I have NO idea what possessed me but, a bit more than one year ago, I decided to go on a cruise in May of this year accompanied by four 20-somethings. That would be the two grandchildren plus one friend each. My traveling bud was going to come along, but had to bow out, so my husband is taking a vacation. He doesn’t take vacations. He doesn’t like to leave his office. He’s already tried to worm out of the trip once. This should be interesting.
Furthermore, my idea of a cruise ship is a nice, quiet one that caters to older people. Because of the children, we’re taking a behemoth with zip lines, wave riders, rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks, etc.
Did I tell you one of the children turns 21 on the trip? After that, our granddaughter will be the only one too young to drink adult beverages. I can hear her now: “You coulda waited one more month!” (She’ll be 21 in June.)
The children and I began cruising when two things happened: They were too fast for me to chase down and they were too old to believe I knew it all. The cruise line we began with was Disney. It’s great for children and, despite some people believing it’s a Mickey Mouse operation, it’s really a luxury cruise line. Having started with that, they quickly became cruise snobs.
I like cruises. You unpack once and the ship takes you places. You’ve already paid for the transportation and food, so there aren’t a lot of surprises there.
Most importantly, however, cruise ships are wonderful places to hang out if you have diabetes or any of the nasty things that can go along with it. Special diet? No problem. Somebody from the staff will meet with you and go over the following day’s menu. You tell ’em what you want and they prepare your choice to meet your needs — low carb, gluten free, low fat…whatever works. If it can’t be done with the foods you choose, they’ll tell you that, too. (And then you go to Plan B.)
Cruise ships are wonderful at meeting your exercise needs, from a walk around the decks to a fully equipped exercise room. Yoga, tai chi, and other classes are available. Some cost extra; some do not. Unlike a trip to the gym at home, you can finish up your workout on a cruise ship by relaxing in a hot tub or getting a massage.
And forget shuffleboard. How about zip lines, wave riders, golf, rock-climbing, ice skating, basketball, swimming, and more? Oh. Speaking of swimming, places with public pools now have to have a lift to get those who are unable to get in and out of a pool…er, in and out of a pool. I’ll have to see how I do hopping around in a pool.
There are staterooms for people with mobility problems, with reduced hearing, or with visual impairments. Theaters on ships are set up with equipment so those with impaired hearing, mobility, or vision can enjoy the show.
It isn’t always perfect — on my last cruise, I couldn’t access the verandah from my accessible room — but it beats trying to wing it out on the road. I remember with fondness the days when we’d just take off and go…wherever. But that was before I needed an accessible room. As far as I know, a cruise is about as good as it gets right now.
And I’m getting there. Yesterday I booked shore excursions for my granddaughter and her friend to visit a Mayan village and ordered a cake and room decorations for the birthday boy.
As for my Sweet Baboo, I told him he didn’t have to go after he noted he didn’t do this, that, or the other thing. Well, he allowed, he could take some work with him.
“Or,” I said, “you could spend time with me.”
“Yeah!” he replied with a smile. “I could do that!”
Sometimes the boy knows the right thing to say. Maybe I will get him a plane ticket after all.