Well, hello from the middle of the Caribbean Ocean. I’m on the last day of a week’s cruise and while my thinking chair is back home, I did find a deck chair that temporarily served the purpose. So I got to thinking…about cruising.
That said, cruising has become one of the most popular options selected when Americans decide to go on vacation nowadays. If you haven’t been on a cruise I would suggest you give it a try. Not everyone will find it to his or her liking but a voyage on the high seas has a lot to offer:
- You go to multiple locations without having to rent a car or change accommodations.
- You unpack your luggage once on the first day and that’s it until the end of your trip.
- Your room travels with you.
- You are well fed and will never be hungry.
Rosemarie and I have been on enough cruises that I have lost track of exactly how many. I count at least seven, but it could be more. That really isn’t a lot. We’ve met people who regularly go on two to three cruises a year. First-timers may want to consider one of the many Caribbean cruises. By the way, if you are prone to seasickness, not to worry. I have had my share of agony with this horror of horrors…but never on a cruise ship. Okay, here’s the basic routine:
Boarding the ship involves a highly organized procedure. You arrive and an attendant takes your luggage and stacks it on a cart. Hundreds of these are rolled onboard, where each pre-tagged piece of luggage is delivered to a passenger’s cabin door. Considering there are as many as 2-3 thousand passengers on a ship it’s pretty impressive that you are unpacking your belongings within just a few hours of your arriving at the ship.
The process of getting people onboard is just as efficient. What seems to be a humongous line waiting to get on the ship usually moves at a reasonable pace and in no time you and your traveling partner are posing for a picture as you step onto the ship’s gangplank.
The overwhelming panic during this initial boarding process has to do with the number of people traveling on the ship. Right away you foresee long lines everywhere crowding pools, dining facilities, the casino and all the other passenger accoutrements. You figure the lines at Disney World would have been a lot more tolerable. Wrong! That is the wonder of cruising. Once you are underway, somehow—don’t ask me to explain how—people seem to find their own space and the numbers disperse into little clusters and you may actually find yourself alone and wondering where everyone went. Mealtimes in the various dining facilities and show times in the ship’s theater are about the only times you’ll regroup with large numbers of fellow travelers, but even at these times there is seldom a crowding issue. I suppose if you really find yourself wanting to get off the ship it’s just a matter of commandeiring a lifeboat. That shouldn’t be too difficult…just follow the posted instructions:
Next…You will receive a daily newsletter listing all the activities available and awaiting your participation. An enthusiastic and usually cornball Cruise Director and his/her staff will escort you through all these events. You may choose to participate in as many or as few, if any at all, as per your interest.
In between ship activities, expensive excursions on shore at each port, seeing performances in the ship’s theater, playing penny slots in the casino or shopping for a Michael Kors purse, you eat and eat and eat and eat and eat.
So that’s a quickie scan on cruising. I know, it’s a little distorted by my perspective, but I assure you, it’s worth the experience. The best trips among those we’ve been on are Alaska and the Panama Canal. The thing about cruising is that you can do as much or as little as you wish. Either way, just about everything is done for you so you can simply put your brain to rest along with the rest of your body.. But if you want the “convincer” for going on a cruise, it’s this: you get up early, around 6AM, and make your way to the very top deck of the ship. Then you find a place to sit and watch the sunrise over the ocean.