A Mexican Cruise | My Family Travels
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For Thanksgiving of 2008, my Dad’s family decided to take a cruise to Mexico on Holland America line. When I was told, I was ecstatic to say the least. I had been on cruises before and loved them, and escaping the cold, wet fall sounded great. That was before I learned the truth: Holland America cruise line is not exactly aimed towards teenagers. Still, with my cute bathing suit and knockoff designer sunglasses in tow, I boarded the ship. Once aboard, my siblings and I went to our small cabin right next to our parents and fought over beds. Once the ship went underway, I realized that with no cell phone service, internet access, or cable TV I would have to do something that I had not done (voluntarily) for years: spend time with my family.

It started off with two days at sea, during which I learned the location of the nachos, ice cream, and pool. It wasn’t so bad, and I even learned how to play shuffleboard with my grandparents. The week continued in a similar fashion, our days at sea being filled with trivia contests against people who had all been around so long it was practically impossible for them to not know all the answers, games of giant chess and shuffleboard, and swimming with long breaks for food. Dinners were a formal affair, with four courses of food I had never heard of, half of which was delicious, the other half not so much. I tried food I never would have in any other situation, like ginger soup, salad with anchovies, and salmon tartar.

Of course when it comes to a cruise, the ports of call are the best part. Our first stop was Mazatlan, followed by Puerto Vallarta, and then Cabo San Lucas. Mexico is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The steep mountains were covered with bright green trees and dotted with red roofs of houses. The oceans were sparkling blue with waves crashing on the shores that were just asking to be frolicked in. The palm trees looked like they were stolen straight from a movie set. The second we stepped foot on the street, we were bombarded by everyone from young children to old men selling prettily carved whistles, handmade straw hats, silver jewelry, and knockoff designer purses. Further in, there were men who dove off cliffs and others who sold pictures with iguanas and snakes. Once on the beach, the water was even nicer than expected, and my sister and I splashed around giggling like we were five years old. Still, we had to get back to the ship or risk being left in Mexico, which I must admit was tempting. When we got back to the ship, we played more games, and ate more fancy food, but it was all over to soon. We returned home to Kentucky, and my tan faded, and I lost some of the knickknacks I bought, but things had changed. Somehow spending time with my family became slightly less of an ordeal, and I had a greater appreciation for how lucky I am. If I ever get the chance to go on a cruise again, I would take it in an instant.

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