Cruising gives people from all walks of life the opportunity to experience the luxuries that were in times past reserved only for the rich. Cruises can range from as little as one day (overnight) to as much as over one hundred days, and modern cruise ships are engineered to minimize the motion a floating object is forced to undergo on “Interesting” seas. We had one individual on the ms Amsterdam in 2007 that boarded in Seattle on September 21 and disembarked seven months later in New York.
Once arriving onboard you are transported into a world where excellent service is the norm. You are surrounded by smiling friendly faces, and repeatedly greeted throughout the day. This sets the mood for the rest of your cruise. After you have unpacked your carryon bags and settled in – it’s time to – EAT! Every ship has a Lido, or cafeteria style restaurant where, after boarding, your hunger and thirst can be satisfied in short order. By the time you take a stroll around the deck, admiring the local scenery and return to your stateroom, you find that (usually) your checked luggage has been placed either inside your stateroom or in the hall outside your door.
The evening of our first cruise, I couldn’t help marveling at the continuous smile on Barbara’s face as during the evening meal it became obvious that this was something she could easily get used to. In fact, I seemed to hear those thoughts verbalized several times during the following days.
Later that evening we enjoyed the show in the main “lounge”, which we made a habit of attending when ever possible. Besides individual entertainment acts, each ship has a permanent “company” of singers and dancers. Although this company is not on the “bill” every evening their performances have become our most favorite.
More and more cruise lines are doing some variations of what NCL calls “Freestyle Cruising”, breaking away from the traditional assigned “time and table” dining for the evening meal. On NCL’s Dream, we spent a fair amount of time waiting for the dining room to open and then be escorted to whatever table was available and with different tablemates almost every time. We prefer the traditional, and have met some great people this way.
So, here’s the deal; a cruise ship feeds you, shelters you, transports you and pretty much caters to your every need and at a cost very comparable to “land cruising”. What is not to like?