Is cruising for you?
Swaying in the sea breeze with a large clear pool behind and azure blue seas in front, all the while relaxing in the sun shining on your face. Someone comes up beside you with a small tray of colorful drinks and hands you one as you lean against the glass and wood rail. You look out to the sea and let out a sigh of joy, this is the life! This is cruising, a traveling phenomenon that has been growing since the 1980’s.
The cruise industry has been smart about how to keep passengers happy and coming back year after year changing to meet the need of the times. There are people who take cruises 2 maybe 3 times a year. Why is that? For one reason its an easy almost hassle free trip. The most difficult part of the cruise is at check in and that’s just because you are anxious to get on board to start your vacation. The cruise lines have worked on crowd control but when you have upwards to 6000 passengers checking in it can take some time. Don’t let that stop you from booking a cruise though, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Once you are onboard and unpacked you are on your way to fun the way you want it.
First day drill
Now its time to check out the ship, you will want to find out how far the pool is from your cabin and how close the restaurants are too. Surprising how big ships are these days as the cliché says,” it’s a virtual city floating from port to port”. First day onboard if you have not been on a cruise before is interesting, at a given time is the lifeboat drill and nowadays it is a requirement to participate. You will hear a series of horn blows or bell rings to signal its time to find your station which is posted on your cabin door. Stations are located throughout the ship. Some are conveniently placed in one of the many bars or the showroom, but it could be next to the life boats. Passengers try to make the best of it and get to know one another during the drill. Don’t be surprised if your photo is taken during the drill just for the fun of it.
Cruise line Perks
What to do next? Well that’s all up to you. If you had a long flight and little sleep you might want to head to the pool for some R&R. Some ships may have movies running, an info seminar or if you have the energy hit the fitness room. There is always a buffet set up if you are in the mood for a little food.
Some ships like Royal Caribbean have quite a few fun and interesting features. For instance how about grabbing a surfboard and hit the waves on a Flow Rider surf simulator and surf a continuous wave. Other highlight features to draw you in might be rock climbing, ice skating or miniature golf. A few ships have a billiards room with tables that automatically stay flat no matter how high the seas are. One ship has a Coney Island Boardwalk that includes a carousel, perfect for family vacations.
Carnival has a water park with water slides. Norwegian Cruise Lines has a sky trail rope course with zip lines. Then for the mature crowd a freezing cold ice bar where fake fur coats are handed out as you enter. Celebrity has an adults only Solarium and a Master wine cellar.
Princess has their own television studio, and Disney has an 1800 square foot AquaLab a fabulous fun area for both kids and adults. One of the Celebrity ships has a half-acre lawn area including a putting green for the golf enthusiast. These are just a few of the amenities you can find on different cruise lines but remember each ship is different, make sure you do your homework before booking and verify they have the features you are looking for.
Your first night at sea
The first day normally does not have much going on its mostly a time to unwind and get used to the ocean life. After an informal dinner in the showroom is an introduction to your next week or two or more on the ship. The staff will also introduce themselves and what their job entails. They may have a short show with singing or dancing. A little night-cap in one of the many ship’s bars is a great way to end your first night on the open seas.
Back in your cabin snuggled comfortably in your bed with a soft relaxing rocking motion that lulls you to sleep, your mind lazily looks forward the next days of a fun-filled trip to remember. So now do you think cruising is for you?