Cruising into the new year

What a fun time! I was with my favorite people in the whole world: Liz, Rachel, Greg, Mike, and Paul. We did all the cruisey things—we played miniature golf, we went down the giant water slide (and the little slides), we read on the deck, we frolicked on the beach in Mexico, we ate wonderful food in the dining room (yeah, chocolate melting cake!), we watched Mike perform “Crying” for the talent show, we played bingo (OK, I’m kind of embarrassed about that one), we went to all the shows that included a ventriloquist and a raunchy comedian, and we enjoyed having our towels turned into little towel animals, as if by magic, every night.

So it was great, and I feel bad even having a “but” here, BUT, I have to admit it was also kind of weird. I mean here are all these Americans eating themselves silly for 5 days, while being waited on hand and foot by internationals who are working 12-hour days (or more) to make our stay memorable. I was surprised there were so few Americans working on board—just a handful, including “Big Tex” who would intermittently come on the intercom with annoying “Tex” messages. I guess it is typical for cruise ships to be registered in countries other than the US so that they are not bound by US labor laws, and perhaps these are really great jobs, still, it has to give one pause.

I was also amazed at all the different ways that the Carnival people had thought of to make extra money—the bingo, the spa, the stores, the gambling, the drinks, the excursions, the photographs, and on and on and on.

I realize that I am sounding like a crank—and it’s not fair, because I truly did have a good time. I didn’t become a convert, however–one of these people who does a cruise a year. I had my cruise experience, and I think I will leave it at one cruise per lifetime. My family members were totally good sports to give it a try with me.

One more thing—it took two days for the solid ground to stop swaying! Who knew you could get landsick?




3 responses to “Cruising into the new year

  1. Camille and I have told the exact same story; our cruise was super fun but also super weird. We took one about eight years ago, with a pair of die hard once-a-year-ers and decided that once was enough. Even though we didn’t take the same cruise, we’re in the same boat. 🙂 So don’t feel bad, the cruise being weird doesn’t take anything away from a good time had with friends and family.

    For us it was the on-board eat-a-thon– one of the first things we saw the day we boarded was an obese 10 year old eating an entire pizza while exclaiming to his parents that he was going to eat until he was completely full and then: eat some more! Dunno if you guys did the pay extra for the fancier food thing, it’s hard to pay for something that’s available for free, but we discovered early that it was worth the extra money. And I hope you didn’t have the sushi after day 2. 🙂

    And it was the inability to escape the marketing machine during shore excursions. We weren’t at all surprised by the various on-board money pits, but we were a little surprised that no matter where we landed (for us it was bahamas, puerto rico, virgin islands, etc,) after getting off the boat there was about a mile radius devoted to selling stuff to the cruise travelers- just far enough that if you only walk, by the time you get just far enough away you have to turn around. Admittedly part of the fun of our cruise was the adventures we had trying to get really far away from the boat.

  2. Yes! I hadn’t mentioned the little specially-made villages just for the tour groups. Quite bizarre! Thanks for commenting on my blog. I hope your comment didn’t languish for a long time before I approved it–now everything you may say will just go up automatically, so I hope you will write something audacious!

  3. I don’t think there was a fancier food option on this cruise. The food was very good (and we totally loved the sushi bar–I guess we like to live dangerously.) Mike’s entree into entertainment was hilarious, with Big Tex asking him what he was going to do with a Ph.D. in Japanese. It got big laughs from the audience. Well, I guess not be a cruise director.

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