YEARS AGO – Let’s say, too many to mention – I was the Cruise Editor of a travel trade publication. Back then, cruising was magical! I hopped from cruise ship to cruise ship, sampling every line and experiencing every itinerary. Cruising was fun! As time passed, the publication closed its doors and I went on to lead a productive life in the travel industry.
FIVE YEARS AGO - I’m still cruising, but it’s definitely lost its luster. My husband and I take a cruise or two annually, usually 3-5 days in duration. We don’t go to the shows. (Boring….been there; seen it; done that.) We have never jumped into an onboard pool or hot tub. (The former crowded with kids; the latter crowded with drunks.) Using the onboard fitness center was out of the question. (Quite honestly, it’s very intimidating being the oldest - and most out of shape person – on the treadmill. Days at sea were spent sleeping - and sleeping – and sleeping.
We dressed for formal nights and dined with people we probably wouldn’t talk to on land. We nixed breakfast in the dining room because there is nothing worse than being at a table with ten people you don’t know and don’t care about yakking incessantly about where they came from and how many cruises they’ve been on. Our habit was to grab some food on deck and take it to the cabin. Ports were blah. I mean, how many times can you visit Nassau?
FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT - So on our bucket list was a cruise through the Panama Canal. This was to be 15 nights – our longest cruise to date. While we looked forward to the itinerary, we dreaded the time we would spend onboard.
So we boarded the NCL Jewel at the Port of Los Angeles and were directed to wait on deck while our cabin was being readied. As we entered the Garden Café, I recall saying to my husband, “Oh my goodness! These people are so OLD!” As the words came out of my mouth, I glanced at a mirror and added, “…And I’m one of them!”
I found the secret to great cruising experiences – cruise with your own kind. These were my peeps.
Sleep was in short supply on this cruise. (No time!) We visited the fitness center twice a day. (No one looked any better or worse than we looked.) We used the pool, the hot tub and even the slide. (Yes…we wore swimsuits)! We dined at a table for two in the main dining room for dinner and yes…even for breakfast ending the communal dining experience. I don’t think we ever missed an evening show, all geared to our age group with the music of our generation.
Cruising was magical again!
So I gave this a lot of thought. Here are my conclusions: I have definitely been taking the wrong cruises. On a longer voyage, folks are older so cruising is geared to their interests and tastes. To get the gray haired cruise experience, I believe a cruise has to be at least seven days in duration.
So Cruising With Wrinkles was born. With this blog, I hope to share information that you can use to plan and enjoy your cruise more than you ever thought possible. If you are over 50 and thinking about cruising this is for you. If you don’t have wrinkles, well, you are luckier than most of us or you have a good cosmetic surgeon. My most recent cruise offered Botox, so if you have them, you can be temporarily relieved of them and still enjoy your time onboard.
I hope you will join me on this journey. Check back often, ask questions and enjoy the ride, ‘er …cruise. And please, pass this link to your friends. They will thank you for it!