Cruising and Me
Cruising is not for everyone.
There is something adventurous about going on a cruise but I didn’t discover it until late in life.
I guess this makes me a typical cruise passenger, in the eyes of many.
What held me back from cruising was the thought of all those people confined in such a small place.
I don’t feel comfortable in a crowd. The only crowds I can cope with are those in concert halls and theatres, probably because when the lights go down, I’m alone with the artists. It’s a mild form of claustrophobia, although I’m comfortable in confined spaces and have never been troubled taking the elevator or driving through a tunnel.
It’s not even a phobia, more of a dislike. I can deal with it, but given the choice, I avoid adventuring into crowds if I can.
I love travelling.
Sometimes I think I get more enjoyment from the voyage than from the destination. There’s something about airports and train stations that brings out the adventurer in me. Waiting for an airplane or a train conjures up the possibilities of discovering unusual or exciting destinations or of embarking into the unknown.
I was having a great evening with friends a few years ago and after the meal and a few glasses of wine we took our places around the fire and continued our conversations.
Holidays and travel are always interesting topics and we were exchanging our latest experiences.
Our hosts had just come back from a cruise and I was surprised. They were young and had two teenage girls, not the typical cruise clients I thought. Over the course of the evening they managed to dispel most of my fears and apprehensions. From what they said, cruising seemed more and more like an interesting proposition.
I wasn’t totally convinced, but it did spark my curiosity.
So on my next trip to Florida, my wife and I booked a weekend cruise to the Bahamas, just for three nights.
Long enough to find out what it was all about but no too long if we discovered that it just wasn’t for us.
Well the first surprise was the boarding experience because it held the same excitement as waiting for a plane or a train. We only had two destinations, Nassau and a private island but we were going to sail to them and I’d never been on a boat larger than a ferryboat before.
My inner adventurer had been sparked.
I must admit to being apprehensive and I wasn’t prepared for the sheer size of the vessel. There were hundreds of other passengers who were waiting to board with us.
Boarding the boat provided sufficient distractions, and we got our key cards, had our photos taken and were ushered onto the boat.
The boat itself was the biggest surprise, because once on board, I totally forgot I was actually on a boat, until I was reminded later outside on the deck.
The corridors are vast and endless, the restaurants are immense, and in the theatre, watching a show, you could be in any theatre, anywhere in the world.
The sheer size of the vessel dilutes the hundreds of passengers, each doing their own thing, I found you could always find a quiet corner to relax in.
My biggest fears had been quashed.
But when the boat left port, and navigated on the open sea, I had my greatest surprise.
It’s a feeling that only a large seagoing vessel can provide.
The movement of the ship in the water and the vibrations and rocking motions of a ship at sea were unlike any sensation I’d experienced travelling on land.
And late on that very first evening, after an excellent meal and a good show, I took the lift to my cabin and retired for the night.
The sea was calm, and I drifted off to sleep rocked by the gentle caring movements of the ship as it glided toward our next destination.
So even after that very first night at sea, I knew that while cruising might not be for everyone, it definitely was for me.