Ever been on a cruise? Well, if you’re a big fan of eating and sleeping with not much in between the two activities, then a cruise is the vacation for you.
When my mother announced that she wanted to go on a cruise with some of her friends again, I was prepared for a trip with lots of delicious food, sleep and a group of seven -year-olds who would bug me throughout. Not that I was complaining, I mean, who doesn’t want five days of unadulterated rest, not to mention the loads of chow available onboard. Anyway, I wasn’t expecting any extreme excitement. No thrills from hiking up a mountain for hours until the water runs out or adrenaline rushes. Nope, only the occasional breathtaking beach landscape after days of nothing but sea and more sea. Maybe I would see a dolphin, a whale, or some cool lightning patterns of a distant storm, if I was extremely lucky.
This lazy vacation began on a hot day as friends, family, and I flew to Florida to board our cruise, the ever majestic Carnival Fascination. Checking in took a while: waiting in line to check passports, waiting in line to take pictures, waiting in line to check tickets and receive room cards, and, finally, waiting in line to board the mighty vessel. After checking our rooms and making sure we got our luggage, we headed over to the Lido Deck and ate a small lunch buffet with lots of fried food and salads, nothing fancy until dinner. Having stuffed our stomachs like pigs, the children dragged me off to “explore the ship!” After much dilly-dallying, it was finally dinnertime during which the captain and his crew did a welcome dance, barely managing to look like a flock of drunk adults. Subsequent to the pseudo-drunken dance and dinner, found a show in the [something place] to watch. The days were the same with slight variations: sleep, wake up, eat, explore, eat, play, eat, watch a show, and repeat.
Through the course of the cruise, two stops were made: Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas and one final stop at Bahamas. Once there, our group had a choice to buy a cruise packages that would allow us to experience things such as diving with dolphins or wander around on our own. When we arrived at the tourist station, we found a nice, cheap guided tour of Nassau. Our tour guide was Angela a local who lived in the Bahamas. While driving us around, she supplied us with remarkable information and tidbits on island life, government and culture. She even drove us through some small streets so we could have a closer look at life, uncensored. Sure enough, we got a glimpse of wandering goats, watering wells, and fruit trees.
Inside the car as we drove around, the tour guide and we had many great laughs at nothing in particular. Maybe it was just the difference in culture, but sometimes we would burst out laughing at a particularly funny comment and Angela would laugh with us or Angela would laugh at something we said and we would laugh along. Overall, it was a highly satisfying experience and I returned to the cruise, and later, home, content.
I found that travelling wasn’t always going to bring a life changing experience or some dangerous adrenaline-rousing incident. Sometimes, just relaxing, enjoying different local colors and time alone can let me be me and organize my thoughts. I could appreciate what I have and take life as it is while expanding my horizons just a little bit.
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