This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I’m going on a cruise to Alaska on Tuesday. Let’s rewind back to an evening about eight months ago when my Mommy called me.

“What are you doing on May 5th?”

“Um, I think I was going to do laundry that night.”

“Do you want to go on a cruise that day?”

“Um, ok.”

It turns out that my mother had arranged for the whole family to go on a short cruise to Alaska. We haven’t been on a family vacation since 1997 when we went to Hawaii (just 48 hours after I wrote my last exam as an undergrad).

Well, after that phone call in September, I filed away this piece of news for several months as it seemed like it was so far away into the future. Like it always does though, time flew by and on Tuesday I leave from Canada Place for Ketchikan, Alaska. It’s only a short, four-day cruise. The trip will end in Seattle. I’m not complaining since the whole trip is almost free for us. One of the benefits of having a travel agent Mom.

Our stateroom is a mini-suite with a living room and a balcony. It sounds quite nice, but I’ll still have to share a bed with my sister. I wish I didn’t have to, but my sister hates sharing a bed with me more than I do. She doesn’t like it, and I must stress these are her words, because of “all the crusties from snot and jizz”. I can assure you that nothing of the sort exists in any place that I’ve slept in. The odd chicken bone from a KFC bucket? Yeah sure, I’ll admit to that, but that’s the extent of it. Maybe I’ll sleep on the couch in the living room.

I’ve never been on a cruise before so I’m kinda excited. I vaguely remember watching The Love Boat as a child, so I have these preconceived notions about a cruise ship. I swear it’ll take all my strength not to give the bartender a double-gun salute when I order my first drink. I’m also quite keen on playing shuffleboard. After discovering shuffleboard at the local pub, I’m interested in seeing how it’s done shipboard. I’ve also prepared myself for spending a lot of time with old people while on board. I’ve heard these cruises up to Alaska can skew towards seniors. I imagine the younger crowd are more apt to head towards the warmer waters of the Bahamas.

The vessel that we’ll be on is the Diamond Princess. It’s the largest and newest ship in the Princess fleet, so I feel quite lucky to be on it. It offers 24-hour dining and you can bet your ass that I’ll be trying order ribs at 3am. The ship also has a wedding chapel. Don’t be surprised if I head home as Mr. Britney Spears. There are also 29 computer workstations with Internet access (more on this later). Last but not least, they have what’s called the Skywalkers disco/lounge. I’d like to make a joke here, but too many are running through my mind.

If you want to see a web cam from the ship, click here. It’s the view from the bridge. There’s also a web cam from the wedding chapel. If I decide to get hitched, I will make sure everyone knows when to log on.

Since 1997, I’ve worried about accessing e-mail on every trip I’ve been on. This time is no different. Fortunately, I’ll have access to my e-mail account. So, if you want to send me e-mail, I’ll get it. I’m going to try to check my e-mail once a day and if the fancy strikes me, I’ll even make a post here. Did you know that Princess ships now sail with a “Computer Officer” aboard? I’m not sure what the qualifications are, but it is certainly a sign of the times. I wonder what his or her duties are exactly. I’ll have to find out.

Ok, so I better go wrap this up, I still haven’t packed yet and I’m going to my parents’ place on Monday. I should be back here at SJC on May 10th. I’ll see everyone in person then. In the meantime, check my blog for updates. Bye!

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