While the very essence of a cruise is surely about pleasure and indulgence, it is surprising just how shy and retiring many people can be when it means to coming forward, and maybe asking for that second tempting dessert, for example.
Similarly, even if two of the main courses on offer look equally alluring, how many people actually do speak up, and ask to try maybe a little of both? Maybe because you are largely eating with strangers, you might not want them to label you as Mr or Mrs. Greedy?
A simple word of advice, if I may? Get past it.
Those people whose baleful stares and potentially waspish opinions you fear did not pay for your trip. You did. Odds are, you’ll never see any of them again in any event. The key to enjoying any travel experience to the absolute maximum lies in doing what is best and most rewarding for you.
And, if you need a further shot of encouragement, pray consider this:
Are you going to be writing about your trip? Well, whether you are considering authorship of a review or even a blog- one much like this- then you really, really need to do some very deep and intensive research.
So yes, you will have to indulge in that wonderfully obscene breakfast spread out on your balcony, I’m afraid. And yes, you might have to try a couple of different venues for a buffet lunch in one day. Think you can’t handle that gut busting ice cream? Shape up, soldier!
Some poor crew member has laboured long and damned hard to prepare all that food for you. Every single member of staff wants you to enjoy yourself to the maximum. How can you even think of letting them down?
Can you imagine the sadness and tears on their poor little faces, and all because you couldn’t raise your game, and stretch to putting sprinkles on your ice cream? How heartless can you be? It isn’t all about you, you know…
The same applies to the noble art of cocktail testing. You have a solemn duty to rate the ability of the various bars and bartenders in pursuance of their craft. And it’s not as if you are doing it for your own personal, selfish gain. You are doing research for your article; a labour of love in which you share the benefits of your knowledge for the information and illumination of others.
If that kind of selfless dedication is not deserving of a chocolate martini by way of a reward, then I really don’t know what is.
Anyone who thinks that the constant routine of a modern cruise ship is about relaxation is living in a dream world. Our days are a constant procession from breakfast buffet to hot tub, pre lunch cocktails, lunch buffet, shopping, a little gambling, and maybe some sunbathing.
We must make time for afternoon tea and five o’clock cocktails, some sauna and/or gym time and, before you know it, it’s time to get ready for dinner. Cruising; it’s just one damned thing after another, if the truth be told.
But if you are going to do it, then best to do it right. And if you put on a little weight, what of it?
If you have to be hoisted ashore at journey’s end…. well, that’s why passenger ships have cranes. And if your bed starts whimpering the moment that you open the door, just flip the mattress and show it who is actually the boss.
But seriously; try, indulge, and above all, enjoy. It isn’t called ‘the good life’ for nothing. Bon voyage!