Category Archives: Journal

Peoria, IL 26 May 2018

When you’re in a distant town over Memorial Day weekend, the first thought (for me) is “Where is the local baseball team?” They were out of town. The next thought, if you cruise as much as we do and the town has a river, is “What cruises are available?”

“Cruise” in this case is a relative term, since it’s not the ocean, it’s the Illinois River, and it’s not a cruise ship, it’s a paddlewheeler. A paddlewheeler! (So, it’s a boat, not a ship.)

I took three cruises in two weekends – including one with a Kenny Rogers impersonator. (I never saw that on Norwegian or Carnival!) I was on the Spirit of Peoria so much, the Captain recognized me when I boarded the Music Cruise. (The good Yelp review helped.)

I love watching the wake off an aft balcony of a cruise ship, but watching the wake being created is a bit magical. (Shot with a fisheye lens for artistic effect.)


The map is elsewhere on the site, but I figured I’d add it here. It’s not the longest cruise I’ve ever taken, but it may be longer than the one around Lake Ray Hubbard on the Harbor Lights outside Dallas. Maybe.


Norwegian Bliss, Ketchikan, Alaska – 13 August 2013

This was our home away from home for a week around Alaska (well, up and down the coast, anyway.) The Norwegian Bliss is one of the newest ships in the Norwegian fleet, with all the bells and whistles, and then some. However, if you’re sailing Alaska for the first time, you tend to not use any of them, because you’re focused on the scenery – especially if you have an aft balcony, as we did. So, other than keeping the teenagers and millennials busy, the extra features just run up the costs for me – they don’t add value. It’s one of the reasons I prefer the smaller ships.