Alaska in May on a cruise ship

One of the beautiful mountain peaks we saw on our cruise

I’m not sure about cruising to Alaska in May, but we haven’t taken a vacation since we went to Italy in 2015 so I’m willing to risk it. That’s because 2016 was quite a year! Our daughter had our first grandchild – a boy – in April and in October we moved from our large home we lived in for 22 years and downsized to live just a five-minute walk from said grandchild. Yes, I am one of those photo-carrying crazy grandmothers who thinks her grandson is the cutest one, ever. But then, that’s only because he is!

So, by the end of last year, I was starting to get stir crazy and obsessing about taking a vacation. Now, my husband is the greatest and I love him dearly, but he does not enjoy traveling as much as I do. Maybe that’s because he carries more of the responsibility, and luggage, than I do. I knew I needed to come up with a vacation he could get behind.

We love to cruise and it’s been many years since we’ve taken that kind of vacation, and he has always wanted to see Alaska. So I put the two together and we are off to Alaska in about two weeks. To be perfectly honest, I’m not that thrilled with the idea of cruising to Alaska in the middle of May. My definition of “vacation” definitely includes shorts and sunscreen and May doesn’t fit into that definition. And, we’re going on a cruise line, Holland America, we have never tried before. That makes me nervous, too.

Here’s one of the things you need to know if you are cruising for the first time. Every cruise line: Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian (our favorite), Carnival, etc. caters to a specific demographics. For example, Carnival’s activities, décor, food and suggested dress code is focused on twenty-somethings. Our first cruise was on Carnival, the Love Boat, and we left the main pool area for good the afternoon they were having a wet t-shirt contest and then something where they put a log-like thing across the pool and two people straddled it facing each other and tried to knock each other off with a big stick with a foam rubber end. Even though we were in our early thirties it was a too much for us.

The Disney Cruise Line is all about families as you would expect. It’s not an age group as much as activities mothers and fathers, and grandmothers and grandfathers, can have with the kids. I love Disney, but I would never take a Disney cruise. Nothing spoils my meal more in a restaurant than out-of-control children whose parents have decided the only way they can enjoy their evening is to ignore their children and their disruptive behavior. If you get on a Disney ship, you have been forewarned.

Now that we are in our “senior years,” Norwegian Cruise Line works well for us. The average cruiser is in their mid-50s to mid-70s and up. It’s playing bridge and Solitaire in the afternoons, leisurely meals in elegant surroundings and one formal night where the men wear suits or black tie and the women wear cocktail dresses or ball gowns. Love it!

From what we can tell, Holland America caters to the same demographic so we’ll see. Also the Oosterdam, the ship we will be on, is small comparatively speaking. It holds about 2,000 passengers as opposed to a Royal Carribean big ship that carries 3,500 – 4,000 people.

I’m bringing my laptop and will be blogging and posting photos along the way so you will know how it’s going. Hope you enjoy it and, well . . . I hope we enjoy it too!

Susan

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