To all those who said that I would never want to travel any other way once I had tried cruising, I say ppfffft. It was a good experience and I am definitely glad I went, but I am not so sure I am a convert. Maybe I need to try a different ship next time? Or maybe it is just me, wanting to see everything at every port and feeling a tad restrained by needing to fit it all in with the ship and shuttle schedules. The extra charges for the shuttles into each city from the port were also a bit grating and everyone was complaining about that little detail.
It was great to not have to keep packing and repacking and to wake up in a different location each morning. At some point over dinner, you might suddenly become aware - if you were looking out the window - that we were moving. The food was very, very good. But so are many restaurants that I have eaten at. I was not interested in shopping so the luxury shops on the Promenade deck held no appeal for me, though we did wander through the nightly 'sidewalk sales' and try to find something.... There was also nightly entertainment to keep us amused. And a variety of places to sit yourself down with drinks and new friends. There was a seemingly neverending gallery of sculptures and artwork on all the floors and even on the last day, I found a landing with a piece of art I am sure I had not seen before and wondered how is that possible? The ship was huge and even with all those people on board, it did not feel overly crowded. And it still took a bit of thinking to remember which stairwells and which elevators to take! And which direction the cabin was in. Next time, definitely get a balcony. If only for that extra bit of fresh air.
The most disappointing part, for both Xup and myself, was the dining. We wanted to share a table and the first two/three nights were great for meeting new people, even if one or two were the same people. Then it all fell apart and we ended up eating on our own and once (because of our different shore excursion plans) we each ate by ourselves.
Definitely the best part was the pre planning and the anticipation. It all feels a little sad to not have that anymore.
And to not have someone coming in to make up the beds and clean the WC. And leave bottles of water.
Then there were the animals....
I came home to a healthy pet turtle though it was hard to tell if he missed me.
But, I heard today that Lonesome George (who I wrote about here) has passed on at an relatively young age of 100 or so years. He was the last of his kind and will be sorely missed in the Galapagos.