The idea of a cruise first came to me in a dream while my husband was recuperating from a hip replacement last year. I dreamed about being waited on hand and foot and not having to wash dishes, do laundry, cook or even think about cooking. So, after my Dad passed away last April, my sisters and I decided to take a cruise with our husbands as a way of spending time together and not having to work at it. And since my Dad loved cruises, we settled on a cruise for our journey together.
We boarded the Norwegian Star in Tampa Bay (Feb. 5-12th) and sailed to Honduras, Belize, and the beautiful beaches of Costa Maya, and Cozumel in Mexico. I have to admit, right from the beginning, I was struck by the customer service. For example, when we first boarded the ship, it seemed like thousands of people were boarding with us and not only was the process quick and organized, the staff smiled all the way through it and were amazingly friendly – nothing like the airport scene where personnel often act like they are doing YOU a favor. Everyone I came into contact with on the ship seemed to have one priority – to make sure all passengers have a comfortable, relaxing, and fun time. If the crew was faking it, they did a great job.
What did I like? I loved sitting on my private balcony listening to the ocean and keeping the door slightly ajar at night so I could hear the sound of the sea while falling asleep. I loved sitting on the upper deck in the quiet zone reading, uninterruptedly, Deborah Reed’s new novel, Carry Yourself Back to Me.
And, I loved the excursions on land. We zip lined in the rain forest in Belize and later with headlamps on, we floated in tubes through the Mayan cave system. Other days we relaxed on the gorgeous beaches sipping margaritas and pina coladas.
And when we were at sea, there was the spa with hot tubs, hydrotherapy pools, and cushiony lounge chairs looking out at sea. Of course there is the dining and endless buffets culminating in the last night’s chocolate buffet. And, should you get bored, there are endless musical shows that aren’t too bad.
What didn’t I like? Just too many darn people – almost everywhere. I also didn’t like not having enough time once we docked to truly explore any one place. Basically, you get a sampling of what the country might be like. It would have been fun to spend the week in just one place but clearly cruises are not designed for that. All in all, the best part of the cruise was spending time with my two sisters who I don’t get to see enough and of course, not having to cook, clean-up or do anything but visit.