A jewel of an adventure! PTR pt.3 My first cruise

Before I give you a rousing rendition of what little memories I have of my very first cruise, a quick update!

Looks like we won’t be flying with Southwest after all. We’ve booked flights out of Toronto with American Airlines. Yes, we have to pay $25 per checked bag. Yes, we’ll be on connecting flights. Yes, AA has questionable service. BUT, we’ll be guaranteed to sit together, don’t have to make the early trip to Buffalo, don’t have to deal with customs twice, and it’s much cheaper! Also, we’ll be connecting in Chicago on our way back which means we’ll be able to try out the famous Garrett’s popcorn! I’m not a big fan of popcorn, but I really like caramel corn. Stop judging my inconsistencies!

My first cruise ever was back in Mar 2006. Why did I decide to reminisce? While unpacking (some more, we’re never done!), I found my old Sea Pass card! I knew I had kept it but over the years and about….6 moves….I had lost it. I just love finding these treasures (what my mom calls “junk”).

I said 2005 in pt.1 because I had kind of forgotten when it was. That was also my first year at Walt Disney World. Which obviously overshadowed my first cruise.

I was so excited when my mom told us that she had booked a cruise for our March break! She booked it about 6 months before, so I had plenty of time to be excited and to look up stuff about our cruise. That was long before I turned into this Super (awesome) planner, so all I really had were the cruise booklets our travel agent got us. I think I also discovered the website and spent some time studying our ship’s deck plans.

Our ship was the Majesty of the Seas, one of the smallest ships Royal Caribbean has. We were on a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas with stops in Key West, Coco Cay and Nassau. I actually had to look this up on their website just now because I couldn’t remember the last port we visited. All these years I thought we went to the Caribbeans but we were actually in the Bahamas. So this upcoming cruise will be my first trip to the Caribbeans! Except we’re going to Mexico…is “the Caribbeans” just a word that describes a geological location?

My memories of the ship are divided into 2 categories, which makes a lot of sense.

The ship
It was a small ship (not that I could tell), but I LOVED it. Sure, it’s not what you usually see on TV of those larger ships with a Shopping Galleria and skating rink, but it was great.

I was 17 at the time (now you know how old I am! *le gasp*), which means I was still young enough to frolic in the Youth club with my younger siblings. I’ve gotta say, this club totally made the cruise for me. I was actually really sad at the end of the cruise. It was to be my first and last time in the club. I thought, “Great, I’m going to have to do boring adult things on my next cruise.” Hahaha, I was so young.

We easily made some friends closer to my age and spent our time on the ship with them. We played games in the Youth room such as “What would you do?” which was HILARIOUS, ran around the ship on one of the windier nights just because we felt like it, had a scavenger hunt where we asked one of the cashiers for her lipstick and played a celebrity look-a-like game. Those are just some of the activities we did. In fact, we spent more time together than we expected to because our docking in Coco Cay was cancelled due to high winds. So we were never able to experience that island.

My favourite memories of our time together is when we ran around the ship later at night while it was dark and windy, looking for a pizza place still open because we were hungry. We were never able to find it, but it was SO MUCH FUN doing it! One of the members of our group also attracted the attention of some younger girls whom we called his “pre-teen fanclub”. They would giggle when they saw him and actually peek into our youth club to see if he was there before coming in. One thing I’m especially proud of is when we all went rock-climbing and I got first place, boo ya!

Aside from the youth room, there were other things I loved about the ship. I visited the art auction by myself and fell in love with a painter named Alfred Gockel. His works just…moved me. I could feel the movements in his brush strokes and just loved the way they flowed. I just stood there staring at his paintings.

Dining was great. We had amazing meals everywhere on the ship. My parents discovered how good smoked salmon was at breakfast, we had a lot of escargot, and the chocolate buffet was to die for. I’m not sure if we’ll be getting the chocolate buffet again this trip…. I hear a lot about how these cheaper cruises are declining in food quality, but I was on a super small and cheap ship and we had great food.

Our stateroom felt really small, but that’s probably because it had an extra bunk added to it to sleep 3 people. It felt pretty cramped so we didn’t spend a lot of time in there. We only ordered room service once, just to try it out. We ended up not eating much of the breakfast we ordered, but it was still really cool to be able to do it without having to ask our parents first, haha.

We went to Nassau and Key West. We didn’t book any of our excursions through the ship because we heard it would be cheaper to find our own way around. I’m sure for these ports that’s true.

My memories of Nassau is mostly of the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island. It was incredible. Of course, it was my first time seeing a themed hotel. I mean, I was blown away even more when I first visited Las Vegas. Atlantis was just so gorgeous. The best part of it was the aquarium that’s part of the hotel. We paid for our own water taxi over there, and just kind of…meandered next to the tour group going through the hotel. I’m not sure what happened during the rest of the day. I’m pretty sure we returned to the ship for lunch…..I can’t remember whether we shopped here or in Key West….

Key West was really cool. I mean, it’s where Hemingway hung out. We took a little tram tour around the island which was very worth it. Visited some prime tourist spots. Bought some colour-changing t-shirts (that we never wore) and returned to the ship. We probably went shopping in Nassau….

It’s obvious what I cared about more, right? I love cruising because of the ship I think. I can’t wait to explore new ports, but learning more about the ship is getting me so excited. This time….I’ll keep better records.


About yuki

I'm pretty awesome.
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