Subject: Re: cruising
Patty, My bride and I have been on two cruises. To Alaska with Holland America and to Mexico with Carnival.

First, we rarely saw anyone sea sick. Modern ocean liners have wonderful stabilization mechanics that basically keep the ship running level in even fairly choppy seas. If you are really worried about it, start with a cruise that does not go far from land as we did. The Alaska cruises all go within the Inside Passage and there is much less wave action. The same with any other coastal cruise where the boat stays along a coastline.

Second, your biggest decision is which cruise line to take. We did a bunch of research at They have hundreds of epinions from thousands of people who cruise constantly. Just choose Travel and then Cruises. Then search by your destination. Maybe you will read my incredibly negative report on Carnival Cruises where we not only did not like the service but were actually in fear for our safety.

Otherwise, I can speak very highly for cruises as an entirely different kind of travel. Unlike most of the touring you read about in the travelzine. It is kind of nice to be able to only unpack once and take your hotel with you each night when you head to a new city. But we would never do a cruise to a place we really wanted to get involved with.

For instance, we have cruised Alaska and coastal Mexico, would probably go to the Carribean because where the ships stop you can see most of the town/city/island in one day. But we would never take a cruise to Europe. We want to get out in the countryside and experience the people and the food.

Speaking of food, be prepared for lots of it and it will be fairly bland. We are lovers of ethnic food and like ours interesting. Cruise food so far for us has been blah! Lots of it, but blah. People are thrilled they can have all the lobster they want, but I am sorry, my idea of fine dining is not steamed lobster. I want sauces, I want imagination. I can not imagine going to Italy (as we are in November) and eating 2 or 3 meals a day on board and missing the great cuisine of Rome, Florence or Venice.

There are great deals on cruises out there right now. But please remember that whatever you spend on the cruise itself you will probably spend another half over that on tours, drinks (any alchol or soft drink is chargeable) and tips. Just be warned. We thought our fare was all inclusive.

Hope that answers some of your questions. Write again if you have anything else you would like to know specifically.

By the way, I can speak highly of Holland America. Everything was great but I would not cruise on Carnival again if my life depended on it.

Jim & Kathleen in Redmond, WA