Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Let's Take a Cruise! by Christine Johnson

Have you ever been on a cruise? Years ago, I was fortunate to take a short 3 day cruise to the Bahamas.

cruise ship photo

Though we often think of cruises to the Caribbean or Alaska or through the Panama Canal, they’re available in many other places, including the Great Lakes. When I was first married, I worked on an old passenger ship, the Canadian Pacific Railway steamship, S.S. Keewatin, that operated on the Great Lakes between 1908 and 1965. For many years, the only way to reach some areas was by ship (usually called boats on the Great Lakes…don’t ask why). The Keewatin was initially put in service to complete the rail route, because tracks had not been laid north of Lake Superior. By the time I worked on the ship, it didn’t run anymore and had been turned into a museum.

Here’s a photo of the ship.

S.S. Keewatin photo

I was even married aboard. Check out the wedding photo. My, do we look young!

wedding photo

During the years of homesteading and immigration, ships carried people deep into the Great Lakes.

Mail Order Mix-Up cover

In my current release, Mail Order Mix-Up, Pearl and her friend Amanda take a steamship from Chicago to the lumbering town of Singapore, Michigan. Their boat would have been less elegant than the S.S. Keewatin, but it would have seemed grand to two orphans from New York.

Where have you cruised, where would you like to take a cruise, or do you prefer land-based transportation?

Christine Johnson
Mail Order Mix-Up (LIH, April 2016)
Honor Redeemed (Revell, July 2016)
Mail Order Mommy (LIH, Nov. 2016)


  1. I am a cruise fanatic. My first trip on a boat was across Lake Erie to Put-In-Bay when I was a kid. I loved it. it was many years before I sailed again but when we did a Caribbean cruise I was hooked. when we docked in New Orleans at the end of the trip I was clutching the rail begging - Please don't make me get off this ship. LOL Since then we've cruised six or seven times.

    I love the idea of the ship and the Great Lakes. The book sounds great. :)

  2. I love your end-of-trip reaction, Lorraine! I'd love to take another cruise one day.

  3. I love cruising, Christine. To me, it's the ultimate vacation. No cooking, no laundry, no cleaning... Just fun, food and relaxation.

  4. What fun! I've never been on a cruise. I love your photo, Christine!

  5. Hi Mindy, that is the best part of a cruise! It sure sounds wonderful right about now when deadlines press in...

  6. Hi Missy! Thanks for stopping by. Aren't old photos amazing? I got lost in the pictures while searching for these. I was trying to find a good picture from our cruise, but they were horrible, LOL. Mostly photos of the harbor and the rough water. No people or landmarks. What was I thinking??

  7. How cool that you worked on a ship even though it was a museum. My hubby and I love to cruise although, he likes it more for the shore excursions. He's not a fan of days at sea. We've taken 4 Caribbean cruises, 2 short cruises on the CA coast to Mexico. We've taken eastern and western Mediterranean cruises, an Alaskan cruise, a Baltic cruise and last summer our first river cruise on the Danube River. This summer we are planning a cruise to see the fjords in Norway. I'm still trying to talk hubby into a Panama Canal cruise, but he thinks there are too many days at sea on that cruise.

  8. Love your wedding photo, Christine! You were a beautiful bride.
    I've never been on a cruise, but the thought of an Alaskan cruise seems delightful, mainly because I'd love to see that part of the country!
    Since I've never seen ANY of the Great Lakes, seeing them (or at least two or three!) is on my wish list. The idea of a lake being so huge is mind-boggling to me (my children would tell you that I "don't get out much" LOL). And your previous job on the ship-turned-museum sounds fascinating.
    Am reading MAIL ORDER MIX-UP right now (should finish soon) and am LOVING it!! :)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  9. P.S. Just read Merrillee's comments - - WOW!! You're the "Cruise Queen"! :)

  10. Merrillee! Wow! That's about all I can say. Patti Jo is right. You're definitely the Cruise Queen. Some of your cruises are on my Dream List: Alaska, a river cruise, maybe even the Panama Canal.

  11. Hi Patti Jo! I'm with you in wanting to do an Alaskan cruise. The Great Lakes are, well, BIG. As in you can't see across them. They look much like the ocean except with fresh water.

    So glad you're enjoying Mail Order Mix-Up. I knew you'd love the kittens. :)

  12. Christine and Patti Jo, I must confess, I've never been on a cruise before but if I were to take one, it would definitely been to Alaska. I've heard from many people that it is amazing. What a great idea to be married on a cruise. You guys look terrific together.

  13. Hi Mary! I agree. A cruise in Alaska would be the only way to see the glaciers from the sea.

  14. Beautiful. Taking a cruise is on my bucket list. I almost went on the Disney cruise a few years ago. Not sure that counts.


  15. Hi Pamela! A Disney cruise absolutely counts. Many years ago before Disney had their own boats, we took a cruise on a Disney-chartered boat. I'm counting it!


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