I’m now officially a cruise addict after I went on my first cruise in 23 years this past week, joined by seemingly half of Warren County on the five-day leisure trip to the Caribbean.
Let me start by saying Carnival Cruise Line didn’t make a cent off me. The cruise cost around $500 and I ate at least that much by myself. Yep, for a skinny boy I can put away the food, especially when it’s all inclusive. That’s the best thing about a cruise, all your meals and lodging are included so you can make a pig out of yourself and then crawl up to the lido deck and relax on the lounger looking at the sea until the next meal.
Of course, the next meal is always happening since you get fed around the clock if you want it, and, given the way many of my fellow passengers looked, they were never too far away from a buffet. It all started with the breakfast which generally blended right into lunch. There were so many options, I generally tried a little bit of everything. After that you had your formal dinner in the dining hall. I was the only one at the table with the guts to eat the snails (escargot). They were delicious. Nothing like two scoops.
Then, after the formal dining I had to go up and get me a burger on the lido deck every night just to top it off. Now, before you call me a glutton, let me point out I worked out in the gym every night while on the ship. But then, I also noticed I consistently had gained a pound every night. Maybe it was the pizza I ate every evening after the gym. Or, maybe it was the midnight buffet I indulged each evening before going to bed.
Frankly, I bet the cruise lines are lucky to break even when it comes to the price people pay to cruise. It’s the onboard things that make a profit for the cruise ship. Specifically, alcohol has to be the big money getter. I bet some folks spent more on the booze than they did on the trip given the way they were sucking down the high-priced drinks. Oh, and there’s also the addiction to the Internet. Unless you bought a high-priced Internet package on the ship, you were out of luck. Myself, I turned my phone on airplane mode and forgot the rest of the world for five days as we ported in Nassau and Freeport.
As I said earlier, it was like going to Gatlinburg because I bumped into so many people either on the ship or in Nassau. I went with Sunny Paradise Travel out of Morrison along with about 40 other locals. Several more, who had booked with the same agent were down there too, one of whom I bumped into while walking around Atlantis. It is truly a small world.
Anyway, money permitting, cruising will become part of my yearly schedule. And, given the affordable price, I predict another Caribbean destination in my future next year.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.