Subject: Cruise ideas (for Peter)
You might want to have some discussion of TYPES of cruises. We like very much the expedition cruises, where they emphasis is on natural life and learning, with lots of explorations by Zodiac landing craft and by kayaks, usually with plenty of activities like snorkeling, swimming, lectures. These ships offer no casinos, Las Vegas-type shows, or fancy dress evenings. A good example of a company that does a fine job with this is Lindblad Special Expeditions. Other companies are Zegrahm, Marine Expeditions, Society Expeditions, for instance.

Another thing to be aware of is that some ships offer open seating. You can pick each evening whether you want to be at a table for 2, for 4, for 6, for 8 and you can sit wherever you want to. For us this is a big plus over simply being assigned to sit with a group for the whole voyage whether you have anything in common with your tablemates or not (that can make for some very long dinners!) More ships are doing this and it is the usual thing on expedition cruise ships.

Another tip: We always take only one bag that we can pull (22 x 14 x 8 approx.), plus camera bags, shoulder bags or vests. That way our bag never enters into the mass loading or unloading of bags by ship personnel--we carry our own ON and OFF the ship. Thus, we can keep our bags with us in our cabins until we leave the ship and do not have to put it outside the door the night before and wonder where it might end up. We simply walk off the ship and make our way home.. .so much easier. And, contrary to what many might thing, one does not need a lot of clothes. Even on a dress-up ship, a black skirt, a black top and some jewelry will do for the so-called formal evenings. Pat