This is MY Cruise

Sep 17, 2012

This is MY Cruise

Why I’d Rather Be On a Whitewater Rafting Trip Than a Cruise Ship

Is it just me, or does the idea of being trapped on a giant cruise ship for a week sound like a challenge, not a vacation? Sure, you get to stop here and there to see a new city or a new port. But can you really explore when you know you’ve got to be back on the boat by 3 p.m., or else? Or else what? I’m the type of person that definitely wouldn’t want to find out.

I’d rather be on river time. Watches not necessary. All you need to know is that when the smell of fresh coffee wafts down the river canyon, it’s time to get up.

And I’ve never actually been on a cruise, but doesn’t the scenery (look, more ocean…) get old after a while? I’d rather be on a river, where each bend in the canyon brings a new surprise. Bighorn sheep taking a drink at water’s edge. Crazy rock formations dating back millions of years. Or a rapid the guides have been talking about all morning that we’re seconds away from tackling. These are the types of things that keep me excited day in and day out.

What about accommodations? Here’s what instantly pops into my head when I think cruise ship: A small, claustrophobic cabin room that may or may not have a teeny window. And on the river? Sleeping under the stars on a secluded sandy beach (tent optional!). I know which one I prefer.

Don’t get me wrong, I realize there’s a lot to love about cruising too. Obviously gourmet food and never-ending fine beverages are nice perks. But just because you’re deep in the wilderness doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice that. Believe it or not, I’ve actually been on a  Wine on the River trip where they bring along a chef, who delivers gourmet meals riverside, and a winemaker too…never-ending glass of wine included! Words cannot describe what’s it’s like to enjoy a multi-course meal and an incredible hand-crafted bottle of wine from a boutique winery after a day on the river. Did I mention you can leave your evening gown and heels at home? Yup, I’d rather be on the river.

Wine on the River

And finally, I have to bring up entertainment. This is an area where one might think the cruise trumps a river trip, especially considering a cruise ship is like a floating casino, amusement park and mall all in one. But nothing can quite put a smile on your face like whitewater rafting. It’s pure fun and exhilaration that’s hard to come by in the real world.

I think about all of this as I’m floating down the Main Salmon River on my very own sun deck, feet kicked up on the front of a dory in total relaxation mode. It may not be for everybody, but this is MY cruise.

Cari Morgan
Cari Morgan is O.A.R.S.' Communications Specialist (a.k.a. the voice of O.A.R.S.). She lives and plays in the Sierra Foothills.