If taking a cruise is on your wish-list, here’s some advice: make sure you choose the right ship, right destination and right companion… I have done 5 cruises and each has been so completely different, that you really need to research them before you book.
My sister and I headed off from Miami on the ‘fun ship’ Carnival Liberty to swan about the Caribbean for a week. (I know!) She has abandoned husband and kids and we’re off to pretrend we’re 20-something without a car as we visit Cozumel Mexico, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios Jamaica.
This ship has a totally different clientele to others I’ve been on. Carnival’s tag line is ‘fun ships’ and there’s not a mobility scooter in sight. It’s all honeymooners, college friends, high school groups, families with little kids and just a handful of retirerees on this monster ship of 3500 passengers and 1200 crew with 3 pools and a gazillion deck chairs laid around them. There’s a big screen TV over the main pool on the Lido deck for late night movies and concert DVDs under the stars and below that is a stage where DJs and live bands play into the wee small hours.
For kids and energetic adults there’s a crazy slide that interestingly ends right beside the pool (not in it). But don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about yoof – there’s a well equipped gym, a spa for a bit of pampering and a casino which begins each week-long cruise stocked with about US$3million. (More about that later..)
Of course a cruise wouldn’t be complete without the all-inclusive and never ending supply of food. There’s a whole deck with a buffet for breakfast that becomes lunch and then morphs into dinner. There’s a kiosk pizza bar, a nacho counter and soft serve ice cream stations that always have a few kids lined up. Then there’s the fancy sit-down restaurant with tables for just you and your group (you’re not assigned to sit next to strangers). Pip and I have a little table for 2 where Sandra from South Africa and Mitchell from Indonesia look after us. They became friends after a couple of days and we’ve taken to debriefing our day and getting their advice on what to do tomorrow.
But that’s enough for now. More later – I’m off to get the cocktail of the day….