(Pardon the delayed posting)
Monday, Labor Day, September 1st – our second day at sea
We took our first trip on the sea way back in 1976, an anniversary gift to ourselves when we took the QEII (that’s Queen Elizabeth the Second of the White Star/Cunard line for you non-cruisers). Our firstborn was only 11 months old and took his first steps somewhere in the middle of the North Atlantic. Of course, once we hit land he couldn’t stay upright for nothing. Took him another month to find his land legs.
Our next cruise didn’t come until August 2001, but now we manage one or two cruises a year ever since.
Virgin cruisers often ask me about our trips. They’re intensely curious, some might even say envious, that we can go away from the world for an entire week, floating on the sea, unable to communicate with anyone back home (not really). I smile and regale them with stories of various of our trips, the sights and lands, natives and passengers, good and sometimes not so good experiences. Inevitably they shake their head and say, “I can’t imagine being stuck on a ship for that long. What if I hate it? What if I’m seasick?”
One thing we’ve learned over the years – you either love cruising or you hate it. Doesn’t seem to be any middle ground when it comes to riding the big ships.
Advice to the newbies – if you don’t think you’ll like cruising, you probably won’t. But, if you do find yourself propelled into taking one, by all means start out with a short one. A 23-day cruise like the one we’re on ain’t for the faint at heart!
I mean, you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn – unless you want to. You don’t have to make your bed, change your sheets, scrub toilets, wipe down showers, do laundry, cook, clean, etc. etc. etc. You receive 5-star meals every night served by a 5-star wait staff. There’s free entertainment of your choosing (a little something for everyone), games galore, interesting people always willing to chat, a crew that goes out of their way to be friendly and make you
smile. In other words, there’s as much or as little to do as you want. And in all the years of doing this, I’ve never gotten seasick. But that’s me. Some are more susceptible than others. And yes, the sea can get rough, but I can only recall three times that happened. If it worries you that much, see your doctor. Get the patch. It works. One more thing, the only mandatory requirements are attend the safety briefing before you set sail, obey the safety rules while on board, and follow the customs requirements when you disembark. The rest of the trip is yours to make of (or not) as you wish.
We love cruising! There’s a wonderfully, freeing sense of security with traveling on a cruise ship. You unpack one time. You can leave your stuff behind while you go touring strange, new lands. Everything will be there when you return, all neatened up. You have a major backer in Carnival if you need help while in port. There’s every service available on the ship if you require it—medical, phone and internet laundry service, room service, sports television, a casino, bars galore, dancing, comedy, big shows, movies, tons of dining, fancier dining for those special occasions, and FUN. Loads of fun. If you want it. If you’re brave enough to reach for it.
Oh, and don’t forget about those sunrises on the ocean. Awesome!