I wrote so so much about rearranging rooms aka Boringest Post Ever
Really REALLY quick takes

Pls to advise re: cruise ships (with children) (and irrational Titanic fears)

We don't have a ton of orders lined up for July - actually, if it weren't for the subscription boxes I'd be worried. But because subscription boxes are starting we are scheduled to make over 500 cookies in our rental kitchen this weekend. Katie says this is possible. I... am not sure. 

Between the subscription boxes and preparing for the street fair the first weekend in August, the bakery is giving me hives. Good hives! But oh man, SO MUCH to prepare for and think about. With the additional stress of knowing that EVEN THOUGH we are doing better each month, the thought of being able to pay ourselves seems light years away. My whiteboard displays six different bullet lists noting everything from renting a canopy to printing labels to noting the subscription box that needs to be sent two weeks late to "buy blue sprinkles" to "try sealing bags with flat iron?" Wait, let's ignore that last one as I'm sure some food inspector person will take issue AHEM.

WE ARE DOING WELL. But the rest of life has to happen too, and I can't focus my entire brain on the bakery, and I think this is what's been hard lately. I've also had to think about the end of the school year, having the kids home, family vacations, moving bedrooms, who's grown out of what, etc. etc. I've been short and snotty with everyone in my family because of it. One of my STRENGTHS is to sit down and zero in on something and get it done, but one of my enormous FLAWS is the inability to un-focus when something else needs my attention. This is why I have flown into fifteen rages over someone requesting a drink of water. 

It's also why I have been cranky about something WONDERFUL and FUN and EXPENSES-PAID in my life, that being a week-long Alaska cruise with Phillip's side of the family to celebrate his mom's retirement. I am ASHAMED of my crankiness while also not really trying to un-crankify myself. My issues are: 

  • I have been and forever will be terrified of Massive Bodies of Water and potential Titanic Scenarios. I just am. Drowning is my thing. I have never wanted to go on a cruise and I truly am anxious about the Out In The Middle Of The Ocean-ness, no matter how many times my dad snorts in reply and tells me that we're "only" going up the Inside Passage and I need to get over myself. 
  • You cannot check your email on a boat. At least not as many times as I prefer to check my email. And when I'm able to do so it will be $$$. Did you hear I have started a new business? And am the main point of contact for all potential customers? 
  • I just LOOK at a boat and get seasick.
  • We're going on a cruise to ALASKA, where it will most likely be Not Warm, in the middle of July which is one part of the year in which my city is reliably warm. As a Warm Weather Hoarder, this also makes me anxious. 
  • How much weight am I going to gain a cruise? No really, HOW MUCH. OMG.

Okay, so those are the major cranky factors. I am doing my DARNDEST to focus on the following:

  • When the Babysitters Club went on a Bahama cruise it was super fun and they met lots of exciting people and also Intriguing Love Interests and my inner 12-year-old awaits the many possibilities for At Sea Adventure.
  • The opportunity to bring a bunch of cute dresses and wear all of them. 
  • The opportunity to go out every night. I am TOTALLY the person who will love a cheesy song-and-dance cruise ship show and I TOTALLY intend to watch at least fourteen. 
  • A connecting room with my in-laws means I CAN watch fourteen shows. 
  • The kids will love it. 
  • Phillip has always wanted to go on a cruise. 
  • Katie will take care of everything at home. 
  • DESSERT TABLES. There will be dessert tables, right? 
  • I don't HAVE to get off the ship and sightsee in Alaska. My MIL totally has my back if I just want to hang off the deck, gaze at an iceberg or glacier for a few minutes, and then go find the on ship spa. I don't have to go PAN FOR GOLD or whatever crazy excursions we've looked at over the last few weeks. I CAN BE A HORRIBLE UNINTERESTED IN SIGHTS PERSON. 
  • MIL also tells me there are lectures on the boat! Lectures! I love lectures! I hope they are not ALL about the history of Alaska. Do you think there will be a WW2 expert on board?
  • I am also STRONGLY considering blondness in honor of my 35th birthday (well, as far as my colorist will take me, which will maybe be 3 strands of blond mixed in with proper grown up hair) and I QUITE like the idea of being a BLOND lady with CUTE DRESSES on a SHIP in the EVENINGS with a DEVASTATINGLY HANDSOME CHINESE MAN on my arm and my CHILDREN in BED. Right? That sounds FUN.

Okay, so, now it's your turn. Hit me with your best cruising tips, people. Seriously. I have never done this before and have waited until now to give it more than two seconds' thought. Pretty sure my SIL has every detail imaginable under control, but JUST IN CASE! TELL ME EVERYTHING.

Comments

Lisa

As you know, we did that cruise. For us, it was in the midst of the hottest summer on record for So. IN. (In fact, we were in the middle of said cruise two years ago today, and yesterday's record high of 112 degrees was set on that very day in 2012, when we were in Alaska.) All that is to say that we were VERY VERY VERY grateful to be where it is cold instead of where it is hot, even for just a week or so, in the midst of that very hot summer.

