spite of all that, so far, I’m having a great time. We have a balcony off of our room, so we can sit and enjoy the view without having to do so with 2,000 of our not so close friends. And it was from there that we saw a whale this morning. I think it was a humpback, or at least it looked like the humpbacks I have seen on tv. Watching it blow water out of its blowhole was pretty cool too. Of course, my attempt at catching it on video was an utter failure, so you will just have to take my word for it. Ditto for the pod of dolphins and the bird that looked suspiciously like a penguin (are they this far south? Or are we now that far north? I have no clue.)

Tomorrow we hit Juneau I think, where we will do a Mendenhall Glacier tour. Maybe I will get some pictures of wildlife to share with you at that point. You probably shouldn’t hold your breath though.

Leaving Seattle

Our State Room


Steph B said...

We went on a cruise also, a Mexican Rivera Also not impressed with the all-inclusiveness. By the time we paid for soda, ice cream and excursion (only one of those) we significantly increased the cost of our trip.
Probably our one and only cruise.
I bet Alaska is beautiful! Enjoy!

Megacynic said...

To answer your questions about penguins (because I used to be very obsessed with them...okay I still kind of am): All penguin species live in the Southern Hemisphere. Don't take my word for it, but I'd venture to guess that the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are the farthest north any penguin species live in the wild. So the birds you saw probably weren't penguins... maybe puffins? There used to be a Northern Hemisphere flightless bird called the Auk that looked like a bigger penguin (or so I've heard), but those became extinct sometime in the 1800s. Maybe there are some left and you saw them!

Glad that your cruise and your time in Seattle have been awesome. I love Seattle! Haha.

Shannon said...

Thanks for the heads up on all the extra expenses. Dave and I are thinking of taking a cruise will have to make sure to budget accordingly. The bird that looked suspiciously like a penguin is probably a puffin, penguins are a southern hemisphere bird. Yes I know I am a dork for knowing this kind of crap!

Connie said...

What a wonderful adventure! We've never taken a cruise... not sure if that's something I want to take kids on. I definitely think an Alaskan cruise is the way to go. If I want hot weather, I'll go to a beach, not a boat. Oh, and don't kill the washy-washy lady... you may be out at sea, but I am sure there are still laws that cover that sort of thing.

Daniela Swider said...

Sounds like an awesome adventure! Can't wait to see more pictures.

You wouldn't see penguins in Alaska. They can only be found in the southern hemisphere. I guess they have no prayer against the polar bears, who only live in the northern hemisphere.

Digger said...

Puffins! I wonder if that is what they were?

And Connie, I was hoping I could convince them I had diplomatic immunity ("no really, I DO have a dip passport. The tourist one is just so people won't feel like they have to treat me like royalty!")

Anonymous said...

I have been on a bunch of Norwegian cruises and they don't charge you to eat at either of the main dining rooms. These are very nice places and are not buffets. Enjoy :)