I honestly never had the urge to go on a cruise.
It’s just not my style of travel. I’m the type of guy who likes to head somewhere via car or plane, get there and explore. Whether it’s geocaching, photography or whatever else — it’s the way I like to travel.
As an example, a few years ago, I went to Maine. My plan was to spend one day in Portland, then two or three in Bar Harbor. With it being the off-season, I only made a reservation for the first night. The weather looked shabby for the following few days, so I switched up, got reservations through Priceline in Portland and stayed there for a few days. In the end, it was a fun vacation where I got to see some really cool things. Staying there allowed me to take one of my all-time favorite photos, too.
Over the years, I’ve heard good things about cruises, from family and friends. Life is easier, they say. Things are done for you.
Still, being constrained on a ship isn’t my idea of fun.
Back in January or so, a friend asked if I’d be interesting in shooting his wedding. For those who know me, though I’ve shot several weddings, I am not a fan of doing them, mainly because there’s so much pressure attached. If you mess up those photos, you’ve messed up a lifetime of memories.
Alas, I’ll shoot for friends when asked if it’s something they truly want.
In this case, it would mean going on the cruise. Pretty easy choice, no? So I agreed to do it and put it aside. As time got closer, so did my anxiety. It wasn’t just about being on the ship, rather it was everything from the ship to finances to (unpaid) time away from work etc.
But, in life, you have opportunities that create memorable experiences and one needs to embrace it rather than worry.
So, the same night as a couple of other friends tied the knot, I set out to Baltimore to catch a couple of hours of sleep and then get on the Carnival Pride for the wedding and the ensuing cruise.
The cruise left from Baltimore, stopped in Port Canaveral and continued to the Bahamas, where we had stops in Nassau and Freeport.
I knew I’d find a way to enjoy myself no matter what, but I didn’t expect to have as good of a time as I did. Life on the ship wasn’t bad. Those with the wedding who sailed were immensely fun to be around. Other people I met were joyful, too. And the employees? Incredibly personable. I truly think we got lucky with our team of waiters and the room steward who was in control of the room I stayed in was awesome.
It’s still quite amazing to me how they remember people’s names so easily.
I got to chat several times with the cruise director, who goes under the moniker of “Big Sexy.” Josh was an outgoing and personable cruise director who really made the trip fun. The entertainment was top of the line, the shows were fantastic and his staff was outgoing and easy to chat with.
But I’ll touch base on that in future posts.
My goal is to post several review posts of this cruise. If all goes well, I plan on writing them over the next several days and then running them either next week or the week after. I want to make sure I have photos to go with each post and have things in order. I’ll touch base on everything from the cruise — from the shows and people to the food and things to do to ports of call and anything in between.
I can’t say I’ll become a person who plans cruises one or two times per year (I’ve seen some who cruise as often as possible), but I can say I’ll likely try and do it again.
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