Friday, June 07, 2013

The Jury is Still Out

I'd mentioned several weeks ago that Jilda and I were taking our first cruise. Normally we don't broadcast when we'll be away from home for obvious reasons, but we just returned.
We drove to Jacksonville, Florida last Friday and spent the night in a hotel. I learned too late that our blog buddy Janie Junebug lives in Jacksonville. I feel almost like I know her personally, but we've never met. It would have been the perfect opportunity to put a face with a name, but alas that didn't happen.
Jilda's sister Pat has been on several cruises and she tried to coach us on what to expect, but telling, and experiencing are two different things.
As the ship cast off and headed down the river toward the ocean, several dolphins escorted us. I snapped a few pictures, but they must have been camera shy because all I got was ripples in the green water.
That first night after dinner, Jilda and I headed to the stern to watch the sunset. We passed people frolicking in the pool, swilling buckets of beer in aluminum cans, and dancing to the reggae music blaring from speakers.
When we got to the stern, there were only a few people there to watch the setting sun. I leaned over the side rail to get a better look at the ink-black water slipping past us. 
Clouds on the horizon threatened to make sunset a non-event, but I knew in my heart that Mother Nature would not be so cruel as to deny a couple of hicks from Empire, Alabama a show on the first night of their first cruise.
I was right.
It's easy to see why people love cruises. The sights are spectacular, the food is remarkable and unending. The people you meet are interesting, and there's always something going on....but still, I found myself feeling displaced, and looking longingly toward home.
Being disconnected took some getting used to. Normally I check my email a zillion times a day. I understand that it's not healthy, but it's a habit I've fallen in to and I found myself fondling my iPhone which I wound up using for a camera instead of my communications hub.
But after a few days, I missed the connections less, and I found myself reading more. I'd taken my Nexus tablet, and I finished two books that I'd started but had never finished.
I also re-read Walden. I'd forgotten how remarkable it was/is.
Our second stop was Nassau, and we headed out to the Straw Market and other areas to get a feel for the island.
We talked to several people to ask for directions and to buy a few souvenirs. 
We found the people delightful. They spoke English, but the tone and rhythm of their voices was melodic. 
We took a taxi and the driver gave us a crash course on Bahaman history. He drove us by some points of interest, and talked a little about the politics of the islands.
I could have spent a lot more time there, but I wasn't fond of the thought of swimming home, so we made our way back to the ship.
One couple we met had been married 47 years and they'd been on more than 30 cruises. We enjoyed the experience, but if asked today if we will take others, I'd have to say the jury is still out.


19 comments:

  1. Cruises can be wonderful, if you don't overeat!!

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    1. I actually lost two pounds. We used the stairs most of the time.

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  2. I think cruises are a wonderful idea.you can really relax and enjoy the view.However the weather needs to be good. lol

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    1. It looked like rain, but it only rained a little at night.

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  3. I know what you mean about feeling disconnected and a little lost without your phone... but once you got used to it, you found time to do other things like reading.... getting unconnected can be good sometimes... at least that's what I tell myself, lol...

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    1. It was good. I'm going to try to limit my connect time and spent more time reading :)

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  4. How much did you lose in the casino? lol

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    1. He Michael, I put $20 down and when it was gone (about 10 minutes later), I went to the room :)

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  5. Welcome back. It's good to know you both had an interesting new experience. I've never taken a cruise.

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  6. I took a Caribbean cruise when I was young...very young...not married! I enjoyed it alot, but then again I was more into that kind of thing back then. Jack had never taken a cruise so we went on one in '07 to Alaska. He loved Alaska and we were only on the ship 3 days and spent the rest inland. It was great but I'm like you and enjoy being close to home. Jack's not a sun lover so I doubt we'll take a sunny cruise, but Alaska would be fun to do again with more days on the ship to other ports. Glad you had the bucket list experience and enjoyed down time and sunsets...maybe a few buffets? Welcome back!

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  7. I thought that you of all people would have really love your cruise and would want to go back on another.

    My choice would be a Mediterranean cruise. My daughter has been on one and lived like a queen while on the cruise. She loved it. It's a lot of money to part with though.

    JB

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    1. I think a Mediterranean cruise might just be the ticket for us too.

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  8. I know some people love them, Rick, and I love the ocean but I am not a "cruise" type person. Don't know why-it's just not my thing. I do love the Bahamas though. You can fly there and stay in a hotel pretty reasonably when they do promos. You would LOVE the forts that are there I think. Politics can be kind of binding though-depending who is in "favor and control" at the moment.
    Glad you are home safe and sound-

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    1. I think I'd like to go back to the islands and really spend some time there, but like you, I'd like to fly.

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  9. It sounds like this was a fun experience and good to detach from email for a while. Anything different from your regular environment is a nice break and makes going home so enjoyable too. My mother was in her 70s when she and her sister did a long Mediterranean cruise together. It was the experience of a lifetime for her and we were so proud of her for stepping out of her comfort zone to do it.

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    1. My sister-in-law who just turned 70 went with us. She had a great time too.

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  10. I'm just not interested in cruises. I can understand why many people enjoy them, but I've heard so many horror stories, too. And I never forget: Titanic!

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. We had to turn off the news when those stories came on :)

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  11. I like cruising cause everything is there and you don't have to unpack but once. That said, I can do without the Princess cruises nightmares and stupid ass people on board acting like nimrods. But I do like cruising... :)

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