Friday, August 21, 2009

I'd Rather Be Cruising

I’m on vacation this week, and I’m writing this while sitting at a table by the pool at a very lovely resort. I have a pink, frosty umbrella drink on my right and a bowl of frozen grapes to my left. If I turn my head ever so slightly I can marvel at the tumultuous Pacific Ocean. Despite all this, I must confess, we’d rather be cruising!

There is no doubt about it. Cruising gives you the best value for your dollar. Our first full day at this beautiful place, we planned to spend the day hanging out at the pool. Not wanting to leave, even for lunch, we decided to eat at the pool side cafĂ©. We ordered a simple meal…four hamburgers, two bottles of water and two smoothies. When the bill for $94 came, I thought my husband would go into cardiac arrest! Yikes! We will definitely have to make alternate plans for future lunches!!

A visit to the spa is an indulgence I allow myself on every vacation. When I cruise I know that if I make my appointment on a port day, the price will be a lot lower. I can also purchase a package of two or three treatments that can save me quite a bit of money. Here at the resort there are no “specials.” I stopped by for a menu and price list only to find that my favorite oxygen infusing facial will cost $225! They would have to promise me that I will leave the spa looking 29 again, before I spent that kind of money!

Like a cruise ship, this place has a nicely appointed gym. It’s just that the work out is not the same when the ellipticals do not overlook the ocean! Not that it matters much. Due to airline weight restrictions on luggage, I was unable to pack my work out clothes and sneakers.

We are halfway through our time here, but my husband hardly looks rested or relaxed. Each day there is somewhere different to drive to…a beach, town, restaurant, or amusement park. Although our navigation unit gets us everywhere we want to be, he still must contend with traffic, metered parallel parking spots, tolls roads without an “easy pass”, and me yelling, “Pull over…I want to take a picture!” It's so much easier to leave the "driving" to the captain!

As busy as we are during the day, the evenings are another story. The pool area is closed at 11pm, and the lights shut off around the activity patio that has the ping pong tables, pool tables, air hockey tables, etc. There is no teen lounge here like you would find on most cruise ships. With two sixteen year olds with us, this has become a bit of an issue. They’ve met other teens and would like to hang out a bit later, but since I’m not volunteering my villa as a meeting place, it looks like they better be content coming back to our room play a game of family scrabble or Monopoly!

My family cruises so often that when we take any other type of vacation, we can’t help but compare. Sure there are plusses and minuses to whatever type of vacation you take, but it seems that no matter how I look at things, cruising always seems to come out on top.

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