Saturday, January 16, 2016

I'm Sold -

On Cruising That Is

I’ve just returned to winter here in Southern Ontario after a glorious week in the Caribbean, and crossing off the first item on my bucket list – taking a cruise.

Many of you know where I work, and each year, top performers are recognized by earning a cruise. This year, my best friend at work, earned this honour and chose me as her guest! What a fantastic opportunity to try a cruise; all expenses paid!  Technically a business trip, there were mandatory events and learning sessions to attend. Nine hundred top performers, plus their guests, and various executives and support teams ensured we had the entire ship to ourselves.

Celebrity - Constellation (our home for 7 beautiful days)

We set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Jan 7, stopping first at a beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic. Sun, sand, and activities for a few hours and then a return to the ship anchored in the bay.

Dominican Samana Beach paradise

Our next visit was to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. I’ve always heard how pretty the island is and the photos I managed don’t do it justice at all! And the shopping – wow! Some day when I’m rich I’ll be back to shop for the fabulous pieces of jewellery on display. Diamonds of every colour conceivable!  My co-worker and I wandered the shops and spent a fantastic day browsing and choosing one or two treasures.

Then it was on to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where we visited the famous Castillo, El Morro.  Lots of walking and mostly uphill, which, for me, was slow going. But we eventually made it. The team of organizers, always wearing red shirts, could be spotted on almost every corner ready to answer questions or point us in the right direction.

Our final stop was in Nassau, but unfortunately only for a few short hours. And the weather was grey and cool. However, we were greeted at the dock by a marching band specifically for our cruise. That was special and the private hotel beach where we attended a business presentation was quite magnificent. I can only imagine how spectacular it would have been with full sun.

Our ship, Celebrity Constellation, provided for every comfort and the service was beyond anything I could have expected. We were fortunate to have a balcony with our stateroom and I spent quite a few hours just gazing out to sea and managing to read two full books!   

One being Targeted by Gloria Ferris and Donna Warner. As their book is set in the Caribbean I thought it appropriate to save it for the trip.  It’s a great read and I do recommend it highly.

Overall it was an experience I’ll never forget. The waters were calm and being gently rocked each night while drifting off to sleep is something I’m already missing. Cruising is definitely the way to go. Next up, for me, would be an Alaskan cruise. We’ll have to see what the future will bring.

Palm trees, sun, sparkling blue water – a perfect combination for a wonderfully relaxing time. Even with work being part of the week, the batteries have definitely been re-charged.

But now back to reality and Pam and I have to get in gear and get our first revision completed and back to the publisher. Enough of this lolli gagging about.

Cruising, for me, gets a two-thumbs up and wistful thoughts about another opportunity. If you haven’t tried it and get the chance, go for it.

Cheers and a belated Happy New Year!



Pam said...

I've never been to the Caribbean. I could take a week or so of that. I'll go to Alaska with you when our 'ship comes in!

Andy said...

Sounds absolutely fantastic- I bet you'll be forever in debt to your friend!
Did you find that you were able to entertain yourself on the cruise? I get the sensation that I'd be itching to be off and exploring on my own rather than stuck out at sea.

Many thanks.

Michele Paterson said...

I've been lucky enough to have been on three cruises and it definitely is my preferred way to vacation. Hubby is not too interested in an Alaskan cruise so I'm in with you girls if the occasion ever arises. Glad you had such a grand time!

Elizabeth Lindsay said...

Hi Andy
Thanks for your comments! You are right, I will be indebted to her for a long time - would be wonderful to have a repeat next year, ha ha.

I didn't mind just relaxing and having a chance to get caught up on some reading and there are many different areas of the ship to do just that, or just quiet time on one's own balcony.

Most evenings there was entertainment available, or the ship's casino.

But I'd also like to try some of the excursions offered in various ports as well. That goes on my list for "next time" :-)

Elizabeth Lindsay said...

Michele...Alaska cruise, Killer Authors and you can be our groupie, lol.

Michele Paterson said...

One of my bucket list cruise itineraries is Vancouver to Alaska to Hawaii and back to Vancouver.... and I'll be a groupie no problem!