Vacation, Part Three - the Fun Ship

I've spent the past couple of days telling you about the ports we visited during our cruise to the Western Caribbean. Today I'm going to tell you about the onboard stuff.

Our ship was the Carnival Legend. Big doesn't begin to describe the ship, which held about two thousand passengers and close to a thousand crew members. Sounds crowded, doesn’t it? It wasn't. There were eleven decks (ten accessible to passengers), including four swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a spa, shops, an art gallery, three restaurants, numerous lounges and bars, a library, and even a miniature golf course. If you can’t find something to do on that ship, you’re not trying hard enough.

There’s music going on constantly. On the pool deck we listened to a Caribbean band, which seemed appropriate, given the fact that we were floating on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. One evening we sat in a lounge and enjoyed the beautiful music of a talented pianist whose fingers floated over the keys. A couple of times we listened to a guy named Paul, who had a voice like Gordon Lightfoot and played his guitar to the background music produced by his iPod. (Modern technology!) Several nights we danced to music by a group who played an amazing variety of danceable hits and sang in English, even though I doubt if they spoke English. (Their pronunciations made me chuckle a few times, but they were really good musically!)

Of course, one thing cruises are known for is the food. There’s food 24x7, and you could seriously eat yourself into a coma if you choose to. I tried to pace myself, but when faced with the choice between prime rib, lobster, and shrimp, what do you choose? Uh… I blush as I confess I chose all three. Even though I meant to only take a bite or two, most of the time I showed very little restraint and gobbled up every delicious morsel. I ate more beef than I do in a month at home, and I never have chateaubriand. (Who can afford that?!?!) It was yummy. And the desserts! My Achilles Heel was something called warm chocolate melting cake, a rich, gooey bit of chocolate nirvana. It’s a good thing I don’t know how to make that, or I’d be in trouble.

There’s something to do all the time on a cruise ship. Since this was the week of Halloween, the crew organized pumpkin carving contests and costume contests, besides the usual activities like Bingo and trivia and dancing lessons and art auctions and belly flop contests and… oh, I could go on and on! Every night we were treated to a professional caliber show – singers, dancers, comedians, jugglers. They were all wonderful entertainment. But my favorite activity was just lounging on the pool deck, reading a book and sipping fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. Ahhhh! That’s luxury. And what fun to return to our cabin every night to find the steward had created a towel creature to greet us.

But the best thing about the whole vacation was the time my husband and I spent with each other. Whether we were touring an island, or snorkeling, or eating, or dancing, or just walking on the ship’s deck after dinner enjoying some of the most spectacular sunsets we’ve ever seen, we were together. No phones, no computers, nothing to compete with our time together. I can’t tell you how many times we looked at each other and said, “God has truly blessed us.”

Thanks for listening to me talk about my vacation. Now, I need to get my head out of the clouds and get back to work on my next book. But aaahhhh… it was great while it lasted.