A View From the Starboard

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When we last left off, Dave and I were preparing to board a cruise ship, of all things, for a two week sail across the Atlantic. I am the first to say that we were appropriately skeptical of using a cruise ship as a method of travel. But now, four days into our 2 week trip, we’re realizing that this whole crazy idea is actually working quite wonderfully. We are still in awe of it all and keep asking ourselves how this is so much cheaper than flying. The luxuries are plentiful, and impossible to compare with a cramped airline cabin with stale air and really bad food.

Our boat is a monstrosity- a floating city- complete with a running track the size of a professional track field, two pools, three restaurants, a night club, a gym, a rock climbing wall, and hundreds of other amenities I can’t begin to list here. It is the temporary residence of about 1600 passengers and 750 crew members. Of those passengers, about 400 are american, 400 are German, and 400 are Spanish. The remaining are a mix of most every country you could name. Cruise documents estimate that 16 languages are spoken on board. It is a study in sociology, with a population so varied that I don’t imagine any country could quite compare.

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As we suspected, the age range is a bit less varied. The median age is likely around 55 or 60, and somehow our floor has a concentration of people appearing to be closer to 80. We plan our paths back to our stateroom so to avoid getting stuck shuffling behind someone with a walker, and we’re getting used to the subtle snores of sleeping patrons during an evening dance performance or concert. But not to worry, we are not the sole representatives of our generation.

Our assigned dinner table is one that we share with two other couples in their 30′s- one couple whom is actually traveling as we are. In fact, long term travelers of all ages are abundant on our ship. It turns out that traveling this way is not uncommon. Comforting to be amongst our own like minded people. Especially since we are all suddenly faced with an abundance of luxury, having gone from broke backpackers to able cruisers overnight. Never fear– this lifestyle is not hard to adjust to.

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