No, never, not my thing! This was my husband’s reply when I suggested a cruise about fifteen years ago. The idea of wearing a tuxedo in ninety degree weather did not appeal to him at all. We are both “rough and ready” people, we can dress up when necessary but not something we choose to do on vacation.
About twenty years ago we had been on a “Barefoot Cruise”. This was by a company who ran about ten different tall, masted ships around the islands of the Caribbean. Supplying the tall ships was a revamped ship that used to service the lighthouses round the British coast. This was to be our home for two weeks. The ship was called The Amazing Grace and this music was played every night when we set sail.
The ship only held 93 passengers plus crew and was definitely not in the luxury class, but it was a casual cruise and this appealed to both of us. We set off from Trinidad for our adventure on the ocean, visiting twelve islands during the fourteen days. We were supposed to sail overnight every night and, apart from one day totally at sea, were supposed to be on land for at least twelve hours of every day.
We were delayed from our midnight departure as two of the passengers had been robbed, in Trinidad, and had had their passports taken. It took several hours to sort this all out so our departure was not until 4.00am. This meant that instead of arriving at Grenada at 8.00am, we only got there around noon. Dave was up with the birds and went to explore the ship, he came back to the cabin exited about the marvellous breakfast buffet waiting to be eaten. I got out of bed, but as soon as my feet touched the floor, the movement of the ship set my stomach on a wild ride and I barely made it to the bathroom in time. Dave, full of sympathy went for breakfast alone while I took the waste bin back to bed, prepared for a miserable voyage. The idea of fourteen days like this was not a happy thought.
Dave woke me up later to tell me we had to go for lifeboat drill, apparently this was mandatory. The idea of the ship sinking seemed like a great idea so I told him to leave me to die in peace and refused to get up. A couple of hours later, the ship docked, the motion stopped and I was in control of my digestive system again. From that first day we always sailed on time so I slept through the motion and had a wonderful trip.
Several years later when I suggested a cruise on a big ship Dave was adamant that it wasn’t his thing, and refused to think about it. However, when a group that we belong to arranged a cruise, he thought he might enjoy it if a lot of us were going together. Of course we had a ball. We dressed for dinner every night and enjoyed putting on the Ritz, for a change. The days were casual and fun and we all had a great time.
The next spring Dave and I went for him to be fitted for a new suit, I nearly dropped dead when he informed the salesman that he also wanted a lightweight suit as in future he was going to be doing a lot of cruising. In fall we went with two friends on a cruise and it has been a yearly event ever since. We have also had several cruises on our own and, find we don’t need to go to the dressy dinners as we find the buffets great and more to our taste than too much fancy food. Because of this, we don’t take much in the way of clothing as we go mainly for the trips round various ports of call, we keep our meals casual and are happy doing this.
This way of travelling means we can both just take a small case so do not have to hump lots of luggage around. When we check in for the boarding we stand with couples who have five or six huge pieces of luggage and they look at us in disbelief. We have had some marvellous vacations going to such places as Australia, South America, the Baltic and of course Panama and the Caribbean. Our latest voyage took us on a wonderful trip to the New England and Maritime Provinces, so great to explore the beauty of our own country. We have also enjoyed several trips to Europe going on the river boats for glorious cruises on the Danube and the Rhone, while discovering the wonderful historic places of Europe.
Cruising means you get the opportunity to travel to many places of interest and only need to unpack your suitcase one time. There is something on board to keep everyone interested, Dave loves going to the scientific and travel lectures but I am happy to sit by the pool and catch up on my reading, cooling off with a swim when I get too hot.
The cost up front for a cruise seems expensive but, all food and accommodation is covered so there is virtually nothing else to pay. Yes, my husband is a convert and so am I, life on the ocean waves is marvellous, especially on large ships with a wonderful stabilizer system that doesn’t play havoc with my stomach.