Our cruise launched yesterday from Barcelona and so far so good! When we were first considering a cruise, my friend Reva, who is a cruise veteran, wisely suggested we start with a ‘smaller’ ship. (If 600 people, not thousands, makes this a smaller ship, that is.) The size of the ship is very manageable, and while it may not have features that other ships boast, like a rock wall, we’re not rock wall people. It seems like a good fit for us.
During the first day’s mandatory muster drill, I overheard a man talking to another couple of cruise rookies about why he loves traveling by cruise so much. “You get to see a new city every day, and somebody else does all the driving & cooking,” he said. His wife quickly chimed in, “and you only unpack once!” All good points, and the latter was definitely a selling point for us.
Thanks to a generous interline (travel industry) discount, we justified upgrading to a suite. While this is the size of your average hotel room, in cruise terms it’s quite roomy from all we’ve heard. Lots of people say you don’t need to splurge on a bigger stateroom on because you’ll have so much to do you’ll never be in there. I would tell those folks, if you had this cabin maybe you’d hang out there more. This is a 10-day cruise, in a new port every day, so we’re pacing ourselves and yes, enjoying our suite & its balcony during some down time. We left the balcony doors open last night & were lulled to sleep by the sound of the water & the cool ocean air.
Today we visited Valencia, Spain. As with many cities in Europe, it’s a great blend of old and new world. There are remnants of the Medieval city gates, as well as a futuristic Arts & Sciences complex designed by Valencia-native Santiago Calatrava, who also designed Atlanta’s Symphony Hall that’s only about a mile from our house.
When giving us advice, Reva also said, people either really enjoy cruises or they really don’t, there’s not much in between. With just the first two of 10 days behind us, looks like we’re really going to enjoy this!