Cruise the word.
Cruising. Only for the rich and old? Nope, not by a long shot. Ok, backpackers and low budget travelers will probably not book a suite on a cruise, however, for the: “in between office hours” travelers, a cruise may not be such a bad idea..
We were intending to drive from Miami to Key West and visit the other keys on our way there. However, u hurricane set course towards the west coast of Florida. Consequently, we decided to change our plans and take a cruise. There are many different cruise boats. From luxurious to “fun”. We winded up at a “Fun” cruise. The idea of fun of most of the passengers was basically start drinking when you wake up and stop when you pass out. Perhaps I am exaggerating as I was expecting peace and quite on a cruise! I later found out that the cruise we were on was anything but peace and quiet! We did a cruise departing from Miami harbor, 4 days sailing along the Bahamas and ending up where we started in Miami harbor on a “Carnival” boat (I know, the name gives the mood away already). The boat was called: “Carnival Fantasy”.
|Picture: Cruise pool||Picture: Cruise pool|
Anyway, you do not have to be bored on the boat. There is so much to do! Every morning, a new agenda for the day was provided. From stand-up comedy shows to karaoke. The boat had 2 pool area’s: one at the front deck with a big pool and several Jacuzzi’s and a smaller area at the back deck with two Jacuzzi’s for relaxation.
As most cruiseboats dock at a next destination early in the morning, and leave again around 4 pm, you will most likely witness many open sea sunsets. With a warm climate, a soft windy breeze and something nice to eat or drink, you can enjoy the sunsets best on one of the upper decks at the boat.
|Picture: Cruise sunset||Picture: Cruise sunset|
Even though you are on the boat with so many people, oddly enough, it doesn’t feel crowded. The dining times were divided in early dining and later dining to split the people up in groups and avoid people having to wait for a table. A good system.
|Picture: Cruise dining room||Picture: Cruise back deck|
Pro’s & Con’s
What I like about being on a cruise:
- A cruise boat gets you to different places within a short time period, that are difficult to reach.
- Looking out on the ocean while reading a book on one of the deck beds.
- Different activities on the boat like a casino and stand up comedy show.
- Different dining options.
- Everything! is taken care of.
What I didn’t like about being on a cruise:
- The locals know exactly when cruise boats arrive. So when you get off the boat, people come up to yo and try to sell you things like souvenirs or day trips.
- Booking a daytrip on a cruise boat is way more expensive than booking a day trip locally.
- The cruise boat will follow a structured itinerary. And so will you.. Sometimes I felt I was part of a herd of cows all required to do the same things.
- You typically only have 1 (half a) day at every destination. Not enough to do some serious sightseeing at different spots.
- You will not get a feel of the local culture, people and scenery as you encounter what I like to call: “the tourist net”, a net that steers every tourist to a certain place where artificially local goods or services are being sold or performed. Nothing native about that.
- We were required to pay a lot extra for WIFI.
|Picture: Cruise ship||Picture: Cruise ship from the shore|