I had never been on an ocean cruise ship before I boarded the Ovation of the Seas at the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey, and I was on this one somewhat reluctantly. Sandy & I have always maintained that cruising just wasn’t our style. So my first choice would have been to travel from the mainland to Bermuda by sail, but I was not able to link-up with a sailboat. It’s true that a cruise ship passage is a clear violation of my “Woody Guthrie Rule” prohibiting luxury travel, but I was stumped for a way to get to Bermuda, where I meet the sailboat Isbjorn to cross the Atlantic. Flying was, of course, out of the question. So, I conceded to my logistical limitations and bought the cheapest passage offered.
Here are some observations made on my fist ever cruise ship passage:
- I can’t imagine a more comfortable way to travel, even in the cheapest cabin on the boat. Lord, what those suites must be like.
- Food, food & more food- all day every day. I’ve been pretty much low-carb/no-carb for the last year, and I could have easily remained low-carb on this ship, but screw that! I ate everything, including desert, and went back for seconds, including desert. I avoided the premium restaurants, including the Jamie Oliver’s Italian, but had I been on vacation instead of travelling, I would have been happy to dine in any of the fine Italian, Sushi, or Steak & Seafood restaurants available.
There are seemingly limitless entertainment options including shows, music, games, swimming pools that resemble water parks, late night movies on a giant theater size screen, karaoke night, which is much more fun than one would imagine (no, I didn’t perform).
- Smoking a cigar on the balcony of your cabin will earn you a visit from the ship’s security staff and a warning that next time you will incur a $250 fine. They were very polite, but made very clear that there was no smoking in the room OR on the balcony, especially cigars. When I asked whether I might smoke my cigar in the bathroom, I thought they would throw me into the sea. But they laughed with me & shook my hand & wished me a pleasant continuing voyage. Fine fellows.
All-in-all, I’ve changed my mind about cruise ships. No, this doesn’t qualify as Hard Travelin’, but I could enjoy vacationing on a cruise with Sandy. And even if they aren’t our preferred style of travel, cruise ships damn sure are a fun & comfortable way to vacation. But don’t cruise solo- cruises are made to be shared. This won’t be my last solo cruise on this journey, however, as I am booked on an equally opulent cruise ship for the passage from Singapore to Perth, Australia in October (unless I get lucky enough to find a sailboat).
I wonder if there is a cigar themed cruise available.