The call of the sea

When I was a kid, maybe younger than 8 years old, I went on my first passenger ships, the Cunard Lines SYLVANIA and QUEEN MARY. Traveling with my mom one summer from New York to England and then returning to New York City. I generally recall 3 memories of that time. Two were shipboard: being entertained with other kids by the staff while our parents were so seasick they were in their cabins, receiving a die cast model of the ship(s), and a random memory of being fascinated by men working on a pipe in the middle of the lane in front of my grandmother’s home in the Isle of Man. But the point of this all is that I don’t get seasick.

Rowboats, canoes, kayaks, harbor ferries and water taxis of various sizes and conditions, and three U.S. Navy warships have been how I went to sea in the intervening fifty years. Until this week, so many years ashore dulled my senses and passion for travel and the sea. The dining, getting to know some people, the excursions in our ports, and the shows we took in have been the highlight of cruising. The rocking even as slight as the large liner does pleasantly lulls us to restful sleep. For me it has again stirred my memory of the wind and wave.

2017-11-07 10.17.10

This ship, however, is too big. Too many people. And although I am not, well, insensitive, I really do not want to travel with large groups of some tourists. I’ve been irritated by their cultural norm of pushing through around and over, mobbing really, at the brow coming on and off, (like at our travel stop in Cozumel). I imagine if you come from a place that has 2 billion residents you push to avoid being run over. Yet this ship has travelers and staff from all parts of the world. After several days, a vessel with six thousand passengers is too much like vacationing on Southern California highways during rush hour.

Give me a smaller, more personable ship and I’ll take the adventure anywhere. Nevertheless, I know my wife and I will make new friends, see some amazing sights, and enjoy more cruises in the future.

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