Never been cruising?…What????…

Many have laughed when we say that we have never been on a cruise and now, we’ve booked eight cruises.  How risky, they say.  We ask, “What’s the risk?”

When we’ve dared to ask what they perceive as the risk, here are the answers:

1.  Seasickness:  Unlikely, since both of us are avid boaters.  If we could avoid seasickness bouncing around in a small fishing boat on a very windy day on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota with nary a thought about seasickness, it’s highly unlikely we’ll get sick on a giant ship with built-in stabilizers.  Backup plan: we have several prescribed packets of Transderm Scop.

2.  Boredom:  Nope, not likely.  Tom and I are easily entertained. We will participate in many activities, meet people, play cards, attend classes, and relax in a chaise lounge by the pool reading downloaded books on our phones.  The options to be entertained are endless.

3.  The food will be a problem with our limited diet:  Why would the food be a problem?  We eat.  They have food.  Will we be tempted on occasion to try something we don’t normally eat? Sure.  But we’ll remind ourselves every day that our ability to travel the world is predicated upon our good health. Why jeopardize feeling well for even one day for a French pastry?  To me, it’s not worth it. For Tom, he may occasionally try a few items.  Neither of us will judge the other for their personal decisions, although we’ll continue to offer loving support on staying the course. 

4.  Tiny, cramped cabin: We booked a balcony cabin for each cruise and managed a few upgrades to mini-suites. We’ll spend little time in our cabin. Our world-travel bags currently are all in our bedroom here in Scottsdale, only slightly larger than a cabin (we measured).  We’ll stack them neatly in one area.  We’re tidy.  We’ll be fine.

5.  Extra charges aboard cruise:  As discussed in a post from earlier in the week, we’ve made decisions in advance, based on our budget as to what extras we will choose:  purchase Internet time, purchase cocktails when desired (not the overpriced beverage package unfitting a lightweight drinker) and experience one or two excursions.  (The exception to that will be the upcoming cruise to Dubai in May to see Giza, the Sphinx, and the Great Pyramids.  We’ll do all of these!)  Neither of us cares for professional massages, spa treatments, gambling, or spending money in the expensive shops. We have no room for trinkets in our bags.  We may incur a laundry charge aboard ship most likely upwards of $100 a load.  We’ve budgeted for the expenses that we anticipate and, leaving a margin for the unknowns.

I guess it all boils down to this: self-control.  We need only to remind ourselves of our next adventure, our next juicy steak topped with mushrooms and onions, our next refreshing glass of iced tea with a slice of lemon, and of course, the person we love sitting beside us who makes us laugh warms our heart and holds our hand through it all. 

Yesterday, while checking in online with Celebrity Cruise Line for our first upcoming cruise on January 3, 2013, we perused information for our later cruise leaving Miami on January 21, 2013 sailing to Belize where we’ll live for two and a half months on each of the peninsulas of Placencia and Ambergris Caye. 

We’ll be disembarking in Belize City, three days prior to the end of the cruise.  (We have written approval from the cruise line to disembark early).  We’ve discovered that the pier in Belize City is too shallow for cruise ships to dock and thus, we’ll be “tendered” to shore via a smaller boat. 

For a moment we both panicked envisioning the process of maneuvering our eight pieces of luggage, our computer and digital equipment bags, my handbag, and ourselves into a small boat.  This morning, after a fitful night we promptly called the cruise line to discover that the boat picking us up will be boarded via a large stable ramp to awaiting boats holding anywhere from 100 to 200 passengers at a time.  We’ll not only have assistance from the ship’s employees but also the staff on the smaller boats since they also assist passengers as they are boarding.  No fear!  Whew!

There’s no doubt that the simplicity of our “old” life avoided such decisions, avoided such challenges, avoided such risks.  In the perpetual search for familiarity, comfort, and ease, we found ourselves, happy but stuck in a groove we could have blissfully stayed as we lived out our lives in retirement. 

We’ve chosen “the road less traveled” to challenge ourselves, to expand our knowledge, to enhance our personal histories, and to celebrate and appreciate the amazing world and the people in it.  We’ll make some bad decisions, we’ll make some wrong turns, and at times we may wonder, “why are we doing this?”  But we’ll do this together, we’ll learn together and we’ll marvel together, always grateful and always in love.