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They say if you have an addiction it’s best to admit it. Vocalize it. Get out of denial. As a matter of fact with a little Google help, I have come to realize that the first step of addiction is to admit you are powerless over your addiction and the pull it has over you. So this is me admitting I have a problem. I am addicted to cruising.
There, I said it, well, typed it.
It all started out so innocent. My husband and I were coming up on our 20th wedding anniversary, and we wanted to do something special. Having lived in Florida for six years now, everyone always harassed us about never going on a cruise. Personally, when I thought of a cruise, I imagined being stuck on a big ship in the middle of the ocean with 2,000 grumpy old people and loads of screaming kids. That would be my own personal Hell. No, thank you!
I was SO wrong.
We booked our cruise and paid extra to get a private balcony cabin, so we could escape to seclusion if it really were the seventh level of Hell. On the day of the cruise, we showed up at the Carnival Cruise line port, and their employees personally escorted us onto the ship. I was surprised by the size of the ship. It was beautiful, like a skyscraper laying on its side. As we walked onto the boat, I got my first glance at the breathtaking nine-story glass atrium. It reminded me of when I first visited Las Vegas, all the glitz and that feeling of excitement in the air. That’s when the fun started.
Basically, everything on the ship was included in the cruise fee. EVERYTHING. So we were given these little cards to carry around and show to the staff when we wanted something. It was so addictive and surreal not to pay for anything. Although, on our trip, my husband assured me many times that we paid for it, just in advance, but back to the fun stuff! Room service, INCLUDED! Anything you wanted, even homemade cookies sent to your room at 2AM, INCLUDED! I could even have cheesecake delivered for breakfast, which I did but don’t judge, I was on vacation.
We were pampered, catered to and certifiably spoiled to death. I didn’t want it to end. There were personal stewards for each room who answered our questions, cleaned up after us and kept our champagne on ice. It was like having a butler, but everyone on the ship had one. Talk about luxury!
There were so many things to do that they provided us with a list every morning of the ship happenings. Shows, nightclubs, movies, comedy clubs, the list went on and on, and all were included in the price. We even hit an art auction on the ship. Crazy right? The ship stopped at beautiful islands all over the Bahamas, every day a new place. By day, we discovered a new town or beach. By night, we watched the moonlight dance on the ocean off the deck of our ship. It was magical, and I was hooked.
When the day came to leave, I was sad as I watched the ship disappear in our rear-view mirror. I wanted to get back on. Don’t get me wrong I love my life and my family, I just really enjoyed the whole Carnival cruise experience. The people we met weren’t old disgruntles, but young and vibrant professionals from all over the world. The children I encountered were happy and not left wandering on their own. It was an oasis unto itself, and I missed it within minutes of driving away.
Since the cruise, we have become what my son calls “cruise crazy.” We’ve signed up for all the cruise travel sites, newsletters, and we’ve even installed apps on our phones. My son thinks they somehow brainwashed us, his term was “we drank the Kool-Aid.” We’ve tried to explain it to him and many others just how incredible it was, but only the ones who have cruised themselves seem to understand. There’s even a whole subculture of cruise people out there that I never knew existed, and now I fear I am becoming their cheerleader.
So yes, I, Sherri Smith am addicted to cruising. I spend my free time scouting out new cruise destinations, trying to figure out which one will fit our busy schedule. You will find me on cruise review sites talking with other cruisers about their adventures. I might even have a couple of apps on my phone that show me which ships are in what port, but I’ll never tell.
Don’t judge me, though. Well, okay judge away. It’s alright because we have already booked another cruise for October and two more are in the works for 2017. Being addicted to cruising is tough, but I don’t want a twelve step program to get over it. I just want to reach 75 member points so I can earn the platinum level on Carnival. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
So if you’re looking for a new addiction. Go on a cruise, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.