I went on one to Alaska with my dad and my sisters not long after my mom died. I remember feeling like a hamster trapped in a cage. I was only let out for a few hours a day in some touristy city. Otherwise, it was rubbery chicken, machine-made strawberry margaritas, Taco Bell-style nachos, bad decor (lots of purple and gold), casino lighting and nowhere to go except the other end of the ship. I mean, the thing would dock each day, but always in a city or town that was chosen for you. And how much can you really explore a city in which you have limited transportation and time? I'd always end up returning to the ship way before they asked us to because I had this neurotic, debilitating fear that I'd be left behind, stranded alone in Sarah Palin land.)
The upside of the giant boat/cage was spending time with my family. And seeing and being exceptionally close to icebergs for the first time. They looked like these enormous, looming textured sculptures--almost like icing--that were bright turquoise in color. I couldn't decide if I wanted to climb them or lick them. You could watch them slowly break apart. Their pieces would float in different directions in the wide-open sea, where nothing else was visible except for the horizon line. It was as if someone had spilled a giant blue raspberry Slurpee into the never-ending ocean.
I've been thinking about that cruise, the good and the bad, because Kadin and I have been fantasizing about taking a trip somewhere. But, of course, it's not so easy with tiny monster, who hates airplanes, demands a bigger hotel room and, in general, makes things much more expensive. I saw some advertisement for a Mexico cruise and considered it for half a second before I realized that it would mean confetti-patterned carpet, more watered-down margaritas (that I can't even drink) and a constant frat party a la Papas & Beer/Rosarito Beach circa the early nineties.
I wouldn't go if it were free.
So I've downsized my travel dreams for now. I'm thinking maybe a quick trip to California's central coast or even Lake Arrowhead so Sabine can see snow for the first time.
But no cruise. Not ever again. Not even when I'm eighty.