Last week, my wife and I took a 5 day cruise over the Mardi Gras holiday (New Orleans is basically paralyzed during this pagan holiday). We left from Ft. Lauderdale and sailed to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and then returned. I had never been on a cruise before, and I’m not likely to go on one again, but amazingly I enjoyed getting away from cellphone towers and Wi-Fi access points for a few days. I was able to read alot and basically just chill out. So if you want to ‘get away from it all’ a cruise is certainly one way to do that.
On the negative side, I noticed that our cruise attracted a lot of people who think it is ‘adventurous’ to tool around the Caribbean on a gargantuan vessel that houses 2,000+ passengers. Food is served free around the clock, which no doubt is what keeps most of the 790 crew members busy. My wife and I didn’t gorge ourselves, but we did make a few appearances at the Windjammer buffet where we were regally greeted by the Turkish Maitre D’ who referred to us jointly as “Ma’am Sir.” The Maitre D doesn’t do much except greet you and then invite you to sit down. However, I can say that our Maitre D was the consumate host. When he was asked by one of the guests if a particularly ornate and large piece of bread ‘was just for decoration’ he promptly replied “yes, it is for decoration, but you may eat it if you desire.”
There are plenty of activities on a cruise ship. If you aren’t big into Bingo or gambling then perhaps the afternoon wine tasting appeals to you. We went and stood in line behind a know-it-all guy who was regaling everyone with his observations on the best cruises to take. He believed that the Panama Canal cruise was the best of the twenty or so adventures that he had taken. But then he was wearing a T-Shirt that said “Bite Me” so you might want to factor that into your assessment of his credibility.
One thing I can say that is amazing about being at sea is that the stars are crystal clear. Except when you are going through a storm, which is also a fascinating thing to experience. Anyway, I had a good time on my cruise even though I (1) didn’t win at Bingo and (2) never got to sample any of the decorative food. Oh well, maybe next time.