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So Let Me Pick Your Brains… June 4, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Home.

At the end of this month I’m going on a cruise to Alaska!  Whoot!!  The Big Heat has settled in now and it will be nice to get away from it (and work and home) for a little while.  As the date draws closer I am now thinking about stuff I want to take, what to do and whatnot.  I’ve never been on a cruise before and so most of my notions about what goes on these big ships are mostly formed by memories of old episodes of “Love Boat” and the movie “The Poseidon Adventure”.   If the captain of the ship looks even remotely similar to Leslie Nielsen I think I’m going to have a hard time getting on board.  However, if he looks more like Gavin MacLeod then I’m going to expect to see Charo running around the decks at some time.  Come on – wouldn’t you?

So, yes it’s all very exciting but considering my limited knowledge of large, sea-going vessels and large, cold states I thought it would be a good idea to solicit thoughts, opinions and ideas from my mighty throng of readers here.

I’ve decided that I want to get a decent set of these before we go. Dad has a nice pair but they’re kinda old. I figure that with advances in optics and materials in the last 20+ years I could get something pretty nice for a reasonable price. Anybody have any recent experience shopping for something along these lines? I’m in the $200 price range or thereabouts. Maybe more if the next price point really brings a lot to the table.

Must Brings / Don’t Brings
Aside from the obvious (camera, clothes) anything I really ought to bring with me? On the other hand is/are there something(s) that people often carry on board but never need?

Must See / Skip
We are doing the Inside Passage cruise and we have a few stops on the way up and back. Is there anybody familiar with this trip? Any suggestions for cool places / restaurants / shops to visit would be welcome. Also any suggestions on stuff that isn’t worth the time / money are wanted too.


1. JoelAT - June 5, 2009

I know of a decent set of binoc’s that run about $130 or so, they are the Nikon Action EX Extreme AtB 7×35. Wide field of view, but they are not fog proof, so if you get into really cold weather they may not work for you. I need to upgrade my old binocs and I’ve been looking myself, I have my dad’s old ones from the early 70’s. I think I can almost see that bird if I squint really hard while standing on my head through them.

2. geoff - June 6, 2009

Great timing – I’m coming through Vegas at the beginning of July.

3. Enas Yorl - June 6, 2009

Thanks for the visit Joel! I’m eying a pair of Nikons on Amazon.com right now. They’ve dropped the price from $485 to $270ish.

Awww 😦 I don’t get back into town until sometime in the afternoon on the 5th. Maybe next time.

4. Lipstick - June 6, 2009

ooo, a cruise! What ship are you going on?

5. Enas Yorl - June 6, 2009

Howdy Lipstick! You’re a globetrotter so you should have some good tips. We’re on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Star.
Oh sweet – my parents got me a stateroom with a balcony! It looks like I’m on the left side (port?) so I’ll see the ocean going up and the coastline coming back.

6. Lipstick - June 6, 2009

A balcony on your first cruise! Sweeeeeet!

It’s especially nice sitting out there in your robe after a shower, feeling all clean and LUCKY. Pour a drink, have a cigar and put your feet up.

I have tips for the ladies, like bring a cardigan because the air conditioning is always too cold. Let me think about tips for the dudes that may be of use.

You’re going to have such a great time.

7. Lipstick - June 6, 2009

Don’t worry about having a tux — a dark suit will do nicely.

This is a big ship you’re going on. hmmm…if you want to go to any of the specialty restaurants, you should make your reservations early on.

Check out Cruise Critic dot com for more information. They have a section devoted to Norwegian Cruise Lines:


8. Enas Yorl - June 6, 2009

a dark suit will do nicely

Uhhhh, wha? I don’t do suits! Well, I have one but it doesn’t fit anymore. I don’t think any of us had any desire to do anything formal. Hmmm. 😐

9. cbullitt - June 7, 2009

You will probably want mosquito repellent.

Oh, and thanks for correcting my idiocy earlier–Bunk did also with postings of several of her other performances.
Ah, to be stupid before the masses–nothing like it.

10. Enas Yorl - June 7, 2009

lol no problem. Actually I was just looking to see who Jeff Beck was and just noticed that other bit. A lot of other people must have thought the same thing or else they wouldn’t have mentioned it.

11. Lipstick - June 7, 2009

If you don’t want to do formal, I’m sure there are lots of other options on a ship that size. Sorry to alarm you, Enas. 😉

My sister had to put her kitty to sleep this morning 😦

It was unexpected.

12. Lipstick - June 7, 2009

I just went to the website you linked and it says there are no dress codes, so you picked the right ship. My bad.

13. Enas Yorl - June 8, 2009

Sorry for your sister’s loss Lipstick. Even with some time to brace for the event it’s still really hard. 😦

My bad
No problem! I guess dress codes are pretty typical for ship dining. I now also remember that my parents specifically rejected cruise lines for this trip for that reason. I’ll be sure to toss in a pair of khahi pants and some polo shirts in the luggage so I won’t be a complete slob 😉

14. Lipstick - June 19, 2009

Every freaking cruise I’ve been on (20+) the air conditioning is too dang cold in the public rooms. You can control the temp in your own cabin though.

But maybe, likely, I’m just a wimp.

Also, just accept up front that you’re going to have a bar bill running in the hundreds. If you’re anything like me. heh.

15. Enas Yorl - June 19, 2009

Heh, the cruise line’s own guide book recommends a sweater for that reason Lipstick! I’m very well insulated so I like cool temperatures in general.

That’s another thing the book mentions – ABSOLUTELY no outside booze allowed. If you buy a bottle on shore they lock it up until the cruise is over. About how much do drinks run on board? Also, do you suppose you could get a bottle of something sent to the stateroom?

16. Lipstick - June 20, 2009


I haven’t used these things, but people on the cruise critic board say that you should put them in your checked — not carry on luggage. They are also quoting $63 for a bottle of alcohol (gin in this case) delivered to your cabin.

Let me do some more research…

17. Lipstick - June 25, 2009

There will likely be airport-like security every time you get on the ship. So if you have a jacket, it will have to go through the x-ray, which eliminates the idea of hiding a bottle in a jacket pocket.

The best I can come up with is a plastic, flask sized port purchase in your pants pocket.

18. Enas Yorl - June 25, 2009

Thanks for checking into this! This isn’t for me but my Mom. She wants to be able retire for the evening with a couple scotch drinks in the stateroom but doesn’t want the hassle and expen$e of going to a bar first. I think they are going to try the stash in the suitcase method. Wish us luck!

19. Lipstick - June 25, 2009

Good luck! I’d take the chance on that too. They try to scare you that they’ll check mouthwash bottles, and maybe they do, but it’s worth a shot. Heehee, a shot.

I just find it hard to believe that they x-ray or thoroughly search every piece of luggage.

Have a wonderful time! I can’t wait to hear the report!

20. Enas Yorl - June 26, 2009

Thanks Lipstick! I’ll have a full account when I get back.

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