Things I Learned From My Mom: Cruises are Fun.
My mom and I look alike, have similar mannerisms, and pronounce the word “measure” funny (or so Beth claims). We get a bit shaky when we don’t eat, and while we both like to drive, her foot is much heavier than mine, if you get my drift. While we have a lot of similarities, one thing that we’ve been divided on for years was cruising, you know Love Boat-style vacations. When I was a tween, she sold me on a Disney cruise, but money was tight, she was a single parent (love you mom) and, well, that ship sailed without us.
It’s not that I was against her cruising (baby boomer speak for a cruise ship vacation), I just didn’t think it fit my style of travel; no room for any serendipity or so I thought. My mom, on the other hand, loved it: fantastic food, dancing, exotic ports and best of all it was all inclusive. For years, she would go off to sea, and come back a week or two later regaling me with her Jimmy Buffettesque experiences and saying how I had to try it. And I’d explain, ‘that sounds great mom, but you know, cruising just ain’t my scene.’
Of course, like most things, she was completely right and I was wrong. A few years back she finally got me on a short cruise from San Diego to Ensenada. And I have to say, I really enjoyed the all inclusive aspect of cruising. It’s kind of like a floating Las Vegas casino, except you don’t have to pay for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Besides just being out in the open ocean, my favorite aspect of the cruise was being able to order room service at no extra charge.
Now that Beth and I are traveling full time, we keep telling my mom and stepfather that they need to meet us somewhere during our travels. However, because they only get limited vacation time and aren’t independently wealthy, it has been difficult to figure out how to get the most bang for their buck. But I think I found the perfect solution, a cruise on one of the world’s greatest rivers, like the Yangtze or Rhine. Over the past few months, I have seen Viking River Cruise reviews on other travel blogs, and it sounds like a really good time. Because my mom would only have a couple of weeks, I think taking this style of cruise would allow us to see a lot within a short time period without some of the other stresses–transportation days for example–that go along with international travel.
If anyone has traveled on an international cruise, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it, especially if you have been on an American cruise line like Carnival. I’m curious to hear how foreign river cruises can compare–food, entertainment–to their American counterparts.
Happy Mother’s Day! Mom, Grandma, Grandma Woods, Mary Salvon and Grandma Gamble
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