I’ve never seen so much snow in January! Four or five times so far, right? It’s breathtaking to see the perfect white fluff covering everything. Quiet, peaceful, thrilling. Even though I love the snow, and appreciate all of the seasons for what they are, I sometimes miss summer days around this time of year. The feeling of summer vacation is invigorating, freeing, and second to none. And when I think of summer vacation, I think of cruising. If you’ve ever been cruising before, you’re probably addicted as I am. It only takes one time, folks! They aren’t fibbing. One time with 24/7 buffets and unlimited free room service; one time of buying that drink package so you can sip mai-tais till you pass out; one time of watching the sun set titanic style off the back of the ship. Coming back to reality is next to impossible after being drunk off the sun and the sea for a week. I swear I’m not trying to sell you a cruise, just sharing my experiences. I know I sound like a cruise pro, but truth be told, it’s only been a year since my first cruise, and I’ve been on a grand total of two!
My first cruise was Spring Break 2017. Just before I graduated good ‘ole John Tyler with my Associate of Applied Arts AND my Certificate of Fine Arts. *Hair flip.* Just before we left, Jeff and I got matching outfits for every day of the cruise- pro tip: do this! Our photos look great, plus we were voted “Most in Love Couple” by the crew. We also packed a bottle of wine each, and that was very useful for the times I wanted a drink right after we got back to the room to shower or change. There’s always a place to order drinks, except your room. The wine is also good for staying on a drinking budget…for a day…or a couple hours. I don’t know how you vacation.
After a day of soaking up the sun on the sea, we arrived at our first stop. We ate at one of the first restaurants we saw. Spoiler alert- all the authentic Mexican doesn’t come with all the queso I so adore at the Mexican joints at home. It was still epic, even without the cheesy goodness. Jumbo margaritas in hand, our feet in the warm white sand, steaming fajitas in front of us…we were feeling the ultimate feeling of vacation gazing at our cruise ship.
Though the cruise gives everyone the chance to sign up for activities like hikes, jet skiing, and swimming with dolphins, we opted out and decided to carve our own path; to find our own adventure; to leave the boundaries of the resort with their music and laughter, and venture into the streets of Mexico where we were bombarded by people trying to sell us anything they could. We made our way to the best looking scooter rental building and purchased a green beut’ for the day. It came with a map, that was wrong, but we found our way to the best views. I held on tight as Jeff tested the limits of the green monster. It went MUCH faster than I was comfortable with. Luckily, the view was WAY too good to speed past. Wind in our hair, squealing, we cruised down a little paved road right on the water’s edge, stopping here and there to trade who got to drive, to take pictures, and to drink from a coconut at a little bar with swings as bar seats. I’m so happy Jeff convinced me to drive, because it was so much better in the front. Totally exhilarated, I felt on top of the world driving that scooter next to the water.
The following day, we decided to stay in the resort boundaries and buy gifts for everyone at home. I’m happy I did this once, but I won’t be doing it again. At least not for very long. I spent way too many hours shopping, and not enough of the day adventuring! We did have time for weird shots, a private lunch at a rooftop restaurant, and bird feeding. The birds, so colorful and beautiful, were not afraid of us at all. They tried to come back with us, nesting in my hair and on Jeff’s shoulders. When we finally left without them attached to us, it started to sprinkle gently in a perfect good bye.
Tan and ten pounds heavier, we left our 24/7 buffets and sun to get back to life, and to plan our next cruise.
-Coordinate outfits with your cruising partner each day. It makes photos more fun, and it can be a good laugh!
-Bring the bottle of wine they allow you. And for those of you saying “I don’t like wine” um have you TRIED moscato!?
-Buy the drink package if you like to drink by the pool. Which is everyone, right?
-Take nausea medicine. Every day. Every dose. I wasn’t sea-sick once thanks to this tip!