Come as You Are
This is the second of the two part series I intended to write about why I think many folks like cruises.
The pic is yours truly in doing a sport activity on the boat, known as Boogie Boarding on the Flowrider.
The Flowrider pumps 13 thousands and recycles them every minute that it is turn on. As you can tell, I am not wearing any sort of make-up, I am a bit overweight but still not ashamed of wearing a bathing suit as over time I've lost 50 lbs. Yes, I'm certain there were opinions held by others of my appearance, but no one in general cared or said anything openly about it. There were plenty of men and women who were obese or underweight, wore thongs or speedos, but during pool time on the 15th and 16th decks, you came as you are. There were plenty who also never donned a swimsuit, more comfortable in shorts and sitting in the shade to read.
This observation also reminded me of the time when I was involved with the One America blog and with the campaigns. Many of us identified with Elizabeth Edwards as she struggled with her weight. She looked like one of us. And I liked it that on this cruise, people of all ages were comfortable with one another.
Of course, folks like cruising too because everything is provided for them--3 solid meals, plus snacks, entertainment of all sorts, room was attended to 3 times a day by many of the stateroom attendants, and there were people to have lunch with if you wanted. I particularly enjoyed the trivia contests and the dancing parties.
Mr. Benny and I had a great time, but I think we didn't totally drink the cruising kool-aid of some that we met on the ship. One woman was celebrating her 71st cruise. I asked why she was a repeat customer. She said she was born for cruising. Not certain what to make of it. Others said they built up "frequent cruising miles" or perks, whereby their trips, except for the flights and drinks, were almost paid for. There was one couple who had been on a cruise three weeks before and was from Bayonne, NJ. Bayonne is not a great town, so I suppose it was a sad commentary that this couple felt the need to get away on cruises frequently. I think I would have just left NJ and move to Florida.
Drawbacks to cruises: Royal Caribbean in particular "nickels and dimes" you for even soft drinks. We paid extra for those sodas. I drank club soda most nights at dinner, and if we wanted any wine or anything else, we paid for those (which were few) at an entertainment establishment because they were cheaper than the Main Dining room.
Overall, I would recommend a cruise to any landlovers for a different experience. I don't recommend a big ship, such as the Allure of the Seas for very introverted folks; 6200 folks and 2200 staff is a lot of people to encounter daily. But would I do this every year, I think Mr. Benny and I believe that we can wait for a couple of years before going again as we want to do more urban trips in the future.
But I do like the idea of "Come as You Are."