Come Sail Away. Come Sail Away. Come Sail Away With Me. (Draft from 12/18/2013)

So we’re cruisers now. It didn’t happen over-night, mind you. It took awhile.

It started with my in-laws. It was their 50th anniversary, and my FIL wanted to get the whole family together and go on a cruise to Alaska, and see the glaciers. We aren’t really group people, and wouldn’t have chosen that, but we figured that on a large ship there’d be lots of places to get away from everyone. We started getting a little stoked over the idea, because my husband really wanted to cross Alaska off his list of states (he’s down to two – and my Mom just moved to Kansas, one of the last two states!).

We were thinking LARGE ship, maybe 2500 people. Of course my FIL was not. He was thinking more like 250 people. I was skeptical of my opportunities of escape.

But my husband wasn’t finished. He really wanted to see glaciers. He kept asking me about it. At a dinner show one night (Yay Squirrel Nut Zippers!), I got a little tipsy and told him I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. That seemed to be the end of it.

But it wasn’t.

Shortly thereafter, I was reading a quilting magazine with an article about quilting retreats. Lo and behold, there was a quilting retreat on a cruise ship…to Alaska! I showed him the article, and said that would be about the only way to get me on a cruise to Alaska!

Shortly after that, my magazine mysteriously went missing.

Guess what? We ended up on a cruise ship to Alaska!

We tried to get my In-Laws interested, since we WOULD be taking their only grandchild with us, and it would give them plenty of time with her, but they weren’t interested in going on a QUILTING cruise, even though that was only a small part of the cruise. So we asked my parents (ok, ok, we wanted free baby-sitting, alright? Don’t judge me!), who were thrilled. Time with their grand-daughter, quilting for my Mom, photography for my Dad, and they’d never been to Alaska either. Done deal!

Truth is, it wasn’t all that great, but it was good. But the problem was that our favorite entertainer, Jonathan Coultan, announced that he was going to have a cruise about 5 months after that. We couldn’t afford both, and we’d already paid for the Alaska cruise, so we had to forego the JoCo cruise.

But then he announced there would be a JCCCII! Again, we weren’t all that excited about the cruising part, but it was JoCo!, with Paul & Storm!, Wil Wheaton!, Molly Lewis! That was enough for us, we were going, even if only for those four, but there were many more.

It was better than we’d imagined! The entertainers were fantastic! The ports themselves weren’t great, but the scenery was great. And the beaches! We had an absolutely fantastic blast! And then they announced JCCCIII!

We had gone on JCCCII by ourselves because we didn’t think our daughter would appreciate the entertainment. But while on the cruise, we realized that there was a lot that she would enjoy. So we immediately made plans for her to go along on JCCIII.

She loved it! She didn’t care much about the entertainers, but there’s a child care center on board, very reasonably priced. They have arts & crafts, plays, movies, talent shows for the kids, a parade through the ship, all kinds of cool things for the kids! We took her on the shore excursions, but while we were on the ship, she begged us to let her go to the child care center. We took her to one show, by Paul & Storm, but she didn’t like it, till they played The Best 30 Seconds On The Internet. THAT she loved!

So they announced a JCCCIV, and of course we jumped right on it! The entertainers who have been announce so far include Paul & Storm, Hank Green, and Grant Imahara! (Kermit arm flail!) There’s more, but my daughter only got that far before her head exploded!

We’ve booked and paid for cruise, hotel, and flights. We have our swimsuits, and sun screen. We are so ready to go!

So now we are cruisers. Kind of.