French Toast in Alaska

Vacation. Alaska. Cruise. Right.

That odd feeling I got in the beginning of our cruise is not fading away. From day one I felt that we are in some odd dimension where we are forced into a small, inadequate space with mean spirits instead of people. That’s what confinement on a ship does to you: your world shrinks, your obnoxious side comes out, and nothing else matters.

What People Repeatedly Like to Do On a Cruise

  • Cut in front of you in the main dining room line to be seated. A family of five walked in front of the line, pushed us to one side, and requested to be seated. I understand that this family did not want to stand in a line of thirty people. Beaker, who is generally a mellow guy, yelled in a strangely low and intense voice “You just cut in line, people! We were here first!”
  • Push you away from food at the buffet line. Just because you are older than me, it doesn’t mean you get to push me around. Or budge in with your plate and start piling French toasts on it, ignoring my astonished looks.
  • Slowly walk in front of you with their three mean spirit friends, in a narrow hallway designed for only one and a half person, stopping abruptly, making you bump into them. Then, for some stupid reason, everyone takes a long time to stand in that hallway, creating a traffic jam both ways, and obviously not caring. We stand in that claustrophobic space what seems for hours, me breathing on their necks, and them, contemplating where to eat.
  • Pretend to be deaf while their children howl in the main dining room. I don’t really understand how you can have a meaningful conversation when your child is reddish blue from continuos, uninterrupted shrieking, eyes bulging and saliva dripping off the chin? Who are these parents?!

What to Expect On a Cruise

  • Cheesy entertainment. You might even get embarrassed for the things people do on stage.
  • Wintery cold weather. Don’t be naive (like us) and think that you will be able to sit on the deck and enjoy Alaska’s scenery. The rain will pour. The wind will blow. Your five layers of sweaters, warm gloves, your winter hat and even a shot of whiskey will not be enough to protect you from Alaska’s cold.
  • Eating more than any normal, sane, intelligent person should ever do. You will gain weight. I promise.
  • Not enough time in ports. You will not be able to explore your destinations in depth. You will have to get up early, run fast, and cram a lot of things together. You will miss a lot of sightseeing because you cannot do it all on a cruise.
  • If you are 5’8 feet or taller, your feet will be hanging over the edge of your bed.
  • Communal dining. It is really communal. You will get to know your neighbors whether you want to or not.
  • Tacky ship decor. Think in terms of Las Vegas on acid in the late 80s. I wasn’t in the states yet in the late 80s, but I’ve seen it in real life. On the Norwegian Jewel. A week ago.
  • Jewelry stores at every port. Do you think Alaska is known for tanzanites and diamonds? Do you think instead of oil rigs, salmon, and bears, Alaska is a synonym for diamond mines? You might believe it when you see all the jewelry stores lined up outside the docks. Naive tourists do not realize that the stores are owned by the cruise lines, and shed their money on the same stuff they can buy at home. Sad.
  • 15% auto gratuity on drinks. The service is not always good. Some waiters are rude. Some just don’t care. I got a glass of wine once that was deluded with water.
  • People don’t follow any rules. Beware.

All The Things I Loved

  • Alaska, and its locals.
  • Bears
  • Whales
  • The ocean
  • Bald eagles
  • Glaciers
  • Icebergs
  • Waterfalls
  • Flight on a seaplane over the Misty Fjords
  • Emerald Lake
  • Beaker losing his temper and yelling at people
  • Being back home

22 thoughts on “French Toast in Alaska”

  1. My cousin was stationed in Alaska. He used to say the ratio of guys to girls was 4 to 1. After reading your post I am convinced Alaska isn’t for me.

  2. Wow. I’ve never been on a cruise before, partly because being trapped on a ship w/people makes me slightly claustraphobic and partly because I’ve heard it is insanely expensive.

    But an Alaskan cruise is something my husband always wanted to do. Now I’m wondering if it’s a good idea… 🙂

    Sounds like you saw some beautiful sights though!

    1. I don’t regret going but I do regret not spending enough time in ports. Overall it wasn’t that bad. 🙂 But too good either. A lot of people love it. You might like it too. You never know until you try.

  3. Hahaha, sorry to hear that, but at least now you know you’re not cruise people. We went on a cruise once and we didn’t like it either. It was only a 3 days cruise though so no big deal. We like being on the ground and taking our time in a city.

  4. I’m off on a cruise in 2.5 weeks and CAN’T wait!

    I wish we did have more time at port admittedly. But, it’s a great way to see cities and plan for a longer return.

    1. You see for me it is almost a waste of time and money. Why go several times when you can go once and explore it in depth. 🙂 Independent travel all the way!

      1. Thanks for the frank trip review.

        I’ve never been on a cruise, but I’ve been idly curious, and figured if I could find a bargain deal sometime I’d give it a try. Now that I can see the downsides (trapped in a tiny space with rude people!) I’m not so interested.

        Independent travel all the way!

  5. Sorry to hear it didn’t go as planned. I know I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from eating a lot! Maybe you need to do a Caribbean cruise next time?

  6. I’m not a cruise person! I am however a party boat while on vacation kind of person! Those are fun…you get on a boat, get your drink on, dance and party a bit, see some beautiful scenery, play with the dolphins, then head back to your resort! That’s the only kind of cruise I ever want to do, especially after reading this. I’m sorry you were on a ship with a bunch of jerks, Aloysa! I can’t stand when people let their children wail in restaurants and stores. Take the kid outside! The rest of us don’t want to hear it, and we shouldn’t have to. As bad as it sucks for the parent to have to leave the table while you’re eating, that’s what you sign up for when you have kids!

    1. A party boat? I would rather do that! Get on, spend a few hours, get off and and move on! Sign me up. 🙂
      Re: children – who are these people? Seriously? I was about to strangle parents and smack the kid. And I am not a violent person! lol

      1. Haha, Aloysa, I’m guessing you don’t have kids yet? It’s so tough to be there in the restaurant with your kids screaming and your hot food just sitting there – I haven’t eaten a hot meal in years for various reasons. Be patient with those moms, just in case you are one some day!

  7. I took a cruise last year in the carribean. There were several port stops. The cruise ship had a shopping guide tour in the theater before we stopped in our first port. They heavily pushed the tanzanite and other jewelry. I could tell there was some sort of a racket such as the cruise line also running the jewelry store.

    1. Yes, cruise lines own stores through their subsidiaries. So it is pretty much the same as buying jewelry on a boat.

  8. Sorry you had a bad time. I’m going on a cruise later this year but I’m going to the carribbean so I think it’ll be better. People are people no matter where you go. I’m getting a great deal on my cruise so a couple inconsiderate people probably won’t ruin it for me. Sounds like small spaces aren’t your thing.

  9. We haven’t been on an Alaskan cruise but we are a stop for many going on one (Victoria, BC).

    I have heard pros and cons – I love the heat so we enjoy European and Caribbean cruises (would be worthwhile and more affordable).

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