Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cruise: Some thoughts

Two Carnival ships in CozumelGoing on a cruise has been a bucket list item for a while. But I had always resisted. I was concerned that I would feel trapped on the boat, and be unable to escape.

A friend suggested, and I wound up going on a cruise for Mardi Gras week. The cruise was on Carnival, and was out of Galveston. We stopped at Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Progresso - all in the Yucatan.

This was not a small ship. Most of my prior trips on a ship have been on ferries. I've been on several short river ferries, and on both the Point Judith/Block Island and the Nantucket ferries. Even the Nantucket ferry vessels are quite small by comparison! This ship had elevators going to 9 floors for most of the ship. In some places the ship goes to the 12th floor. Oh, the they count the decks the way the computer scientists do: starting at zero (the staff quarters).

The length of the ship was amazing. Some of the floors/decks had over 450 rooms. Because of the size, even with fairly rough seas, there was very little motion which I felt. There were, however, times when it was obvious that there was motion ... the water was sloshing in the pool.

It was a great trip. At two of the ports, I took excursions to visit Mayan ruins, which greatly expanded my knowledge of the culture and people of that area of the world.

Will I go on a cruise again? Probably. Here are the things I would do differently:
  1. Get an outside cabin. I think it will be worth the extra cost to be able to see. It certainly will enhance the experience of being at sea.
  2. Go as part of a larger group. I was surprised at the demographics of my fellow passengers. There were a good number of families - sometimes 3 generations. There were also more groups of young adults. (And by that I mean the 20-30 year olds.) They also tended to travel in "packs," and seemed to have a great time. There actually were fewer "old folks" than I expected. But even many of them were traveling in groups of 2 - 4 couples. Those "uncoupled" seemed to be lost in the shuffle.
  3. I would take more advantage of some of the entertainment options. I went to a couple of the shows, but I generally avoided them. The ones I went to were enjoyable.
  4. Bring more, dressier clothes for evening wear. I packed mostly for beach/pool and the "jungle" expeditions.
I did a lot of reading. That was one thing I did right, I brought more than enough books. (Always a concern for a reading librarian!)

Here are some of the photos from the cruise and land excursions.

I will enhance this post with photos (and will note that in an edited set of comments here).

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