When we booked our first cruise, I wasn’t sure if I would actually enjoy the experience. I was used to the adrenaline rush of backpacking, spontaneous day trips, and traveling around the Third World in the back of pickup trucks. So, hanging out on a fancy boat sounded like it could be a little. . . boring.
Four years and three cruises later, I can honestly say that while there are some slow moments at sea, cruises can provide a great deal of adventure. They’re a convenient way to see several countries in one week–without having to find transportation, move bags, and book a new hotel for each location.
Tony and I just got back from a week-long Caribbean cruise that took us to Honduras, Belize, and two places in Mexico. We had wanted to take a cruise for our third anniversary, but we were so broke that we had to cancel our plans. Fortunately, our finances picked up a few months later, so for our three-and-a-half years of marriage mark, we were able to go on a cruise to celebrate our “Half-iversary.” (They even honored our celebration by serenading us with a song and cake.)
When you’re on a cruise, people ask you if you’ve cruised before. If you have, they’ll ask you what cruise lines you’ve taken. We’re pretty loyal (boring) when it comes to that. All of our cruises have been with Norwegian Cruise Line. I have a geeky love for loyalty points, and now we’re only one cruise away from reaching the “Silver” level. (That basically means that on our next cruise, we finally earn the privilege of getting chocolates on our pillows at night. Who wouldn’t want to go on four cruises, just to get that exciting privilege?)
Even without being on “Silver” we’ve enjoyed some fun perks on the cruises we’ve taken: free room service, stewards to bring us ice and clean our rooms multiple times a day, complimentary champagne, live music, and even cute towel animals.
We’re also cheap. . . most of the time. So, we bought our cruise tickets when they were at a low price. We graciously passed when the ship advertised their martini tours and blackjack tables. And we only did a little shopping. I bought this $10 hat to wear in the Caribbean sun. The salesman informed me that it was the hat to help me fit in in the Caribbean.
Tony and I loved being able to go to the nice restaurants, which were all-included. We could enjoy our view over the water, order steak and lobster, and not even think about how much it was costing us.
And, of course, my favorite part of the cruise involved going ashore. You can read about our first adventure, which involved going to the beach and exploring little beach towns in Honduras.