|Ilse with the M/S Sunward II, Nassau, November 1989. Our first Cruise.
|Ilse on the tender "Little Norway" approaching the S/S Norway, St. Thomas, USVI, 1992
We were curious about the Millennium's itinerary and when the winter schedule announced the ship was being re-positioned for eastern Caribbean cruises, we decided to finally treat ourselves to a long overdue cruise. We carefully selected a ten-day cruise with lots of open ocean time and several ports we haven't yet visited.
We also researched Celebrity Cruise Lines and we liked what we found. While many of the changes we’ve come to dislike or avoid are now industry wide standards, Celebrity appears to offer more of our style and relaxation for a more inclusive, higher but still reasonable cost. The extra cost drink packages – and especially WiFi packages, can still blow an unsuspecting cruiser’s budget out of the water, so to speak, but the regular fare, passage services and amenities seem far more in line with what remember from past cruises.
|George at Ocho Rios, Jamaica, M/S Seaward, 1993
We have long avoided the “Private Island” beach day where you eat hotdogs and get sand in your bathing suit. We got off the ship for the beach picnic on our very first cruise way back when, but we have no need to compete with the multitudes who stampede ashore for a day of fun and sun. Those stops are a great day to do on-board stuff as the ship is practically empty. No problem, the Millennium doesn’t have a stop scheduled for the subsidized alternative to a real port of call. Our first stop will still be in the Bahamas, but in Nassau. We don't need to disembark in Nassau. Been there, done that, got the straw hat.
|In San Juan, Puerto Rico, M/S Star Princess, 2004
Then we head to old San Juan where we will get to do want we want, COVID restrictions not withstanding. We simply ran out of time during our first visit there and decided to come back someday. Believe me, that’s so much better than wondering what to do after being ashore for an hour amid the jewelry and perfume shops that define the boundary of your security. Been there and done that, too.
|Beach Day in Eluthera, M/S Crown Princess, 2012
So we get to cruise and occasionally watch the flying fish while we sit on our balcony and wonder about the phenomenal colors of the deep ocean. In the evening we get to listen to two talented entertainers who are going to wonder about the two enthusiastic, old people sitting in the back, clapping and smiling, and think, “Do we know those people?”
We'll get the chance to tell them in person they were the spark that got us back doing what we love.