Ten Days on the High Seas with Oceania
Well, the sad truth is that after spending over 10 days on an amazing cruise ship the journey is over. These past days have been fantastic on a number of fronts. When you are constantly moving, you rarely have time to stop and reflect on life. This trip was truly the opportunity I needed to stop and take stock of where I have been and where I need to be going. I enjoyed the time away, and here, in a nutshell, are some of the highs and lows of the trip:
Top 5 things about the cruise
- Spending some undivided time with my best friend and wife- After our first year of parenthood, spending time as a couple is often more luxury than reality. For 10 days, we got to spend time together as a couple. Even just having the chance to speak together for more than 5 minutes uninterrupted was amazing. It was hard to leave our daughter at home, but I think it was a much-needed break.
- Our Cruise ship – This was our second cruise on the Oceania cruise line. This time, we were on their brand new flagship boat, the Marina. This ship didn’t disappoint. While it is smaller than some of the floating cities offered by other lines, it was large enough to provide amazing amenities while still feeling intimate. The staff was great and the whole cruise was very inviting. We will definitely cruise on this line again.
- Fantastic meals – One of Oceania’s claims to fame is its food. Laura and I are foodies and we didn’t want to go on any old cruise with a crappy buffet every night. Oceania provided some amazing dining options. The first was Red Ginger, a Pan-Asian Restaurant that gave us tons of options and kept us coming back for more. Jacques, the new signature French restaurant had many well-prepared options. Finally, La Reserve was a restaurant with a 7-course tasting menu, each course paired with amazing wine from around the world.
- Wonderful excursions – We had three lovely excursions on our trip. The first was a snorkeling adventure, where we went via chartered boat to a reef. We adventured at two sites, seeing fish of all colors. The second was a zip lining adventure where we zipped over tree tops from platform to platform. The third was easily Laura’s favorite. We went horseback riding on a beach and had the horses take us for a ride in the ocean.
- Warm Caribbean Air – It was nice to walk around in a t-shirt. While we haven’t had a bad winter in Canada, it was still nice to escape to the warm air. There is something about putting your feet in the ocean or taking a dip in a warm pool in February that is amazing.
Top 5 pet peeves
- People who complain incessantly – Our cruise line wasn’t just a regular cruise line. The service and food and all the elements on the cruise are well considered. Despite all of this, there was a long line of whiners on the cruise who would look for any excuse to complain. The staff of this cruise line is international, and unfortunately we witnessed fellow passengers treating the staff poorly. There were a number of times I felt like yelling at these people. I probably would have if I thought it would help and not draw the staff member into a further issue.
- Lack of High-Speed Internet – Ah Internet, my old friend, how I missed you! It was probably a good thing for me to disconnect, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t miss the Internet. I found a way to mooch Internet from just about every Caribbean island that I stopped on, just to satiate my junkie-like habits. I do however wish they had high-speed for free on the ship.
- The Age of the fellow cruisers – One of the problems when you go on a nicer cruise line it attracts an old demographic. While I don’t mind older folks (many of whom were very nice to speak to), this cruise could have been a casting call for a Cocoon movie. While I wasn’t looking for a drunken Kegger every day, it would have been nice to have a more lively nightlife.
- Fox News – Fox News was the defacto news channel on our cruise ship. I found myself watching Bill O’Reilly and just going nuts. I sat with a pen and paper to keep track of instances in which he would purposefully twist the truth or out and out misstate things. After watching that, and listening to talk radio in the states in January, I can see why so many US citizens are pissed off. People like Bill O’Reilly can whip you into such frenzy that “pissed-off” is the only emotion left! On the sea of serenity, this was the only maelstrom. That said, it was amusing watching the “expert commentators” dissect the current train wreck that is the Republican Presidential candidate nomination and spin it accordingly.
- My newfound self – No I am not talking about introspection. I am talking about the part of the cruise I am taking home with me – all the food I ate. The next few weeks will be spent in the gym and on the running track to help me leave this part of the cruise behind.
While it was an amazing trip, we definitely thought about our little angel every day. We missed our Anna so much while we were away, although we were fortunate to have our family send us countless pictures of her smiling via Facebook. We are eternally grateful to our parents for letting us take a bit of time for us.
So now on to the future, this cruise will definitely mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. I have so much exciting news to share with everyone in the coming days and weeks. That news, however, is for another blog post. Please stay tuned, as I can’t wait to share the news with everyone.