I’ve taken a few minutes to mention that my husband and I are madly in love. I also mentioned that we took a cruise in February. Have I mentioned that we loved the cruise? The ports were definitely our favorite part (the Western Caribbean), but first, I’d like to talk about our experience onboard the Carnival Legend.
I have a secret: cruise travel is awesome. Your floating hotel room moves with you, which means you get to see several places without ever re-packing your suitcase. They also provide 24/7 “feed troughs,” as my father labels buffets. He’s surprisingly accurate, especially when you see how long the lines get at the “specialty stations.” If you’re classier than that, and you want to dine in style, there is also a sit-down restaurant. And there’s room service. Regardless, if eating is important to you, recognize that a cruise ship shares your value. All food is included in the price of your ticket. So is nightly entertainment, comedy clubs, karaoke, a plethora of trivia (I smile listening to those words in my head). Pretty much it’s a hybrid of college and Vegas, without any studying or stripping.
Another reason why cruise travel is awesome is because you get to see what you’ll be like in 30 or 40 years. A veritable portal into your future. While on the ship, I observed an elderly couple. The man pushed the woman in her wheelchair as they looked for a place to sit and eat. He spoke in a sweet, soft voice, externally processing his thoughts, “Was there a seat outside? Did I see something by the pool? Or was it on the other side of the dining room? Maybe in the back?” They walked by twice. The woman, her graceful yet paper-thin hand rubbing her brow. She shook her white head. “You drive me crazy,” she muttered. I felt immediate love and warmth. It made me smile to think that after so many years, he could still drive her crazy. There is hope for us all.
For one reason or another, cruise travel hasn’t taken off with our generation. I want to scream: start cruising! Perhaps its the cost. Or maybe people get gun-shy because of the three cruise accidents there have ever been (a.k.a., the Titanic, the one in Italy in 2012 (where a big 8 people died,) and the Carnival Triumph, which we happened to deliver supplies to while on our cruise. But when you think about it, what are three cruise mishaps, mostly non-fatal, compared to the many plane crashes or the millions of car accidents? Maybe you should just stay home. If you’re afraid of accidents, cruising is probably one of your safest options by far.
Carnival is known for being the “discount” cruise line. Which means that the rooms are more sparse, yet sufficient. We purchased a room with a window (below the rooms with balconies and above the interior rooms without windows). We loved it. The food was good. Not outstanding, but what do you expect from all-you-can-eat lobster buffets? We were pleased. The service was excellent; never had we met such friendly wait staff and housekeeping. We loved the pools. Apparently it was good we were there in February, as the pools can be inundated with children during the summer. However, the ship also had a “Serenity” adults-only pool, which was always relaxing. The only cruise I’d ever taken before was to Alaska, so the pools were pretty much view-only. The Caribbean, with its warm, balmy breezes, was much better. The overall ship was beautiful, albeit cheap-looking. The ornately sculpted bannisters looked like plastic, not gold. Still, who goes on a cruise for the bannisters?
And finally, like I said, they took us from port to port, quickly and easily. Each day we disembarked in a new place, each night we returned to the ship for dining, entertaining, and relaxing. We barely had to lift a finger. Every morning I woke up to more water that looked like this:
And I thought to myself, “How did we discover paradise? How are we so blessed?”