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How Cruising Has Changed For Me

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I took my first cruise a bit later in life, in 1994, at age 44. Today, at age 63, and some 60 plus cruises of experience behind me, I’ll reflect. Not so much on the incredible amount of changes in the industry, but on what’s changed in the way I cruise.

The one area that has likely changed the most is my packing.

Now, the very first thing I make certain I have packed is my “clipper”.  My hair has grayed substantially over the years, but the most disconcerting thing is the wirey gray hairs growing out of my nose and ears. If I forget those nose and ear hair clippers, after a time on a cruise, I could tie bows for formal nights with the folicle growth from those orifices.

Pig tails can look cute on a woman by the pool on a nice sunny day. Not so much for a man, when they are coming out of his ears.

I would trim what are now my overgrown eyebrows as well, but I find they are a good place to carry my ship board charge card /room key.

The first thing we used to do upon boarding was to stroll the ship, familiarizing ourselves with all areas. We still maintain that tradition, but now it’s so I can map out every washroom on board.

At 63 the urges just somehow fall into different categories than when you are 44.

In the cabin, I used to always choose the side of the bed closest to the balcony door, so I could enjoy leave the door ajar to feel the fresh air from the light ocean breezes.

Today I choose the side of the bed closet to the washroom, and rearrange the cabin furniture to remove any obstacles I might trip over as I make my multiple nightly treks.

I also used to love being in the cabin, listening the ship creak as she made her way through the waves. My hearing is so bad now, the only creaking I hear is my joints everytime I try to stand up.

When I began to cruise, we always chose the early time for dining assignments; our theory was we could enjoy dinner, see the show in the ship’s theater, and still have much of the evening left free to enjoy the ship’s nights life.

Today we choose late seating so we’re not seen to be part of the “old crowd” who dine early, and go straight to bed.  I don’t worry about going to bed early because as soon as they dim the lights for the show, I fall asleep and have a nice restful nap. Then I am good for at least another hour of night life.

We’ve always enjoyed meeting new people on cruise ships, and sharing interesting conversations. But I no longer have to worry about keeping the conversation going with new topics each time we socialize. Now, the conversations just repeat, because I don’t remember ever meeting the people before, nor what we were talking about just minutes before.

The majority of the people I meet now are those holding open elevator doors for me, or those giving me a hand to get in the tender boats to go ashore.

I really used to love cruise ship dining. I’d try all sorts of different foods, and if I found a dish I particularly liked, I’d order another two or three of them.

Now I peruse the menu only in search of items I can choose that will be soft enough for me to chew.

And, with the medications I’m now taking, I have to try and determine which items on the menu will constipate me, and which will give me the runs.

I used to also be quite an overpacker; always concerned that my clothes were neat, well tailored, and currently fashionable. Today, I pack less than half the amount of clothes, and it’s the exact same clothing items I was wearing in 1994.

Indeed, in 18 years the cruise industry has changed a lot, and so have I! But, one thing that hasn’t changed is I still love it!

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –

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Comment from Val
Time February 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm

And we thought we were the only ones. Still love to cruise as much as possible and meet new people. I can hear them but hubby can’t so it gives us something to talk (yell) about when we get back to the cabin. Love your blogs.

Comment from Mike Mastellar
Time February 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Cruising has also changed me.

Once I looked forward to formal night and dressing up in my tuxedo and my wife in her gown. That got old after three or four years. Now we look for cruises and cruise lines where we can get by in a sport jacket and a nice dress.

We also love to do “destination oriented” cruises and we still do but we did an Asian cruise in December and when we got back we booked two Caribbean cruises just to relax and get some sun. Asia was wonderful but I don’t know how long I can handle that intensive of an itinerary.

We pack far less than we ever did. I remember the first five or ten cruises when I had to 30″ suitcases, that I named; Poppa Disk and Widowmaker. Those things were heavy. The airline weight restrictions put them in a garage sale somewhere around 2004.

We almost stopped cruising because of assigned dining. We had cruised with Renaissance and Oceania and loved the open seating concept. The mass market cruise lines hadn’t adopted open seating and we almost stopped cruising but NCL led the way with Freestyle and we were there. With over 40 cruises under my belt the only cruise line that we have “top tier” status with is NCL. Oops: That isn’t true. We are now Platinum on Carnival.

I am happy that cruise lines have changed as we have changed. We still find cruising as the best vacation value out there and plan on cruising for many years to come.

Take care,

Comment from Ellliott
Time February 14, 2013 at 7:53 am

This article could have been written by me, only the name changed !!!

Comment from penn holsapple
Time February 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm

The biggest change has been the down dressing of all the cruisers and also the increase price of drinks which were .50 for a beer and approx 1.00 for a mixed drink. The other thing that i really miss is the table prepared items on all courses.

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