Conversation with a Seasoned “Cruiser”

I been doing all this talking about our May trip to Arizona but there are other things to do on Vacation. I went on a cruise to the Bahamas once. It was nice. I had nothing to do with the planning so I am definitely not one to ask about cruising. I remember my favorite part was the day we spent at the private island. From talking with other vacationers who have gone on cruises, I think the “private island” is pretty standard. So I was chatting with a co-worker who also happens to be a dedicated cruise vacationer and I thought I’d ask her about her experiences.

Meet Julie, my friend and co-worker. Julie is in her 20’s and has a number of cruises under her belt. We’re hoping to meet her father in Scottsdale when we take the trolley. Her father is “Boston Jim” who I have mentioned a couple of times. But I am getting off track.

DR: Hey Julie. You like to cruise don’t you? How many times have you gone?

Julie: I love taking cruises. I’ve been 5 times so far.

DR: Do you always go the same time of year?

Julie: No but I like to go in February. I like to get away from the cold here in the Northeast.

DR: So you always go someplace warm?

Julie: I made the mistake once of taking a 5 day cruise out of New York on Carnival to some island in Canada. All I know is it was COLD!…and rainy. It rained , it poured and it was so rocky…I have never been so seasick in my life. We spent most days in the cabin!

DR: Do you have a favorite cruise experience?

Julie: I’d have to say my favorite cruise was my first one. We sailed on Princess Cruise Lines and it was a 7 day, 6 night cruise through the Caribbean. We went to St. Martaan and St. Thomas and made a stop at their private island, Princess Cay. It was so beautiful.

St Martaan was like the movies! The water was so clear. We snorkeled and swam. It was awesome. I was only 18 on that cruise and Princess Lines was the only cruise line that let you go without a parent or guardian if you were under 21. I don’t know if its still like that but it was then.

DR: You’ve mentioned Princess Cruises and Carnival. Have you been on any other cruise lines?

Julie: Yes one other. I went on a Royal Caribbean cruise. That one was more of an older crowd and everything pretty much shut down between 12 & 1 AM. The other cruises were more of a party time with something to do at all hours.

DR: Do you usually go with friends or your family.

Julie: I usually go with my friends. We like to do a girl’s trip. I’ve been on 2 of those. Then I went with my mom for one and the other 2 were with my boyfriend.

DR: Do you have another one coming up.

Julie: I hope so. I have to see if I can get the time off from work before I make it definite.

DR: What advise would you have for someone considering a cruise for the first time.

Julie: I’ve been on 3 day cruises and 7 day cruises and I like the 7 day cruises the best. The 3 day cruise is too short for me but with cruising you either love it or hate it so if its your first time, you might want to try the shorter 3 day cruise to get a taste of it.

If you like it then you could do a 5 day and work your way up to the longer cruises.

With the 3 day cruise they only stop at 1 port of call so you don’t get to see as much. There’s not enough time for excursions or a lot of shopping. We were only ashore for about 6 hours so it really limits your activities.

DR: Have you ever had a bad experience aside from the weather issues you mentioned.

Julie: Well, we went to the wrong port one time. My Mom and I flew into Fort Lauderdale because the plane fare was cheaper. When we went to meet the ship it wasn’t there and the Port Canaveral folks said there wasn’t any ship sailing out of Port Canaveral. We finally called the Cruise Line and they told us they were sailing out of Miami. We had an hour to get to the ship. I don’t know how the taxi driver did it but $100.00 later he got us there in time.

DR: Do you have a Dream Destination you’d like to cruise to?

Julie: Oh Yes! Hawaii! I would love to take a cruise to Hawaii. They only have 10 day cruises but you get to see all the islands. It would be awesome.

DR: I love Hawaii but I don’t think I’d want to cruise it. You wouldn’t get enough time on each island. There’s just so much to do and each island is so different.

Julie: I wouldn’t know what to do and I’m not one to do a lot of research. That’s what I like about cruising. You book your passage to where you want to go and let them worry about the rest. If you hate the planning part and figuring out what places to go and see, cruising is definitely the way to go. They have the shore excursions all planned out . You just sign up for what interests you.

DR: You hear a lot these days about cruises where everybody on board gets sick. Any experiences like that?

Julie: Other than that cruise where I was sea sick…no. The ships are spotless. They are cleaner than any land based hotel I’ve ever been in. They clean morning , noon and night. You come back to the room at night and a little towel animal and mint greets you. It’s just really nice.

DR: So do you have a favorite cruise line?

Julie: It’s hard. I would have to say it’s a toss up. Princess has awesome shows and the food is great. Carnival’s shows didn’t have the “wow” factor that the Princess shows did but there were more to choose from. The food wasn’t as good as the Princess food either.

DR: Was there open seating?

Julie: No every cruise I’ve been on has had assigned seats for dinner and I really don’t like that. I’ve only enjoyed my dinners partners on 1 cruise.

DR: Do you need a passport?

Julie: Yes it’s the law now.

DR: .Any last words for my readers?

Julie: Yes. Definitely try it.

DR: (Laughing) Try it you’ll like it?

Julie: Yes that’s it! Absolutely! I swear by it!

DR: Thank you Julie. I really appreciate you sharing your insights with me.


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