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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Introduction to Cruising with Confidence

"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came."  ~John F. Kennedy

Despite hearing the passengers' first-hand accounts of how bad things were when sailing through the east coast storm this weekend, it won't deter me from cruising. For us it all started in 2004. The following excerpt is from Cruising with Confidence. (It is available on Amazon here.)

Nothing could prepare us for the pitter patter in our hearts upon seeing the enormous vessel we were about to board. 20 years of marriage had led us to this once-in-a-lifetime trip. A cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Seven days roundtrip from Seattle to Alaska on the Diamond Princess. 

While we liked to travel, we weren’t cruisers. We took short road trips from our home in Southern Idaho to Central Idaho. We ventured to the Oregon Coast for Spring Break. Occasionally we would get on an airplane. But a cruise? Until this celebratory trip we hadn’t even entertained the idea. Cruises were for the rich – which we weren’t. Cruises were for those who liked to dress up and go to fancy dinners and cocktail parties – which we didn’t. Cruises were for people who liked the finer things in life - things we didn’t care a bit about.

If we had only known. We’ve had to rethink our beliefs about cruising.

Here’s what we’ve come to know.
Cruising isn’t only for the rich. On one of our most recent cruises we paid a total of $549 (not per person) for seven nights – and received $250 in credit to use onboard. What vacation can you take for that kind of price? Wake up a few mornings on a ship in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Then wake up one morning in Costa Maya, Mexico and another morning in Belize City, Belize and another in Cozumel, Mexico, all in the same week.  Gotta love a floating hotel!

Cruising isn’t just for those who like to dress up and go to fancy dinners and cocktail parties. On a 15-night holiday cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii our luggage was lost by a shuttle company. We made a mad dash to a discount clothing store on the way to port and picked up a few things. No fancy clothing, only some basics. We spent the next two weeks wearing and re-wearing the same items and still enjoying good food, shows, and the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. (If the thought of wearing the same clothes more than once grosses you out, apologies. We did do laundry, if that helps.)

Cruising isn’t only for those who like the finer things in life. The only jewelry we wear is our wedding rings. We drink tap water. We live in a two bedroom manufactured home. We no longer need to impress anyone with anything. We like adventure and have found cruising to be a cost-effective way to visit places we never imagined we’d ever get to see. 

Discount clothes and all.