How Cruises Became My Favorite Form of Vacation
I have loved being on, near, or in water since I was very young. I grew up in houses that either had a pool, or were located fairly close to one. My mother and grandmother often called me "the human fish" because I spent more time underwater than above it while swimming. Fast forward to the early 1990's when I was introduced to the style of vacation known as "cruising."
We lived in northern New Jersey, less than an hour's drive from New York City. This was quite convenient, because after a brief drive, we'd get on a large ship that would sail to some exotic place. Once aboard, we were immediately on vacation, and were waited on hand and foot. All we had to do, was relax and have the time of our lives.
What's not to love about that?
I'd been on about 6 cruises or so (I could be off, by a few, but we'll go with that number for now) between the mid 1990's and early 2000's, until as a family we'd kind of put cruising on hold in favor of spending more time down at the Jersey shore.
Fast forward to 2016... looking back on this, I'm really surprised I'd gone more than 10 years without going on a cruise. In August, I went on my first cruise in a long time with some incredible people, and I was reminded of just how much fun the whole experience was/is. I could appreciate the whole experience in a new way now, because this was my first cruise as an adult.
As someone who absolutely loves planning and logistics, I was fascinated at how much goes into actually planning one of these trips. Combine that with the overall experience, and it really doesn't get any better. I'm very detail-oriented when it comes to travel, so a vacation that takes a lot of advance planning and detail that comes with relaxation and being catered to? It's quite, uh, perfect. Where is the ship traveling to? What port does it leave from? Do I need to fly there? How do I get from the airport to the cruise terminal? All questions I love to answer and plan. Some have said I should be a travel agent. Perhaps I'll give that some thought. My upcoming trip's itinerary is nothing short of a work of art if I may say so myself.
As of this writing, I have a cruise planned for February, then the big family group is getting together again in August to repeat the trip. Last year when we went, our itinerary had changed due to weather, so we didn't get to visit St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Instead, we went to Mexico, and I loved it. It was on that trip that I discovered how much I now love to snorkel. I'd never done it before, but it's now something I always want to do when vacationing someplace warm with beautiful water.
I want to travel as much as I can while I'm young and single, and when left with the choice of taking a plane ride for 10+ hours, or flying a shorter distance and getting on a cruise ship the choice seems all to clear. I realize that long haul plane rides are unavoidable, but if I can avoid them as much as possible that'll have to do.