The Gnome is Cruising Alaska

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As revealed in last night’s report, I’m going on an Alaskan cruise in another week or so. Friends tell me that there are breathtaking photographs waiting to be taken of the Alaskan landscape – but can I rent (borrow?) higher-quality hardware for a week? The cruise is already going to be expensive to begin with. Here’s a fraction of the feedback I received this morning…

Connie Devine: Cruises aren’t what they used to be. Forget that shuffleboard stuff. You are going to love it. Holland/America is a fantastic cruise line (yes, I am Dutch). Also I have a friend that works as Tour Director for Princess Cruises and almost every ship she goes on has internet access and sometimes it is part of the package, so check that out. Either way, relax and let them pamper you and drink in the views.

Paul Raven: I loved the Alaska Cruise last summer and wanted to go this summer too. The seas are fairly calm since the land is usually on both sides of the boat. They do have Internet access (yes it is expensive) on the ship and you may be able to get some access from the boat at some ports. Bring your laptop to dump your digital photos. My wife, son and I took almost 11,000 pictures last summer during that week. The scenery is awesome. Wild life is beyond awesome (Whales, Porpoises, Eagles, Salmon, Bears, etc.)

Tom D. Kerrigan: The main thing I have heard from people taking these cruises is to be careful of the food! There is food everywhere all day and all night long. This could wreck havoc with your diet. Are you at the downtown terminal or the one by the West Seattle Bridge? I work across the street (Kind of) from the terminal by the West Seattle Bridge. On my daily walk I go by the 2 Alaska cruise ships every Friday and after working the weekend found out they also have Saturday sailings. I am at the Seattle Lighting Warehouse/Offices there across Aurora from the terminal. Have a great cruise. I am very undecided if I would ever want to take a cruise, the travel plans seem too structured.

Uncle Bob: If you get a chance go fishing, I’ve been only once but would go again even with all the airline security. Take all the side trips you can, I was amazed it wasn’t all ice and snow. Don’t let anyone try and print your pictures for you, I lost 8 rolls of film and see one of my shots quite often in publication.

Dennis Williams: Holland America is a wonderful cruise line, but be prepared to be the youngest people on board. The “average” age is about 72. We’ve taken several with HAL and loved them, but the folks are old for the most part (we are, too, at 64 and 62). Bon Voyage!

Charlie Burkey Jr.: Cheer up! Sounds like a cruise to AK will do you some good. As an AK reader of Lockergnome (not sure I’m ready to claim the title of Lockergnomie – or whatever), let me say what I say to everyone who is thinking about visiting AK: you owe it to yourself to see AK and you won’t be sorry you did. We don’t live in igloos and I’ve been told that a higher percentage of Alaskans have computers in their homes (practically all connected to the Internet) than any other state. We do have Internet in AK. Come on up and enjoy the Inside Passage, you’ll be glad you did.

Bern Muller: Chris, we have cruised around the world with Holland America. They are great. All Holland America ships have satellite internet connections. I take my laptop, and go to one of the hotspots on board, and hook up. But it is expensive. I hope you enjoy Alaska. We did.

Kent: I’m sure that you will find HAL (Holland American) to be a great line. Treat the waiters as friends not slaves and you will have made a # of good friends. If you like bread pudding, go to the lunch buffet on the Lido deck. Great. Good ice cream and cookies there also. You will find a lot to do. If it would make you feel better, you stay home and I’ll go in your place. BW and I have been on 11 HAL cruises and are planning another for Nov 06. Relax and have fun.

Eddie: I really do feel for you being away from your computer for a whole week. You cannot even take your Dell with you as it might catch fire. Azipod propulsion was designed by the same people that developed Windows XP, so you have nothing to worry about. Just go and have a good time, and take your camera with you.

Leland: My focus isn’t Alaska but you can pick up some good cruise tips that are practical from my website. By the way, without the encouragement from Chris’s newsletters over the years, it wouldn’t exist. Thanks!

Ed Accornero: Look at Wikipedia for the definition of Azipod. There are pictures of the propulsion system, showing that the Coast Guard is using the system, and what it looks like and how it saves fuel.

Bill K: Your cruise ship has an internet cafe on board and all staterooms have an internet connection. So don’t forget to pack your laptop. Just don’t tell you know who!

According to Holland America’s site, “Guests can send and receive electronic mail in real-time, via a high speed satellite link 24 hours a day, satellite conditions permitting.” It also says I can use my own laptop. So, I should have Internet access on the cruise (albeit on a limited basis). There’s no access pricing on HollandAmerica.com, but I imagine I’m going to have to find a sponsor to help cover the costs. That way, I can do a check-in every day from the high seas. Or a few recorded Skypecasts, perhaps?

My special email address will be pirillo7071 @ oosterdam.cruisemail.net – but I’m not sure how that will work yet.