On Retiring Early and Cruising to Alaska

At the fine age of twenty-one

Growing up with glorified TV advertisements for cruise ships, I distinctly remember bugging my parents to go on one. 

Realistically, any kid would want this.

They answered with something along the lines of “it’s mainly old people on them and they’d get really boring. Advertisements make everything look funner than they are”  – an answer that successfully shut me up and quashed my wants of ever going on one…

At least until retirement.

Inherently believing that a cruise ship was the equivalent of a floating nursing home after said conversation, you can imagine my surprise (as well as my parent’s) when I found myself boarding the Carnival Spirit in Seattle last April.


The Carnival Spirit herself up in Skagway for the border crossing

Lowering the median [passenger] age by about 30 years or so, we definitely weren’t the average passengers sitting in the higher household income brackets or spending an average of $1800pp on the cruise – the vodka hidden safely in our Listerine bottles was a testament to that.


We definitely did not suit the average passenger profile.


While some say it’s easy to feel isolated on a cruise, travelling up to Juneau and Skagway and, we were nothing but surrounded by company. In fact, it seemed that every other cruise ship in the Northeast Pacific joined us.  

imagePeace, serenity and hundreds of horns sounding” should be the liner’s slogan.

In a little procession we all made our way to Glacier Bay National Park, ate some [more] food, took some snaps and all wondered just how big the icebergs around us were.

imageTo me, this iceberg practically meant this:

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThanks, James Cameron.

While it’s no surprise that the cruise shipping industry is worth such a ridiculous amount of money, it’s definitely a surprise to me that the industry has grown in the past year. The only reason we ended up on board was because Carnival was selling off four person cabins for just under $2500 for the seven-day cruise.

I mean, you do the math. In our eyes it was worth it just going for the buffet, let alone everything else that went along with it. Regardless, I’m sure they still managed to make a profit from us – our Listerine bottles didn’t last the entire week.

imageThe definition of success.

At the end of the week I was well and truly glad to jump off the Carnival Spirit, yet I can definitely see the attraction for the older generations. When I look at my Grandmother who’s relatively confined to her house with little company, it’s really no wonder that she’d rather be on board with zero obligation, endless company and endless food. I know where I’d rather be – definitely at the buffet.

imageMendenhall Glacier, Alaska

Hey, you might even get to see some pretty amazing sights along the way, but after all, that’s just a bonus isn’t it?