We discovered on our family trip in January that we are not cruisers. The girls had been pretty certain their father would never turn into a fan of cruising, but they weren’t as sure about themselves or me. It turns out none of us were wild about it.
It did not help that we only found the serenity deck late on the second day of the four-day cruise. At first we thought that to be outdoors we either had to be around the pool, with its relentless party atmosphere and crowds, or up one deck where it was too breezy and the only shade was beside the very loud engines. Of course, it was Tom who found the serenity deck while he paced around the entire ship like a caged animal. It was in the back of the ship (aft), very sheltered, restricted to adults and had two hot tubs that were always full with the same people. When do they go to the bathroom, or is that not something I want to know the answer to?
The food was much like an all-inclusive resort, plentiful, usually fresh, but somewhat bland. Dinner was relatively formal and the wait staff friendly and attentive. There were many activities offered, but that type of forced partying it not really to our taste. We enjoyed an evening in the piano bar, with the pianoman performing songs to suit all our tastes. Our daughters found the comedy performances uncomfortable to watch with us, although I think they would have enjoyed them had we not been along. The revues were similar to the shows you get at all-inclusives: the performers are trying hard, but it still is a little on the cheesy side.
When we discussed the cruise after disembarking we all agreed that we were glad we tried cruising, we were even happier that we took a four-day and not a week-long, but we are happier on trips where we have more control over what we do, see and eat and when we do everything. I guess it is back to timeshares and vacation rentals by owner for us. Seeing what happened to the Carnival Triumph this week reinforces that idea. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/15/carnival-triumph-docks-alabama-ordeal