Staying in Focus: Cruise Setting: Writing 101

If I could be transported anywhere at this time,  I would choose a cruise ship. We have taken two cruises, one to Alaska and one to Great Britain. If you’ve never been on a cruise ship you can’t imagine what they are like, but I will try to paint a picture for you.

As the bus nears the pier where the cruise ships berth, an audible gasp can be heard as the bus pulls up, completely dwarfed by the massive ships. Looking up, out of the bus window, you can’t even see the top, just deck after deck of balconies, and each one representing a room. You cue up in line to check in, fill out a paper stating you do not have a fever and pass through security as if you were boarding a plane. But this is where the likeness ends.

As you enter the ship, you get your picture snapped and then either board an elevator or climb a wide staircase to your deck. You,  exit the elevator and feel as if you are in a hotel. Corridors lined with door to the rooms and suites are a bit narrower than a typical hotel but you feel like you are in a hotel on land. You find your room, small but space efficient and if you open the drapes you will realize you are not on land, but  on an enormous floating hotel. As you explore the ship you see a beautiful, wide spiral staircase, elevators which offer you a view as they travel up and down, gold accents, rich wood paneling, places to shop, a movie theater, several pools, a spa, an infirmary  and restaurants, nightclubs, and  a theater with a stage. There are expensive perfume and diamond jewelry shops, gift shops, and clothing boutiques. Outside, lounge chairs line the decks and surround the pools. Playing on the jumbo TV above the pool is a rock concert.

After a while, you learn what is on which deck, you learn forward from aft, and most importantly you learn the Lido deck is the place that serves food 24 hours a day.

But while the setting of a cruise ship is quite overwhelming, what I love best is waking up each morning, opening the drapes and finding myself sailing into the port city of a new country almost every day. On our trip last summer we awoke as the ship pulled into St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Liverpool, England, Cobh, Ireland and LeHavre, France to name  a few. I also enjoyed returning from an excursion and seeing that beautiful enormous “home” waiting for us to come aboard.

And one more word about setting. On board a cruise ship, away from lights and land, you will see the most amazing sunsets, sailboats backlit by a setting sun, the play of light and clouds on the water.I n case my feeble attempt to describe the setting of a cruise ship has failed, here are some picture s. As you can see, the settings are most spectacular.




The Caribbean Princess

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approaching St. Peter Port, Guernsey

IMG_1966IMG_1950 IMG_1958 IMG_1770 IMG_1755 IMG_1427 IMG_1360 IMG_1009
purple dominates the sunset

purple dominates the sunset

rays of sunlight stream across the water

rays of sunlight stream across the water

the sun sets bringing an end to the long Alaskan day

the sun sets bringing an end to the long Alaskan day

my first sunrise at sea

my first sunrise at sea




a nightclub


approaching Cobh, Ireland

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