I love transforming a basic vacation into an adventure -- the more extreme, the better. A 30-mile off-trail hike through the most remote national park in the United States? Sign me up. Backcountry camping in the Central American jungle? Let’s do it. Canoeing down the Mississippi River to complete the North American Great Loop of eastern waterways? I’m in.
But a cruise? For years, I couldn’t think of a more boring way to spend my vacation. Sure, you get to eat and drink all you want, but in my mind, there was nothing to do on a cruise ship -- unless you count ’80s karaoke, nickel slots, and movie night, that is. I always equated cruises with Golden Girls in hot-pink visors and Hawaiian shirts, Middle American families who tacked on an extra three days at sea to their Disney World week, and penny-pinching coupon clippers.
Then, to celebrate her retirement, my mom twisted my arm and convinced me to bite the bullet: four days and three nights from Central Florida to the Bahamas and back. She promised me we’d have a blast, but I was skeptical right up until the moment we pushed off from Cape Canaveral. Then, with the Atlantic Ocean lapping at our ship’s hull, I finally relaxed and let the joys of cruising wash over me. And you know what happened? Instant bliss. Here’s why: