Arrr! While digging through some old photos, I found this picture of me from a cruise I took with my parents after I graduated from college. I know I’m late for International Talk Like a Pirate Day but the picture did get me thinking about cruising.
Cruising is my parents’ preferred method of travel. They love not worrying about transportation or packing and unpacking as they move from one country to another. They have also been extremely generous to take my brother and I along during our younger years. We have certainly had some fabulous family vacations while sailing the high seas. However, with all vacations come lessons learned. If you’re planning on cruising this winter, here are my words to the wise:
- If your 21-year-old brother/son goes missing, assume he has found some girls to hang out with and has not fallen overboard.
- Be nice to your cabin steward. He will give you a lot more chocolates on your pillow.
- Unless you are with a big group, request your assigned dining table to be with other passengers. It’s a good opportunity to practice talking to strangers in a fairly comfortable environment.
- Go to the shows. They are actually pretty good.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It will help you keep that weight off from the buffet.
- If going with a group, be sure not to do everything together. It’s great for everyone to go do their own excursions while at port and then get back together at dinner to share stories.
- Balance eating on board and eating at port. While the food on board is included and usually delicious, you don’t want to miss out on the cultural cuisine of each country.
- Margaritas and sea sickness don’t mix.
- If you are on a cruise while in your early 20s, expect that most people on board in your age bracket are either on their honeymoon, in an on-board wedding, or are part of the crew. (Excluding spring break week.)
- Buy one of those photographs they take of you at dinner with the pirates. Eight years later, you’ll be glad you did.