Cruisin’ Into the New Year

We just returned from a wonderful cruise that we so enjoyed despite some rain and non-stellar weather. We live an hour away from a major cruise port so we can drive right to the ship in about an hour. How cool is that?

We are middle aged and proud of it, meaning that we thoroughly enjoy a vacation where you just float, eat, get entertained nightly, and eat. (Did I mention eat?)

There are some people that are bound and determined NOT to cruise. Like it is some bourgeois or middle-age to senior activity. Some are worried about sea-sickness, and for those in that category, let me just explain that a mega-sized hotel floating in the water does NOT cause motion sickness like it would on a fishing boat, or even mid-size sail or motor boat.

For us, it is the perfect getaway because you unpack exactly once, and get transported to other places without having to pack again or unpack again until it is time to go home.

You can leave your worries, your brain, (more on that later) and your everyday chores behind and get waited on hand and foot. Who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t visualize that personal touch of being fanned in the warm air while being fed grapes? (Ok, maybe that last scenario was a bit of an exaggeration, but it is close to that feeling).

I must admit, it’s an eating marathon. This is spoken by a person who LOVES to eat – especially if the food is good.  (This is where you have to be careful not to pick a cruise-line with bad food).

I love to dance and it is a rare event that gives me the opportunity (other than the weddings we get invited to) to really cut a rug.

I love games, playing trivia, soaking up the sun, and eating. This is why a cruise is perfect for me.

In fact, not only do we usually bond with the entertainment staff due to our high participation in just about every event, we bring home trophies that we are unreasonably proud of, as cheap and goofy as they might be.

This cruise, we really fell in love with the entertainment staff. It was a good looking young bunch of very funny, friendly, and spirited kids just out of college. We made sure to get their life story and offer some maternal/paternal bonding for those we interacted with frequently. There was Steven from Marietta, Georgia, who was in a relationship with adorable Gina, the tiny dancer with a huge smile. There was Jersey Jessie, who was such a Jersey shore type character, and cutie Kevin, who loves the musical Cats beyond reason.

About leaving my brain at home: Speaking as a former person who could beat anyone in Trivial Pursuit and the like games, I found on this trip during the trivia games that my long term memory is great (as detailed in this blog) and that my short term memory (late 80’s on) is just not working any more. There was sooo much stuff I USED to know, but no longer have it within my brain grasp. Goodbye unbeatable trivia champion, hello old brain.

For example, I used to know who sang Tubthumping and Tainted Love, but I could not recall in my trivia play. Thank goodness one contest was TV theme songs from the 60’s (got 20 out of 20 right) and one contest was on music of the 1970’s, another one I won. My husband won one too (Silly Law trivia) and a free throw basketball contest. Here are two of the four trophies we won – which the staff lovingly refers to as “Pieces of Ship on a Stick.” (medals not pictured but we won those too)

Trivia

Fortunately, we teamed up with young college students for the four-day running trivia tournament and won that contest too, for major bragging rights on the cruise.

Triva Tournament Champs

One thing we don’t do is stay in our room. We don’t sleep in. Why would we be in our room when there is great musical entertainment going on from early to late all over the boat? There was a piano sing-along bar, a non-stop Karaoke time, and several other performers in the lobby and on the casino deck.

The entertainment nightly was in the form of a Las Vegas quality show, one magic, one comedy and song and dance, and the other musical tributes. The costumes were lavish, the music great, and the performers very talented.

We love to laugh and there are a million laughs, from entertainment, to clever quips and skits, to hosts with a great sense of humor.

We are such old fogies, we even played Bingo two times. My husband splurged on the last big $1000. jackpot and bought TWO cards, one for him to play and one for me to play. And guess what? We won the jackpot! (But had to share the pot with one other winner) This is the only gambling we did, but lots of people amuse themselves for good periods of time in the casino.

Bingo Winner

There’s a spa on-board and you can get massages, mani-pedis, take a steam or sauna, and work out.

In other words, there is something for everyone, plus the promise of some beach time in tropical places. And did I mention the eating? You can leave life and the internet behind, unless you are Gary Lassin and wait for a beach place with free WIFI.

Cozumel

Dinners involved 8 course meals if you wanted to do that. You are served elegantly each time. Lunches are more casual, and served through a great span of time so if you want little snacks or even two lunches, it is ready and waiting for you. If you want an afternoon sweet, there is a soft-serve ice-cream machine and cookies waiting for you. Breakfasts are elegant too – in the dining room with china and many courses.

Cruise Ship

It is way too many opportunities to eat, and therefore too much eating, but for me, this is a good thing. It appears they eliminated the midnight buffet, but I never ate at those so I didn’t miss them. (I do draw the line on one million calories each day)

I like mardi-gras beads being thrown at me, and a several hundred person conga line dancing to a beat.

New Year’s Eve is a brilliant time to go. You can drink, dance, party, and be entertained after fine dining, and then just stumble exhausted into your room. Being on the Lido deck for the count-down to New Years was wild and fun, kind of like being in Times Square, with all  3000 passengers, and most of the crew up there. It was great to be a part of it.

NYE

New Year's Eve

Call me an old fogey, but this is my idea of a good time. I am an overgrown kid and I still like to have my fun. So that’s why it works so well for me. I come back both rested, and exhilarated. And with a whole extra amount of body weight.

In other words, if you have never tried this type of vacation, I urge you to give it a try. As for me, can’t wait for the next one.

7 comments

  • You describe a cruise exactly how I would, other than I do get sick IF I don’t take something. I take one Bonine per day with no side effects at all. Love to cruise and our first one was a New Years Eve cruise also. Just returned from a Southern Caribbean and would leave again today if it wasn’t for the fact I have to work for a living.

  • We love cruising! Have been on 16 and our favorite line is Celebrity! Their food is phenomenal!!! If you haven’t cruised with them, you should!

  • My husband really wants to go on a cruise sometime, but I don’t. I just want to go someplace and enjoy that place. After spending three days coming home on the train from New Orleans this past summer, I say the destination is the point, not the journey. And I really want to avoid that much caloric temptation too! But I’m glad you had a great time.

  • sounds amazing..and amazingly like Woodloch Pines, the cruise on land which I am extremely determined to have you visit one day. Don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble, but I did get violently seasick on the two cruises I’ve been on. (Disney in 2004 and Norwegian Dawn in 2006) Both were in August, with tropical storms to worry about, but my son and I both got really sick. We’re prone to motion sickness anyway. We wore wristbands and took pills..nothing worked. Sorry to say our cruising days are over..at least in summer months. Now that land cruise that is Woodloch Pines, well, that is another story..and worth every penny! What islands did you visit? The beach looked nice

    • I also get sick IF I don’t take Bonine. If you haven’t tried it, get you some at any Walmart or drugstore. I get motion sickness just from playing the Wii or watching home movies so I was pretty sure the cruise would get me. I was sick just from the ship leaving port but from that point on. I took one Bonine per day. Good luck if you try again.

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