I realize that is not helpful to you, but I suddenly want to drop several thousand dollars on a trip to Alaska.

Also, the inside passage is not bad, motion-wise. Not a lot of rockin' waves there. Big boat. I barely felt it.

And you probably won't recognize that you are on a big body of water much. Alaskan cruise doesn't do a lot of cruising out of sight of land, and what parts are can be spent inside, drinking copious amounts of fruity cruise drinks and stuffing your face with all of the food.

Use the on-board child zone. It is a miracle, that place.

Aside from that, enjoy. I can't wait to hear how it went!

Jesabes

My grandparents took the whole family on an Alaskan cruise for their 50th anniversary (10 years ago) and it was AWESOME.

We've also cruised twice with children and find it to be the perfect family vacation since there's no transportation or car seats required once you're on the ship, all entertainment is an easy walk, there's food available 24 hours a day (including room service! It's FREE!), and even a couple pools.

Also, Alaska in the summer isn't that cold. We went in August and didn't need anything other than the occasional sweatshirt for warmth. If there's a good breeze coming off the water you might get chilly.

The dessert tables will unfortunately depend on what cruise line you're on. On a lower-end cruise line (we've gone on Carnival several times), don't bother with the buffet dessert table. Not worth it AT ALL. The plated desserts after sit-down dinners, though, are very good:)

mona

My coworker just went on that same Alaska cruise and said it was really really fun. Mostly filled with older couples and people vacationing from the east coast, so be prepared if you say you're from Seattle, a lot of people will ask you what to do while you're in town. There was a newlywed game they played and won. She didn't pay for the site-seeing packages, so they just went off and did things on their own for much less money. She also said the pool was packed with kids.

And yes to blonde!

Elizabeth Mather

My mom HATES water - drowning is her Thing. But we did a family cruise in Alaska and it was great. It was just like a big reception hall, and when you go on land you don't even think you're on a boat. The waves came when we were asleep - not bad at all.

Megan @ Mama Bub

I have serious water related anxiety, particularly surrounding my kids, and I took them on a cruise last year BY MYSELF. I am a self-proclaimed cruise person, but I had never cruised with the kids.

Before we left, I worried about how I would manage to shower without them flinging themselves overboard, and I hardly spent a single moment worrying while we were there. It just doesn't feel dangerous when you're there. Do you get seasick? Because Bonine saved me last time. One tablet before bed, every night starting the night before we left. Alaska is cold-ish, but seriously beautiful. Our boat has this spa pass that gave you access to these comfy heated seats with floor to ceiling windows. It was THE BEST. I miss those seats very much.

Colleen

Sounds like a great trip. Cruises are great with kids because of the kids' camps. My boys loved going to play with new toys and other kids. I found the staff to be well trained and very safety conscious. (I may have interrogated them a bit on our first trip! I was a little nervous handing over my kids.) Because the boys were in camp part of the time. I was able to read constantly. A true luxury for me. I don't think water will be rough because of your route. We usually skip a lot of the excursions and enjoy the ship. You will be able to see some of the gorgeous scenery from the deck. My last bit of advice is to skip the buffets and always do the sit down meals, even for breakfast and lunch. The food quality is so much better and you get to sit down and be served rather than juggling trays and looking for a table. Can't wait to hear about your trip.

Carla (@charliesue)

I did an Alaskan cruise a few years ago and it was AWESOME. It was cooler for sure (I was there in late June/early July) but there was at least one day where I was warm enough in just a t-shirt, otherwise a light cardigan was plenty. The interior passage was easy: use the acupressure wrist bands if you get a bit nauseous- you can find them at Target, just sweat bands with a plastic bead to help motion sickness- most importantly, get them before the cruise where they'll be six thousand dollars a pair.

The night life was SO fun and because of the long days, you felt like you could really soak up all the time you wanted to. We went dancing and to karaoke and shows and it was all great. Not only did they have dessert TABLES, they also had ROOM SERVICE where I could get CHEESE PLATES DELIVERED 24 HOURS A DAY. I had at least two cheese plates a day. I'm not kidding.

Steph

Okay, so I am not a cruise person (annoyingly anti-tourist stuff; I want to dig into CULTURE; don't worry I roll my eyes at myself) and last summer I went on a free cruise. As someone who loves to eat (but doesn't like to gain weight) I employed a very wasteful and helpful method. Since everything is all you can eat, I would take a few bites (sometimes only one) and if I didn't LOVE what I was eating I got a new thing. This enabled me to FEEL like I was eating a lot without actually over doing it. Also, the desserts were just alright (I am a snob because I have my own sisterly pastry chef), so I didn't find it too tempting to consume all the sugar.

You'll have a fabulous time AND look fabulous!! I am sure of this! :)

Carlyn

I haven't been on a cruise so no advice there, but I do have some regarding going blond. Before you do it go try on some blond wigs and see how you like it with your skin tone. When I get mine done I always get highlights and lowlights added as well, its more flattering than a single color. Since you are naturally quite dark you will see your regrowth sooner. I find with a few shades in my hair it blends better.

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