Cruising On A Mexican Love Boat

Katie Young
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Wednesday - December 12, 2007

Smooth sailing. That’s what we all hope for when we embark on an epic journey in life. Who does-n’t wish for calm seas and sunny skies when it comes to maintaining a marriage, raising children or planning for the future.

Well, the seas of life are rarely as serene as we’d like them to be. So I was hoping at least to begin my marriage with smooth sailing on our honeymoon cruise to Mexico. I figured I’d start there and see where the waves would take me.

When my husband and I made our honeymoon plans six months ago, we thought a cruise would be a relaxing way to begin our new lives together.

Now, I’m no expert on cruising. Some people like to travel the world only by cruise ship, as the “floating resort” offers all kinds of amenities to make your trip memorable: unbelievable cuisine, fun entertainment and all kinds of activities for young and old alike.

In fact, Carnival Cruise Lines’ 22 ships carried a total of 3.3 million guests in 2006 and they expect about 3.6 million will sail this year. Families are the fastest-growing segments of the cruise industry, although I did see a large number of young married couples and retirees.

After our trip, I can honestly say that cruising is something I would certainly do again and again.

Getting on the boat at the San Diego port was no problem at all. They took our luggage and delivered it within an hour to our state-room, which was a decent size and had a nice little balcony. (Over the next eight days we were on board, that balcony would come in handy for early morning dolphin spotting and late night “I need a breath of fresh air” moments.)

At first I was nervous about mealtime since the ship pairs you with other people as your dinner partners for the duration of the voyage. But Carnival has thought of everything, including pairing you with people around your own age, so we ended up sitting with a fun couple from Arizona. We were so well-matched that dinner became an almost two-hour laughter-filled affair each night.

In fact, I have to say that every person I met on the cruise was extremely nice and interesting to talk to. We met a couple who had sailed to Antarctica and a man from California who raises chickens that lay green eggs.

Of course, it’s hard to be grouchy when you’re cruising. You don’t have to worry about long lines, rental cars or rushing through airports. If you’re looking for something to do, there are always shows to see, games to play or live music to listen to. Or you can relax and do nothing at all.

My husband convinced me one night to volunteer to be hypnotized in the main showroom and apparently I did very well under the direction of the hypnotist - I fanned myself when he told me I felt hot, stroked the invisible pet dinosaur that was sitting on my lap and helped the man next to me deliver his non-existent baby by holding one of his legs in the air. Thank goodness that wasn’t documented on video.

If you ask most people, their favorite part of cruising has to be the food. My husband and I would have to agree. I was blown away by the quality of food and the choices we had for dinner every night. That alone makes the price of the cruise worthwhile.

We had everything from duck to filet mignon to lobster. And with the normal capacity of the ship (we were on the Carnival Spirit) at 2,124 guests and 930 employees on board, there are a lot of mouths to feed. The entire Carnival fleet, in just one week, will serve its guests 51,175 pounds of tenderloin, 24,150 pounds of lobster, 115,750 hamburgers and 11,120 whole ducks.

Our ship also had three restaurants, a jogging track, 16 bars and lounges, a casino, beauty salon, wedding chapel, Internet caf, library, duty-free shop, four swimming pools, five jacuzzis, a spiral water slide and a fully equipped spa and health club, where my husband and I took a class on the fine art of foot massage.

I didn’t get seasick, thank goodness, and I was only slightly disturbed by the fact that the live trio in the lobby kept playing the theme music from Titanic.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Mexico (we visited the ports of Acapulco, Zihuatanejo and Manzanillo) was great too, but paled in comparison to the service and accommodations we experienced on our Carnival Fun Ship cruise. After eight days, I wasn’t ready to come home. I could have sailed the high seas for a month!

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