Good times come and go, but the memories will last forever…
Addicted to cruising
When we went on our first cruise on the Carnival Fantasy, we had no idea on how addicted we would become to cruising. Thankfully it was both my husband and I who were addicted, because that opened the door to so many good memories and so many things that we could not have done had we not started cruising.
Here are ten of my best memories from all of our years cruising, but this is just a drop in the bucket because every day cruising contains many wonderful memories.
Number 1, making new friends
My best memories involve making new lifelong friends. On the Carnival Dream we met a lovely couple named Ed and Leslie, whom we later joined on the Carnival Liberty for another wonderful cruise. On Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas we met Kevin and Judi, another lovely couple who shared our dinner table.
But a lot of my very favorite memories involve getting to know some of the crew. The two that stand out to me are Vherr, a worker in the Windjammer Café on Freedom of the Seas, and I’Nyoman, a Lido Buffet worker on Carnival Victory.
Vherr was on the second month of his first tour, and I think that he was a bit lonely. He had a wife and young son at home, so he adopted us and we adopted him for the length of the cruise. We’d go in to see him every evening after the show, and he’d have a table set and ready for us, and then we’d talk. He was a fine young man who wanted to better his family’s life by saving enough to start his own business. I hope that he managed that, I think of him often.
I’Nyoman was another young man who befriended us and went out of his way to get to know us and help us in any way that he could. It’s a hard life for the crew, and yet they treat you so well. Both young men definitely got an extra tip from me. Heaven knows they need it.
Number 2, our 35th anniversary
We celebrated our 35th anniversary on the Carnival Dream. It was a very special cruise. My husband surprised me with a rose at dinner. The waiters sang Happy Anniversary to us.
It was made even more special when I won a bottle of champagne and some jewelry at the Welcome Aboard party. Me, who never wins anything! I even got to see myself winning every day via the cabin TV because they filmed the show. But it was really a lot of fun. And then on the Carnival Liberty, I won a shore excursion, and got to see myself jumping up and down receiving my prize again and again. Gotta love the cabin TVs that play every show continually! Great and fun memories!
Number 3, a familiar Maitre d’
Another time on the Carnival Dream we noticed that the Maitre d’ looked very familiar. We saw him later in the Atrium, and realized that it was Nikolai, our Maitre d’ from the Carnival Fantasy. He recognized us, or so he said, and then the next evening at dinner we were presented with a bottle of wine, sent by Nikolai, which we shared with our table mates.
Number 4, Halloween on a ship
We were on the Carnival Magic for Halloween last year. After always being the one who normally watched the kids in costume having fun, we got to dress up in Pirate costumes and actually join in the fun for a change. I love Halloween, so this was a really enjoyable day for us. The ship was decorated with tons of blow up Halloween decorations and almost everyone was in costume.
Number 5, Mayan Ruins
When we were in Belize, we took a shore excursion to the Mayan Ruin, Xunantunich. Everyone had told us that they hated Belize, but we really enjoyed the ride through Belize and this excursion. And how many people can say that they’ve climbed to the top of a Mayan Pyramid? After we toured the ruins, we stopped at a local restaurant for a Belizian meal. Delicious! They had the best hot sauce that I’ve ever found. I need to go back to buy more.
Number 6, swimming with the Stingrays
In Grand Cayman we swam with the Stingrays at Stingray City. I have to say that I was a bit hesitant since Steve Irwin died as the result of a stingray attack. But we braved, it and it was remarkable. I’d love to go back there again sometime. I even held a stingray, they are very velvety.
Number 7, Jamaica
We went to a Plantation House in Jamaica. The interior of Jamaica is so beautiful. I can’t imagine living in that house and seeing the beauty around you every single day. The hummingbirds were the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
On the way back to the ship we stopped by the Martha Brae River, which is amazing, I’d love to just float down the Martha Brae sometime and just totally relax. After that we stopped for a local meal, which was scrumptious. I love eating the local food on excursions.
Number 8, surprise Bluegrass
When we were on our Carnival Magic Halloween cruise, we happened to stumble upon a Bluegrass Group that was there for a private party. They were rehearsing on a quiet part of the deck, with not many people around. They were really very good. Eventually it got rather crowded with people wanting to hear them, but we were there early enough that we got a semi-private concert of some wonderful music. The highlight was the little boy who was clogging to the music.
Number 9, Coki Beach
In St. Thomas we wanted to do something different last time. We’ve wanted to snorkel for a while, but we really needed a place to practice, and I read that Coki Beach would be an excellent place for that. The websites were correct, you can see plenty of fish there in waist deep water. So, that was a lot of fun for me because I didn’t have to worry about drowning, I’m a horrible swimmer and nervous in deep water. It was an exciting excursion.
Number 10, Beatles revue
The Carnival Fantasy had the best show that we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. It was a Beatles Revue, and it was outstanding. The cast sang all the Beatles songs, and interacted with the audience. It was when they were walking through the audience that we saw that the gentlemen who played the Beatles were Asian Americans. They were brilliant.
So many good memories!
Those aren’t all of my wonderful memories of cruising. I’ve met so many people and I’ve done so many things that I couldn’t list all of them. And I plan on meeting many more people and making many more good memories on future cruises. Every cruise I try to push my limits a bit more, and do something out of my comfort zone,and those oftentimes become my best memories. Why don’t you tell us some of your favorite cruising memories below!