Most specifically, cruise ships.
It is a cruel trick to sit and endure cruise line commercials January through March, knowing that you are still years away from enjoying their majesty. The marketing offices are filled with geniuses: because it's just at that moment when you wake up to frost (again) and looking in the mirror confirms that you have lost every hint of a tan from last summer; that you are quite close to picking up the phone and booking a cruise regardless of finances and real life demands.
See, I know that it's not practical, or remotely affordable, to bring three small children on a cruise. We have plans/dreams of going on a Disney cruise in the next couple of years. I keep saying "next year", but that may jinx us more than anything else, so I will stick with "in the near future". Our Disney card is racking up points with every grocery store purchase and someday we will book the vacation.
|What else do people do when wearing lifevests?|
|The good ol' Panama Canal|
Our last cruise was our honeymoon in 2004. We sailed on the Carnival Paradise, perhaps the second most infamous boat in their line, after the sewage disaster Carnival Triumph was stranded at sea. Gregory recently discovered that our cruise was eventful enough to be described on Wikipedia. It was their last sailing as their only non-smoking ship, precisely because non-smoking ships generate less money. You can read about it here. Or I can just tell you about it.
Exactly where do I begin? We left a day late because of hurricanes in Miami. Therefore we could not stop in Aruba. Carnival rewarded our misfortune with onboard credit. We weren't phased by the "bad" news (because, really, I acknowledge these are first world problems) because it was our honeymoon and YES! we were going on a cruise! So we sailed for about a week straight - through the Panama Canal and stopped in Acapulco. Then we hit rough waters in the Pacific and couldn't disembark at Cabo San Lucas. More onboard credit. Our last couple of days were extremely windy with warnings posted to stay indoors. And finally, upon arriving in Los Angeles - we get the voicemails telling us that storms and flooding in Pittsburgh had totalled both of our cars.
|In Costa Rica|
|Still, the best tan of my life.|
|Did someone says drinks?|
So, our weather and luck could have been better - and in retrospect, our luck WAS better than some because our boat never caught fire and we never had to pee in buckets. We saw beautiful coasts in Mexico, went kayaking, hiked through the rainforest, read books in the sunshine, drank with the bartender at the pool, laughed at the onboard entertainment and cruised the world for two weeks. We were on our Honeymoon, for God's sake!
You might think I am a nut job for speaking wistfully of this vacation: we missed half the places we wanted to see and learned our lesson about cruising in the off-season. But it was fun. I was cruising with the love of my life. It was exciting AND our fateful ship was notable enough to mention in the Carnival logbooks.
Therefore: we can't wait to risk the open seas again! This time with three kids in tow. :)