I returned from my latest cruise on Sunday, October 2nd. This trip was my 11th voyage and was interesting to say the least. Lots of things have changed in the world due to COVID, some good and some bad. One thing I noticed on this trip was the attitudes of people have changed drastically. I don’t know if it was people being quarantined for long periods of time away from others or if people have decided they don’t have to take certain things anymore!
My fascination with cruising began watching the television show “The Love Boat.” Even though Isaac (the bartender) was the only Afro American in the cast, it led me to believe it was obtainable even if I had to work to do it. In 2000, my big sister Jeanette Mitchell, helped to make my dream come true. We took a 5-day cruise to Cancun with two other ladies from our church at that time and my obsession began. Life happened, more and more, and I was not able to cruise again for 15 years. In 2016, I started sailing again. With 5 more sailings under my belt, COVID happened. I felt like somebody somewhere didn’t want me to be great! Now that cruising has restarted, I have 4 more sailings added with 1 or 3 more scheduled. What I do know for me, at this time in my life, is I refuse to allow the bad habits of ungrateful people to ruin my obsession.
When cruising with Carnival Cruise Line, there are loyalty levels assigned by the amount of days you cruise. The two highest levels are diamond (200+ days) and platinum (75-199 days). For some reason, some of these people think they should be catered to and placed above and before everyone else. Just because you have sailed more days than me doesn’t make you so special that you don’t wait in line like everyone else. One gentleman was so rude to the staff quoting the infamous words, “I am platinum and should be seated immediately.” It’s hard trying to get people to experience the enjoyment of cruising when they witness foolishness like this. If the world operated on what he believed, then all diamond levels would be seated before him, still making him wait.
Another unfortunate occurrence happened while trying to watch the Elvis movie on the lido deck big screen. I saw an available seat next to “Ms. Daisy” and asked if I could sit. The response I received was “It is for my (named relative) but she doesn’t know much about Elvis, which is still probably more than you.” I ignored the snide remark and sat down even though “Ms. Daisy” had my back pillow to my seat under her feet on her ottoman. I proceeded to eat my breakfast and sing every lyric of every song to her despicable amazement. Later when her named relative appeared, “Ms. Daisy” asked me to leave and the relative apologized profusely after saying she wasn’t staying. After a brief conversation between them, the relative, realizing the blatant bigotry, removed “Ms. Daisy” after giving me my pillow back.
The previous two instances were baffling and unexpected but not surprising. Sometimes I honestly feel that certain people still feel (or wish) they were living in the 50’s and before. This is not only on cruises, but sometimes in the grocery store, restaurants, parking lots, etc. However, as I stated before, NOTHING and NO ONE will discourage me from my cruising obsession. My objection in life is to live life to the fullest, whether the naysayers like it or not. I will forever continue to encourage people to cruise and take needed vacations as much as possible.
When cruising, try out every restaurant, attend the shows, browse the events and see what interests you, try out excursions or just walk around and view the sites of that port. For elegant night, dress up in your prom dress if you want. If that’s not your thing, dress in your leggings and a t-shirt – you will still be served the exact same food as those dressed to the nines. If you are afraid you will not like it, try a short cruise first. Galveston port has 4 day cruises that sail to Cozumel and back. Florida and California ports have 2 and 3 day cruises, if you don’t mind paying for flights. Even if you don’t cruise, travel, explore! You will never know what you like or don’t like if you don’t try it.
Lastly, there are a few things that I have discovered this trip and have to come to grips with.:
1.) The same way I am free and liberated to do as I please, the same is said for everyone else. No matter how offended I felt, it is still their right to do what they want. There was a gentleman on an excursion with us that decided he would feed the seagulls a little of the lunch that was being catered to us. When he first started, he was standing in front of his cabana. His family complained about the influx of birds and he moved two cabanas down to ours. I complained and he moved again to the end of the row and security addressed him. Needless to say, that did not stop the poop from flowing all over us. When planning to do things, always know your action will have a reaction!
2.) I’M SPOILED! Now that I have been cruising solo for so long, I had to remember that other people were with me. Don’t worry, we had a great time even if some items were changed due to weather or what not. It just took a minute for me to change modes. and
3.) I’M GETTING OLD! On this Bahamas Birthday trip, I celebrated turning 54. I am getting older and my body is no longer what it used to be. In my mind, I think I’m still 21, but my body is feeling like it’s already 60! This is not going to deter me from cruising or traveling – it just lets me know I need to invest in a scooter. (Vroom Vroom)
Hope you enjoy and talk to you again soon!