Popular Cruising is just beginning, but the journey of my own cruise travel writing started over a year ago when an earlier essay of mine was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, my local print newspaper. After spending a year writing articles online, it dawned on me that I never published my very first piece electronically before. So lo and behold, just below is that first article of mine that started me on this fantastic voyage of writing about cruise travel and ultimately having the privilege to share with all of you my wonderful experiences. Since the original publication of this article, I’ve taken another 5 cruises and aged another year, and the genuine enthusiasm I have for cruising still rings true to this day. Enjoy!
I am a 27 year old veteran cruiser with 43 cruises under my belt. I have enjoyed these sailings courtesy of my parentsʼ shared passion for all things cruising and their equal desire to experience our travels as a family. And yes, to answer the question you no doubt must be asking, I am an only child. Youth and cruise longevity do not often go together, but indeed I began cruising since just before I was two. So I was essentially raised aboard cruise ships.
What is it about cruising that keeps me wanting more? You might not expect the primary attraction to be the sea itself, but indeed it is. Sure the ships are magnificent steel monuments of our engineering prowess, and the ports are fantastic points of entry into some of our worldʼs most engaging scenery. Yet for me, the draw of cruising remains the opportunity to set sail on the open ocean. For most of us, our everyday experience of the world is quite terrestrial. We commute to and from work in our cars or trains on solid ground or we bypass land and sea altogether and take to the sky by way of plane. As such, many people will go their entire lives without having ever seen the ocean with their own eyes. Yet water covers the majority of our planet and makes up just as much of our own bodies. Therefore, it seems almost instinctual that we should be drawn to experience the ocean if only because it is often absent from our daily lives.
It could be argued that there are other ways to experience the ocean aside from cruising. You might hop in a sailboat, race a personal watercraft, or take up ocean surfing, swimming, or kayaking, but letʼs face it, these methods all require a degree of physical exertion and arenʼt typically intended for journeys rated by the nautical mile. To really experience the ocean you must take a cruise or enlist in the Navy, and I think we all know which of these options is most conducive to rest and relaxation.
There is just something about the balance between the pure tranquility of the ocean and its bombastic power that is infinitely intriguing. Whether you allow yourself a jubilant Hollywood celebration at the bow, a relaxed observation on the side promenade decks, or a moment to marvel at the violent churning water at the stern, the sea offers an endless allure. Its infinite patterns of sparkling light dazzle your eyes. You enjoy that particular brand of cool moist breeze that only the ocean can conjure up. You listen to the sounds of cresting waves and crackling foam as they christen the sides of your ship. The sea alone offers up enough incentive to partake in a cruise. And yet this most elemental attraction to cruising is often lost as a footnote to the perpetual dining, shows, and activities offered aboard. Still, I havenʼt forgotten what always brings me back to cruising.