Is cruising for me? Will we like cruising? What if I like it and she doesn’t? Or, what if she does and I don’t? With skepticism and questions, my wife and I both wondered what made cruising such a great vacation?
Questions about cruising and whether to embark on one were discussions my wife and I had asked each other over the years. Then one day the opportunity presented itself in an unexpected way. We received the inevitable timeshare presentation invitation with a free cruise as the reward for sitting through the 45 minute promised (1.5 hour reality) presentation.
The timeshare presentation was located close to our home, and the schedule worked with ours, so we felt we had nothing to lose – except double time of course. We endured the presentation, the sale was unsuccessful, and we received our certificate for the free cruise. All is well, and money is still in the pocket.
Although scheduling our cruise was a challenge, we found ourselves destined for a four-day cruise from Galveston to Cozumel Mexico. The cruise round would involve a day at sea, a day in Cozumel, and a day back at sea before arriving back in Galveston. Yes, I counted the days, but they still call it a four day cruise.
My wife and I really did not know what to expect. We looked to the itinerary and the frequently asked questions section of the website and began putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
We decided that we would do things according to the ships recommendations. This meant packing our bags with suits and dresses for the formal nights along with all the casual clothes that we wanted for comfortable experience.
Discovering Cruising: Cozumel
In Cozumel, we went on a four-wheeling excursion into the forests and trails of the island. I had to convince my wife to go, but towards the end of the excursion she was having a blast and trying to figure out how to be more adventuresome on the four-wheeler. I was a proud husband.
(Just a quick note pulling from other future cruises, Cozumel is one of the more common destinations included in the various itineraries.)
We dined in the banquet hall, took advantage of the shows, leveraged an adventurous excursion in Cozumel, and tested out almost everything on the ship. For a 3-night, four-day cruise we packed in quite a bit.
We arrived back in Galveston, retrieved our car, and started our 5-hour journey back home in Dallas. It was during the car ride that we processed our cruising experience and began answering the questions we had always had.
Our first revelation was that we were not “cruisers.” This meant we were not interested in cruising just for cruising sake. We realized that being confined on a boat for your entertainment was not the ideal vacation for us. And, the initial reaction to this revelation was that we would not need to repeat the adventure.
However, the dialogue would continue and we began discussing things that we enjoyed about the experience. We liked the idea of having access to food whenever you were hungry at any given moment. We ourselves were not fans of formal night, although we recognized that many people enjoyed that facet of cruising. We discovered and preferred to remain casual and leverage the ship’s buffet instead.
We really enjoyed the idea of a floating hotel delivering us to new destinations each day. These new revelations led to the objective of experiencing a second cruise with “ports of call” serving as the primary factor in determining what crews to take.
Although our initial reaction was that we were not cruisers, we were now excited about engaging a second cruise with more exotic ports of call to experience. We had also dreamed about various Caribbean island vacations but were not sure which island we wanted to explore.
A second cruise in the Caribbean would give us a chance to test cruising again as well as exploring a variety of islands to determine which ones we might invite us to come back and visit with a longer stay.
Without question, I can recommend taking advantage of a 3 night four-day cruise to test cruising for yourself. If you are like us and wanting to experience a Caribbean island vacation but not sure which one to go to, then taking a 7 day cruise through various islands that will give you a chance to test cruising while also exploring your own islands.