Marylu and the Cruisers
The cruise was part of a package deal (purchased way back in 2013) that included 2 one-week stays at resorts of our choice. We bought the package before any thoughts of being home-free started germinating.
During January 2014, we used one of the weeks in Santa Fe, New Mexico, following visits with family and friends in Arizona. We thought Santa Fe might be a desirable location for our retirement – final decision, it is too remote for future visits with family and friends. Alan hated the downtown area streets; now, after two months on the road with him, you and I are learning that streets, gutters and curbs are priorities. Well really, I tell him, we’re not planning to live in a large downtown; and, just as in Minnesota, they are great places to explore!
We used the second resort week in April 2015, to go to Mazatlan, Mexico. Not a future homesite either. All-inclusive resorts distort impressions of what daily life would be like. It was a great prelude to the following months spent getting the house ready for the real estate market.
On the way to the Cruise, my side of the story:
The Norwegian Spirit left from Port Canaveral, Florida, which is just 25 minutes from Cape Kennedy. Prior to the cruise, we regularly checked various websites to see if any launches were planned before and/or after our cruise dates. Unfortunately, no luck. Seeing a launch is still on our bucket lists.
We hoped and hoped another event would coincide with our travel plans. My brother Bill, a Chaplain and Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, was scheduled to arrive on the USS George Washington following a voyage from San Diego around the southern tip of South America to Norfolk, Virginia. We tried to time our visit with friends, Mick Warren, Debbie and Gerry Chebetar, in Chesapeake, Virginia, so we could all go to the ship and greet him. Unfortunately, the only arrival information Bill and the Navy could give was mid-December. Since our cruise departed December 12th, we knew there was just a slim chance we’d have a reunion with him. Both ships arrived in the USA on the 19th – at different ports and hundreds of miles apart. Since we had reservations in Naples from the 19th to January 1st, we hoped Bill would be able to join us there. That darn Navy, they must love him ‘cuz he had to stay in Norfolk. Mick did take us to the bay area where his ship would arrive.
We enjoyed a wonderful visit with our Virginia friends and made it to the beach, too late for swimming, but in time for some photos.
On our travels from Virginia to the cruise, we didn’t get to see much in the places visited. Alan finally got to experience dining at a Waffle House and
we enjoyed a few more “scenics”. Oh, and a brewery.
The Cruise – On a scale of 1 being terrible and 5 being excellent, I would rate the cruise as 3.5. There were plenty of shore excursions to choose from on most days at port. We enjoyed an ATV ride through the jungle, a beer and rum tasting tour, and two days at a couple of beaches.
I was disappointed in scheduled activities for adults on days at sea – there were no movie theaters, lectures about destinations, demonstrations of how to make guacamole… They did offer bingo a couple of days, but when we learned the charge for playing was over $35 each, it lost its appeal as a recreational diversion. We explored the ship thoroughly, swam in the pool, played dominoes, took notes and photos. The evening shows were terrific, no photos allowed; so, my descriptions will have to do – acrobatics combining Olympic skills with Cirque de Soleil performances; humorous comedian (as it should be); and a fun variety show performed by the amateur crew members.
One thing I didn’t like about the cruise – food kept getting in the way of my will power!
It’s a good thing it wasn’t better.
Next time we go on a cruise, I hope it will be another river cruise (smaller boat, fewer travelers and lots of activities) or we’re on our way to Europe for even more adventures.
Naples is next up.