My thoughts about cruising my first cruise December 2015
If you read my posts regularly you will know that I had planned to spend the Christmas period in Egypt. However as we were due to fly into Sharm El Sheikh, the recent problems there meant we could no longer go on our trip as planned. (Why we cancelled Sharm El Sheikh). This gave us little time to exchange our holiday and at Christmas time things were especially busy and being booked up fast.
Having never been to the Caribbean before, a cruise sounded like a good idea. Relaxing, no manic planning and having something to cater for everyone in our family party of 6.
We booked the Thomson Celebration and to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect. I try not to book package holidays but in this case it was necessary, I wasn’t very impressed with Thomson but my review will come in a different post.
Flying into Barbados we boarded the boat on a coach that was boarded directly from the plane. We had opted for a basic cabin, so no balcony or window. Again I had no idea what to expect but it was just like a hotel room with some curtains to cover a fake window which I found quite amusing.
I am used to planning my own trips so it was quite strange to have an itinerary laid out for me. In hindsight I wish I had done more research about the islands before travelling. With such a short period of time in each place it was difficult to know what I wanted to do and to prioritise.
Each day we exited the boat after docking, which could be between 7am and 11am. Then we did what we could with the time we had before having to get back on board at a certain time so we weren’t left behind! As most dockings were similar times we were only exploring places at the same times as everyone else. This meant the main attractions were relatively busy when we were there.
We did manage to find some secluded beaches and see some of the sights but with a tight schedule not everything was possible!
When travelling I love to try the local food and drinks. I was quite disappointed that breakfast, lunch and dinner on the ship were catered to English tastes and pretty bland at that! I missed having the evenings to explore local bars and restaurants and try the local cuisine.
Spending two weeks staying and sleeping on a boat eventually gave me cabin fever. I was glad to get home and sleep in my own bed which is unusual for me!
In conclusion I don’t think cruising is for me. You don’t get to really see and explore the places that you visit fully and have to stick to tight schedules.
I think a cruise is a great for people who are immobile or have health problems, who don’t really want to spend the time planning their trips or just want to tick off countries/places quickly and easily. For me I prefer getting to know and exploring my destinations a little more.
All that being said I’m glad my first cruise was around the Caribbean. I really enjoyed it here when on dry land. To be honest a cruise is the best way to see many Islands, inexpensively and in a short period of time. If I ever get back on a cruise ship again, it will probably be to see more of the Caribbean. Only it will not be for as long as two weeks, and maybe on a bigger ship!