When my husband gets tired of working in his home office, he wants to travel with me on a cruise ship. This happens typically once a year. For him changing the scenery is a vacation, but for me it does not look like it, since he works many hours during these journeys, often during the night because of the time differences among continents. However he looks re-energized in new surroundings. He keeps close track of the weather and the ship’s movements. Watching sunsets is his lifelong passion. He also enjoys the great variety of food choices at the many cruise ship restaurants. Despite the enormous variety of activities onboard, he does not participate in any group activities.
In the beginning I had a lot of prejudices towards cruise ship journeys. I believed those ships were for old, rich people who spent their afternoons playing bridge and sipping their drinks before they dressed up for dinner and evening entertainment in the casino or at the ship theatre. Over the years I have learnt to find pleasure in many of those almost 100 activities one can choose from every day.
I typically start the day at 6.50 am by running up the few stairs to the fitness room. The first half hour consists of stretching and yoga-like exercises. The following half hour is focused on abs and back. These exercises allow great contact with my body and prevent me from overeating afterwards. They wake up the senses and bring my attention to what is good for my body. Funny enough most of the people I meet in these daily fitness classes have normal body sizes like I, while in other places on the ship, especially in the pools, one sees many overweight people. Of course it is great that people of all sizes and even with severe mobility restrictions can take cruise holidays and do whatever they like most. But I cannot help thinking they must suffer from some kind of food addiction. Maybe there should be a support group on board for overeaters anonymous in the same way they have a support group for AA, LGBT and singles onboard?
After the fitness exercises, I eat breakfast in the enormous buffet restaurant “Garden Café”. The selection of food is very varied and should meet any kind of diet requirements. The Garden Café is a good place to meet new people every day, because people who like sharing their table with others go there. If one wants to eat alone, it is better to go to one of the restaurants. Food and drinks in glasses are included in our cruise prices and if one prefers to have food served at the table, that is also included in the price. However, getting food served to your stateroom costs a small service fee.
On days at sea, after breakfast I will go and listen to a lecture, for example about the history of pirates or arts in Polynesia, read books or join the morning trivia competition. In the afternoon I will go to one or two dance lessons, followed by more reading or studying on the Internet. In the evening I like watching a film on television or occasionally check what live show is performed in the ship’s theatre.
On the days when we are anchored at various ports, my husband and I typically go for hikes, snorkeling tours on coral reefs or just watching local life wherever we happen to be.
Cruises give us a welcome change from daily routines at home while at the same time we keep continuing with those routines which make us feel at home even though we are travelling.