When I go too long between cruises I forget. I forget the energy that thrums through your body when you wake up on embarkation day and realize that FINALLY it’s time to get onboard. I forget how my heart races when my foot crosses the threshold of the ship and every muscle in my body screams “YES”. I also forget the way life just fades away and time slows down for a few days.
But the people? People are different onboard.
The crew you meet…there aren’t words for these amazing human beings. They make you feel like you are the most special person in their world for a week. They have some superhuman capacity for remembering they have met you before. With the thousands of faces they see I have no idea how on that one. But some of the kindest, sweetest, most compassionate gentle souls I have ever met dedicate their lives to these ships and making vacations unforgettable. It makes me physically ill when I see the few that can’t seem to leave their bad attitudes at home and abuse them like they are servants. More on that another time.
I think the most fascinating is how the guests are. 98% are more easy going and open to meeting new people than they ever would be at home. If the human race could tap into the energy and attitude you find aboard a cruise ship? Hell, we’d have no wars or division anywhere. There is something truly magical about meeting someone you wouldn’t have met otherwise (mainly because they live 1000 miles away from you) and feeling your heart click like they are your best friend. I can’t tell you how many of these friendships I have made that remain near and dear to my heart.
Prior to this week it has been 18 months since I was on a ship. The longest I’ve gone since 2012. Now that I have proven to myself I can do it alone, and love it, I can assure you that will be the longest gap I will have for as long as God provides me the ability to keep cruising through life. ❤️
As a card carrying down to the nth degree Cancer large bodies of water, salt air, and sand in my toes are the only things that calm the storms in my heart. I literally can have had the worst week and the minute my feet hit the sand the knots in my shoulders start to unfurl.
The world is churning in much the same way as an angry sea. While we all fretfully watch it giving inclinations that it’s going to shudder to a close (again) I’m holding my breath. I find myself praying, daily, for God to heal the world. To release us from captivity of fear, anger, distrust, and mistrust. For us to find common ground as the compassionate humans He designed us to be.
Selfishly I don’t want to be thrown back into the stress and anxiety that being cut off from society brought about last year. I don’t want to lose human interaction. The ability to go and do. To travel. To live LIFE. It feels difficult for us to understand just how devastating this radical shift in normal has been for each other. Maybe that’s just my perspective but holy heck it would seem we’d all be a lot more patient if we could imagine the pain we are each in and respond accordingly.
Me? I am long overdue for a dose of vitamin sea. Not sure how or when I’ll get it but it’s high on my list of priorities. To feel the sun on my face. The sea breeze in my hair. The hot sand burning my toes. It’s been way too long since I felt the sand under my toes and filled my lungs with that intoxicating salt air that calms my soul like nothing else can.
Vitamin sea is the best medicine in the world. And there isn’t a pharma company in the world that has figured out how to sell THAT.
It’s time. It’s happening. The crew is in stateside and in quarantine. The CDC has finally backed off the industry. The ships are in place. CRUISING IS BACK.
If I didn’t already have a summer vacation in place as an alternate because I had no idea what the cruise industry was going to be allowed to do I would be on that first ship sailing on July 3rd. I would be kneeling at the end of the gangplank worshiping my favorite form of travel. There would probably be tears.
Some of you think I am kidding. Those of you who really know me? Know that I am absolutely 100% not kidding. Ships being shuddered to a stop this last 18 months has impacted my health. My mental health.
You see some people travel just for fun. I travel to keep my sanity. I operate daily on a breakneck all out pace. My mind never stops and never gets a break. When I step on a ship I stop. Just full on stop. I sit on a bar stool (geez that sounds bad) at my favorite bar either with old friends (my last cruise was literally booked to be with two of my favorite bartenders before they went on vacation) or with people who will be friends by the end of a week. It is so polar opposite in behavior it’s sinful in it’s blissfulness. Factor in on top of that having someone else cook and clean for me for a week. And my astrologically signed Cancer heart being surrounded by water for a week? PARADISE.
So to say I’m excited about those beautiful ships setting sail? Just a little. I have massaged what is left of my vacation time nine ways to Sunday to see if I can fit in a cruise between now and my Thanksgiving cruise. (Did I mention I scheduled one of those as soon as the industry was green lighted?) Unfortunately I can’t make an extra week work but I am counting the days until Thanksgiving. Meanwhile I’ve checked in with the friends who became family (Carnival crew members) to see who is landing on which ships so I know who’s neck I get to hug first.