It was the second Alaskan cruise we’ve taken. As far as cruises are concerned, Alaska is probably one of your better destinations. The scenery is absolutely spectacular.
Plus, it’s kind of fun to be on the ship, especially if you pretend you’re on an episode of The Love Boat. There’s plenty to eat and drink at all hours of the day, there’s a spa, and there’s fun things to do in the ports of call.
Still, after doing it twice, I can honestly say I have no need to do it again. There are aspects of cruising that are a bit generic, for lack of a better term. First of all, it is very shopping oriented, almost offensively so. There is a “shopping advisor” on board whose job is to direct passengers to all the “good” shopping both at the ports of call and onboard the ship. Most of this shopping is for jewelry, not for the cool handmade kind, but for stuff you can get in any jewelry store in any mall in the country. Supposedly it’s cheaper, but it didn’t seem all that inexpensive to me. Then there’s the art auctions, the two-for-$39.99 watches, the chain-sold-by-the-inch… so many opportunities to waste some cash.
Don’t get me wrong–there was never a consumer born who could out-consume me–it’s just that there’s only so much of that sort of thing that even I can take.
But lest you think I didn’t find anything to spend some money on, I did find a couple of very cool things to purchase. In Juneau, there was an art gallery-type store than had some very cool handmade-in-Alaska things. I got this gorgeous bowl that has a very pretty glaze on it–the entire collection was beautiful and I had a hard time picking just one piece:
Even more exciting, I happened upon a yarn store in Prince Rupert Island, Canada, where they had some lovely hand-dyed-in-Canada yarns:
I couldn’t wait to get started on a pair of socks with this stuff, so I chose this Basic Ribbed Sock pattern and spent most of Saturday and Sunday happily knitting and watching Weeds on Video on Demand.