Monday, September 16, 2013


Not our boat . . . . .

Why would I want to spend a week on a boat? What would you do for a week with nothing to do but watch the ocean go by? Going on a cruise was never a vacation option I considered. It just made no sense to me a all. Lots of other things I was willing to try, but I was not interested in cruising. I then discovered how “easy” it was. Yup, it was the “Big Easy” that finally got me onto a cruise ship. A friend took a cruise that sailed from New Orleans, and her descriptions of all the fun she had got me interested. It was the couple of days in New Orleans that sold me on the trip not the cruise. I have always wanted to visit New Orleans to visit the French Quarter and hear some of that famous New Orleans Jazz and Blues, and try some of the delicious spicy Cajun & Creole food the city is famous for. The cruise was a compromise to get me to New Orleans. We booked a trip to Louisiana that culminated in a seven day cruise departing from New Orleans.

At the end of three days exploring the city, we wandered down to the Riverfront to see where we would catch the ship. To our surprise the ship was already there, sitting gently tied to the wharf. We were amazed at the size of the ship. I had seen cruise ships, but never up close, and I had no idea how big they were. This was before 911, and security was not so intense, so we could get pretty close to the ship, walking down the dock, staring up at the bulk of this massive thing. Seeing it close up, I was much more interested in finding out more about it.

Now this was actually a relatively small ship as modern cruise ships go, and it was retired soon after, but to me it was huge. The next day when we actually boarded the ship and explored it from stem to stern, I was suddenly interested in this cruising thing. And the rest, as they say is history.

We have since sailed on over 13 cruises, on 6 different cruise lines, traveling to four continents, and through many different oceans. I've decided that I like cruising. We managed for years to take one cruise every year. Initially it was an ideal way to take a much needed break from work for a week during the worst part of the winter season. It was a great way to relax. There was good food, comfortable rooms, and you sailed through beautiful warm Caribbean waters while snow was flying back home, and winter was doing it's best to keep Spring at bay.

Once we retired we continued to cruise, but now we could take longer more interesting trips, and found other ways to travel. We did a canal boat through England, and a house boat down the St. John River, as well as discovering how convenient it is to rent apartments in foreign locations, and learn about how other people live. This year it had been two years since we actually took a real cruise and we were starting to experience “Cruise Withdrawal”. This trip to Calgary, and then to Vancouver provided an opportunity to take another cruise, and we booked this 18 day cruise down the west coast and through the Panama canal.

Wandering down to the Vancouver waterfront, we explored Canada Place where the cruise ships depart. There was a cruise ship in port, and strolling down Canada Walk, I was able to see down onto the ship's decks and up to the balconies with people sitting relaxing, watching me, watching them. I was instantly back in “Cruise Mode” and wanted nothing more than to be on board, feeling the vibration of the engines, seeing the waves crashing along the sides, and smelling the salt air.

Ahh, back to cruising.

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