I was here



In Feb. 2016, I went on my 8th cruise.   That might seem like a lot but considering my very first cruise was in 2001, it’s not, really.   That first cruise was organized by someone at our church and with a travel agent.  I remember saying we (my mom and I) did not need them to book our air travel.  They always overcharge for air travel (or they wait until the last minute to book and at that time, the prices are high) and when someone else books it, it feels like you have no say in dates/times/prices, etc.  At least that’s how I felt back then.  No, I do still feel like that.  I always book my own airfare.  I like to leave at a certain time.  I like to arrive at a certain time. I’m just a little picky about flights sometimes because I don’t like to be inconvenienced when traveling if I can help it.  So I booked our airfare.  We arrived in San Juan the same time as the group but at a MUCH cheaper price, and we needed that price to be cheaper!

Mom & I had so much fun we quickly booked it again for the following year, 2002.  Then after she passed away in 2003, I didn’t cruise again for 10 years.  Now that I’ve started back up again, I try to go at least once a year.

What I love about cruising:

All inclusive.  Once you pay your cruise fare, taxes, fees, you really don’t have to spend another dime if you don’t want to.  But you will because you’re on vacation and you know how it is on vacation!  You sometimes forget you have a budget to deal with back home.  That’s why I always always always pay all of my bills before I go on any trip whether it’s for a weekend or a week, just in case I forget about that budget and start spending while on vacation.   There are little shops (jewelry, perfumes, clothes, candy)  on the ship, plus a casino, shore excursions, and tax and duty free liquor. Those four things alone can cost you a lot of money if you don’t set limits.  I try to book my excursions before I go because once I get on the ship, I’m not in planning mode at all.

Things to do.  There are so many things going on during a cruise and more importantly, cruising is what you make it.  If you get involved with the activities you’ll have more fun.  If you sit and moan and groan about things, anything, then of course you won’t have any fun and no one will want to be around you anyway. So go in with an open attitude to have a good time and you will have a good time.

People you meet.  You will meet all kinds of people on a cruise and the funny thing is by the end of the week, you’ll feel like you’ve made new friends, even though you’ve only known these people for 7 days.  Everyone is assigned a table with at least 7 other people and if you have dinner in the dining room every night, you’ll be dining with these same people each night.  Most times it’s a good time with people because you’re on vacation.  There was one time the people I was at a table with were so stodgy, I sat at another table for the rest of the cruise.  But yes, you meet lots of people, make contacts, etc. with people from all over the place.

It’s so relaxing.  You would think being on a ship with over 3000 people, you wouldn’t have time nor space to relax but there are so many places to relax all over the ship.  When I was on the Carnival Pride in February, I spent some time in the Sunset Garden, which is a strip of seats and tables along one side of the ship in this hidden section of the ship.  No one was there.  I was able to sit and read a little while uninterrupted, without having to be in the room where I would have just gone to sleep.  I like that little section of the ship.

It’s also a party.  Up on the lido deck of every ship I’ve been on, there’s always a party going on.  Dancing, music, food, swimming, drinking, just a regular party.  This is why I never book a cabin on the floor below it.  When I need sleep, I need to be able to get to sleep.

You can even workout.  They have a gym on board for you to continue working out while on vacation.    I’ve never worked out on the ship.  Just walking around the ship is enough for me, for as long as the ship is.  That covers my workout.  I guess because I’m always eating real food regularly (that I don’t have to cook!) and always walking after each meal, I always end up losing weight during the cruise.  That means I need someone to cook and clean for me daily.

People get along.   I’m amazed at how many different nationalities, races, ages are on cruises now, and people seem to get along.  It’s almost like racism, ageism, etc doesn’t exist.   I’ve never experienced any problems on a ship and I hope I never do.  But it’s nice to be able to just enjoy your vacation without the regular life stuff you have to deal with.  It’s a week of really being disconnected and having fun.

If you have never been on a cruise, treat yourself and go!

Well, here is the link to the video from my last cruise.  I thought I had already posted this cruise video earlier but I didn’t see it, so here it is.