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I’ve been on two cruises in my life. Both on the same cruise line, Carnival. One was for pleasure and one was for a work conference.
My first cruise was with my mother the Christmas after my father died. I figured getting us both away from the house trying something new would keep our minds off our loss. That same thought was had by many people on the cruise. Most conversations with others revolved around their recently deceased relatives. It was morbid, not therapeutic.
The second cruise was for work. We attended a conference on a four day cruise to the Bahamas. The question that everyone asked at the cocktail hours was “Have you been on a cruise before?”
There were usually three answers 1) God no, I hoped I would never have to go on one. This will be my last. 2) I’ve been on one before and hated it. Now I’m here. 3) Oh my God! Yes, we cruise all the time, it is so great, isn’t it?
The first two answers caused me to spend more time drinking with those people. The final answer earned a smile from me and a polite departure.
I always heard about how the food was stellar on cruises. My experiences have been the opposite. It is more quantity over quality. I don’t need to leave the table stuffed to the gills. Especially with mediocre food.
I can feel trapped on the boat too. Not in a claustrophobic sense, but more trapped by the schedule. You must be back aboard the ship at a specific time and that time may be much earlier than I want it to be. On my cruises I found that I wanted to stay and dine on shore in a given port, but couldn’t because we had a 20h00 departure. Hands were tied.
The entertainment options have been a mixed bag for me. I’d say I can usually have a good time in two major capacities 1) When things actually interest me and 2) When I’m surrounded by friends who I really enjoy spending time with.
For example, awful karaoke is a ton if fun when I’m with friends. Alone, it is torture. While attending an interesting lecture or exhibit I’m fine being alone.
While I say I don’t like cruises, I’ve only been on one single cruise line. Twice. We were looking for deals too. Its It’s a good possibility that the lines I chose were not the right ones for me. But I still don’t like the idea of cruises.
That being said, there are three scenarios that I would take a cruise 1) Alaska 2) Scandanavia 3) Antartica. Those three places are really best seen / visited by ship – and those three are on my list. You can’t really see the splendor of the fjords or the ice shelves without being on a ship.
Do you cruise? What cruise lines do you prefer? Any specific recommendations?