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How I Became the Cruise Addict I am Today

I wasn’t always a fan of cruising. I used to think it was a one-and-done type of thing. Maybe that came from my first cruise experience. After watching episodes of The Love Boat and seeing pictures of cruise ships (mind you, my first cruise was pre-social media and Googling everything), I had this idea in my mind of what the ship would look like. Something glamorous and breathtaking.

Well, my first cruise ship was anything but that. The décor and layout were rather bland, if not downright disappointing. To this day, we still joke that we were on a floating Motel 6. My 2½-year-old daughter was with me, and kids’ activities were limited. She was bored out of her mind. I had done a cruise that was less than lackluster, and I was done. Cruising was not for kids or for me.

Mind you, the ports were great. We purposely picked an itinerary that was packed with stops – 5 ports of call to be exact. I have learned a lot since picking that first itinerary and ship, and in hindsight, the ship itself explains a lot when looking at its particular itinerary – we had a port of call 5 days in a row. The action was to happen off the ship, not on it.

Fast forward 20 plus years.

I had coworkers and friends who talked about having taken multiple cruises and how much they liked them. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to stick themselves on some boring ship more than once and be told where to go and how long to be there. I wanted my vacations to be mine and free to do as I please.

Then, an opportunity presented itself.

A good friend of mine in the travel business had access to a themed cruise that someone bailed on after paying their deposit. My husband and I could go at a reduced rate. We had only been married a few months. Remember, I did my one cruise and was done. My husband, on the other hand, had never cruised and was curious. So, we booked it.

I did very little research before that cruise. I mean, after all, I had already cruised; I knew what happened on a cruise ship. The most important thing on my mind was that we needed to bring formal wear. We did not want to be caught without our formal wear. This was a smooth jazz-themed cruise, and there would be lots of entertainment, so I thought little of what we would do on the ship. I mean, after all, cruise ships are boring without much to do.

Or so I thought.

The cruise turned out to be everything I dreamed of and more. This ship was completely different from the last time I cruised. It had elements of glamour and romance: endless entertainment and no shortage of something to eat.

Well, now, cruising wasn’t so bad after all.

My husband, however, did not think the same. Let me tell you a little about him. He’s the person who doesn’t want to go to sleep because he’s afraid he might miss something even though he and I are the only ones around. If there is a crowd of people somewhere, his thought is something good must be happening there. Why else would there be so many people?

So, of course, not wanting to miss out, he went to investigate.

On the jazz cruise, there were a lot of things to investigate. Every night, there were multiple venues with live music and dancing. It was fun! My husband came home sick, sunburned, and exhausted. He said cruises are too busy and overwhelming, and he wasn’t interested in doing one again—my new mission.

I tried to convince him the jazz cruise was not a “typical” cruise, and he would like a cruise with a little less stimulation. He said maybe. Eventually, we took another cruise, and another, and another, and… well, you see what happened. Cruising quickly became one of our favorite ways to vacation.

I believe cruising can be for just about anyone. The trick is finding the right cruise to fit that particular vacation. Some cruises are activity-packed with little rest involved, while with others relaxing is all you do. The best part is that on a cruise, you can even have both should you so choose.

Want to know more about cruising or what options are available? Let's chat.

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