June 16, 2012

We keep hearing about people who live full time on cruise ships. I ask you, why not?  Imagine having your every wish granted with flawless courtesy.  Think about no grocery shopping, meal planning or cooking, no utility bills or property taxes to pay, no pesky laundry chores, a lovely  itinerary being planned for you, and a whole new set of relaxed, happy neighbors showing up regularly.  You could have fun with them for a couple of weeks, and then they would disappear and be replaced by a whole new crowd.  Your wardrobe would be new to them and so would the same old worn out stories you tell all the time.  AND they wouldn’t be around long enough to get on your nerves.  You wouldn’t even have to buy them birthday presents!

Hmmmm….this lifestyle sounds almost like some people we know really well.  I think they are the Martins.  Yes, that’s it, Tim and Lynne Martin, those people who sold their house in California and just wander around the world having a great time.

We learned lots from fellow passengers who were experienced cruisers.  Most people are really generous with their experience and advice.  The old hands say that if you’re landing in a relatively safe area it’s just as much fun and more cost-effective to hire local transportation for a few hours of exploration.  And many of the passengers had made many repositioning cruises and agreed with us that it’s an excellent plan for retirees.

Our first  experience taught us that you really don’t need to be terribly dressed up on a cruise, that buying a wine package in advance is a really good idea, bringing some soap and one of those little stretchy clotheslines so you can wash your own undies is smart, cruise ships (at least Mariner of the Seas) know how to load, unload, pack and unpack a ship in a remarkably efficient fashion,  and we are happy to report that the little sticky patches your doctor can prescribe for seasickness really do the trick!   Do not believe for a minute that you will have a good internet connection in your stateroom onboard.  We realized at the end of the trip, after a great deal of frustration, that using the ship’s computers in their business center gave us the best possible service.

The voyage and ports of call were so much fun that I want to share a little album with you:

An always-shiny ship.

Afternoon in Nice

Pyramids at Tenerife, Canary Islands.

Helipad on the bow.

The Castle at Majorca.

On the way to the airport in Rome.

Villefranche, France



We’ll be cruising again in November on our way home to the United States and we are already booked for a return to Europe next April, so you know we really enjoyed ourselves.  Perhaps we’ll see you aboard!