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May 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Alaska cruise: The crew is very, very, very nice

Kids in the candy store? Looking out toward the pool and the Jumbotron screen, you can easily see the parallel between a cruise ship and Disneyland. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

Kids in the candy store? Looking out toward the pool and the Jumbotron screen, you can easily see the parallel between a cruise ship and Disneyland. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

To avoid being a grouch, I promised to find at least “one good thing” a day about cruising. My good thing for Departure Day: The crew on the ship couldn’t have been nicer.

Throughout the busy departure day, everybody I encountered was pleasant, patient, relentlessly cheerful, helpful and welcoming, and all passengers seemed to get that same treatment.

It strikes me that it makes perfect sense that Disney has recently gotten into the business of cruise ships. John D’Amour of Wenatchee, whom I met Saturday in the boarding line, hit it on the head when he said, “This is Disneyland for adults, it’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life.”

It seems the right prism through which to view cruising. Going to sea in a floating hotel is a very artificial reality, just like the Magic Kingdom. And the Princess crew members could very easily be mistaken for Disney “cast members,” as they call their employees. This is not just the Love Boat, it’s the Happy Boat, and they do all they can to make it so.

Whether that suits you or me is a matter of personal preference. There’s certainly plenty to be said for good service. But while I enjoyed taking my daughter to Disneyland when she was young, I’m not going back on my own as an adult. But some folks buy into the Disney time-share program and never get tired of that life. To each his own, my wise old mother always said.

Comments | More in Brian hates cruising, Cruises, Trip reports | Topics: Alaska cruise, cruise ship, cruises

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