How Cruising Has Changed For Me
Written by: Kuki
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!
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Posted: February 12th, 2013 under Kuki.