I'm *Almost* on a Boat

I have somewhat of a love affair with bodies....of water, but especially that of the ocean. Not as much the getting into it, but rather the sight of it. Growing up we went to the beach every summer for family vacation, I spent my college summers living and working at Myrtle Beach, and I can see the Pacific Ocean from the roof of my apartment. Yet one thing I've never done is taken a cruise. I've found myself behind the wheels (or paddles) of boats, jet skis, kayaks, canoes, and surf boards, yet it's now, at age 29, that I'm preparing to take my first cruise, an Alaskan cruise with Expedia aboard the Norwegian Jewel.

Some people wait and wait for that perfect job, home, or significant other, and when they find it, they know it. Evidently I was waiting around for the perfect cruise. While I've considered cruises over the years, nothing had really stood out. Having visited the Caribbean, lived for a season on the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica, and planning a trip to the Mediterranean, none of the major cruise routes were really sticking out.

But then my sister went on a cruise to Alaska last year, Alaska being one of 5 U.S. states I haven't visited. I saw an opportunity, one in which I could complete two bucket list trips at once: 1) Exploring Alaska, and 2) Taking my first cruise. Needless to say, I didn't hesitate when Expedia recently asked me if I was interested in taking an Alaskan cruise this summer.

So with that, I'll board the Norwegian Jewel in Seattle on July 14th to trek north to Alaska's Inside Passage. What do I expect? I'm not exactly sure and I think that's part of the draw of such a trip. Alaska, and the trip to the Inside Passage, represents what I consider one of a few far-flung destinations remaining in America. There's a remoteness to Alaska that's becoming increasingly difficult to find in the U.S. While I'll certainly be documenting the trip, I look forward to long periods of time to unplug.

Over the course of the week, the cruise will make multiple stops in Alaska and Canada, including Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and one of my favorite cities in Canada, Victoria, British Columbia. While I'm stoked for my first cruise, I'm just as excited for the shore excursions. These will include a train ride onboard the historical White Pass and Yukon Route railroad, whale watching, exploring Mendenhall Glacier, and witnessing my first lumberjack competition. With that in mind, I better pack my best Paul Bunyan flannel and boots for these excusions:

If you've visited my blog before, then you've probably noticed that I primarily travel solo. That won't be the case this time, as I'm traveling with a couple thousand people aboard the Norwegian Jewel. However, there's a little caveat. While T-Pain wasn't available to join me, I'm inviting everyone else to join me on the cruise. This is an exclusive cruise with Expedia, with some special offerings, as well as a VIP package for the first 30 who book. The VIP package comes with a bottle of Processo and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arriving, an exclusive invitation to a VIP party, and 2-for-1 dining at the shipboard restaurant of your choice. We can sit out on the deck together eating chocolate-covered strawberries while watching glaciers float by. If you ask nicely, I may even juggle*.

In the meantime, I've got some shopping and packing to do. I live in California, so we don't have attire for exploring glaciers. Tune in come early July when I'll be posting regularly both here on my blog and on Expedia. You can also follow along on Twitter using the #ExpediaCruise hashtag.

*DISCLAIMER: Juggling demonstration must be no more than three objects with all objects being of equal weight distribution. I am also not responsible for any dents or damages to said objects, or for the loss of any objects that may find their way over board during the juggling demonstration.

What one thing would you want to see aboard an Alaskan cruise?