Bridge the Travel Gap

How I was converted to cruises

How I  was converted to cruises

I swore I would never go on a cruise. My wife finally convinced me to go on one. I wish I had started earlier. This is how I was converted to cruises.

My 1st Cruise

A few years ago I went on my 1st cruise on the Noordam operated by Holland America. We did a week-long cruise in the West Mediterranean beginning in Citavecchia and going to Livorno, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Malaga, Tunis, Palermo, Naples and back to Citavecchia or the gateway to Rome. We joined the cruise with my in-laws for the first half of their cruise as a surprise. I have to say from the beginning I was very anti-cruise and it did not appeal to me, however I was converted after this voyage.

We stayed at a lovely hotel just out of Citavecchia with fantastic views of the town and sea.

Our cruise in the Med

What amazed me is how comfortable you can be on the ship. Our cabin was not too small and the bed comfortable. On the 1st day we found out the spa had a special limit, which was for 20-30 people to have unlimited entry into the spa, pools, sauna and hot tile beds. It cost $10 a day each and was a great investment as people under the age of 18 were forbidden entry. It became an oasis of calm away from the main pool where it was Lord of the Flies on a boat. Kids without parental supervision having a free for all: the crew too fearful of offending the parents by telling kids to keep out of the Jacuzzi or bomb in the pool.

The other thing I enjoyed on the cruise was the food. We did go to a few speciality restaurants but mostly we went to open dining. Holland America lets you bring on board your own wine. I am not sure if this is still the case. Entertainment was ok and the best I thought was their piano player at one of the bars.

Shore excursions

I organised all of our shore excursions with the exception of 1 in Tunis, the worst one. My advice to save money and to be independent always organise your own shore excursions.  We walked around Monte Carlo, Malaga, visited the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, explored Pompeii, took a bus tour of Barcelona and explored by foot Palermo in Sicily. In Tunis, we toured the city, visited the American WWII cemetery and some Roman ruins. I enjoyed the cruise and my introduction to life at sea in luxury.

My first cruise will definitely not be my last!

How about you? What is your experience of cruising?  Do share below:

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One thought on “How I was converted to cruises

  1. Svitlana Avramenko

    Thanks for your post . It reminded me the time when we cruised a lot around Black Sea in Ukraine. Well , it is very “lazy” type of travelling, because you mostly relax most of the days, only go off the ship when you arrive to the sea port. Even there you can choose to be more active, or to take it easy.These times , years back , we enjoyed entertainment during evenings, dancing, eating, laughing. What can I say, of course, it is a good way to spend your holidays, and you can see more in less time and not be tired.Limits your on the shore though. Let’s say your ship stays only one day in Athens. What can you see during one day? But there are cruises and cruises. I’ve heard that cruises on a barge around Baltic Sea, sometimes are different. A lot of entertainment, for young people especially. Some of them even don’t sleep the whole night. Well, you choose…

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