LET’S GO CRUISING



IT’S NOT WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE…BUT WHO YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE THAT COUNTS.
 
I WONDER HOW MUCH DEEPER THE OCEAN WOULD BE…WITHOUT SPONGES.

DON'T BOARD A CRUISE SHIP IF PASSENGERS ARE BEING ISSUED OARS.

If you think that this chapter is about driving late at night down Hollywood Boulevard with the top down then I suggest trying another chapter.

What I am talking about is what (in my opinion) is the most enjoyable and affordable vacation available. I mean going cruising in a cruise ship. My wife and I have been on over  20 cruises. This only gives us a level of experience based only on what WE enjoy.

The purpose of this chapter is to explain what your options are so you can decide what’s best for YOU and what you might enjoy.

Before you begin to think about what cruise to go on there are a number of factors for you to consider. Will you be traveling with children? Where do you want to go? What time of year will you be going?
 
The size of the ship is a very important factor also. Sometimes big IS better. Size can affect the amenities being offered on board along with other items including the price.
 
Big ships have more features while smaller ships offer a more intimate atmosphere.
Smaller ships are also more luxurious and generally cost more. They also have a more mature (older) clientele. Big ships are usually better if you are traveling with children.

I’ve been mentioning big ships and small ships. So, what’s the difference?
A rule of thumb is that small ships are under 1,000 passengers…A medium size ship is 1,000-2,000 passengers… and the big ships are 2,000 and above passengers.

Here is the GOOD NEWS and the BAD NEWS about the BIG ships.
 
GOOD NEWS: A big ship is like a 4-5 star hotel located in a small town (actually bigger than Sneads, Florida).
BAD NEWS: This means crowds and long lines for the buffet or trying to see a show. It can also mean long waits getting on or off the ship (unless you belong to a ship’s Elite or VIP rating). This rating is awarded to those people who have booked multiple cruises in the past. Something like an airline’s frequent flyer club. If you have one of these lofty ratings keep reading because pretty soon I will let you in on some secrets and short cuts that will elevate your enjoyment on YOUR cruise.
GOOD NEWS: Many activities including special programs for the children to keep you busy during the day and multiple swimming pools.
BAD NEWS: Many children ( Of course it's only bad news if you don't have...or don't like children) and sometimes you might have to get up early to get a deck chair.
GOOD NEWS: Offers many cabins with balconies, casinos, diverse entertainment including Broadway style production shows, first class gyms and spas.
BAD NEWS: You might get lost a lot and need a map to get around.

Here is the GOOD NEWS and the BAD NEWS about the medium size ships.
 
GOOD NEWS: A smaller less crowded atmosphere.
BAD NEWS: Most ships this size might be outdated with smaller public rooms.
GOOD NEWS: Still offers many entertainment options including casinos and swimming pools.
BAD NEWS: Smaller cabins with not many balconies (unless a suite).
GOOD NEWS: Fewer families (If you are traveling without children).
BAD NEWS: Older passengers with limited programs for children (if you have kids with you).
GOOD NEWS: Generally cost less.
BAD NEWS: May offer less.

Here is the GOOD NEWS and the BAD NEWS about the small size ships.
GOOD NEWS: You can expect personalized first class service and a more gourmet styled menu.
BAD NEWS: Fewer public rooms, very limited children’s programs (some not at all).
GOOD NEWS: Fewer families, no crowds, slower and more relaxed life style.
BAD NEWS: Not many activities or entertainment (although in most cases the entertainment is more elegant).
GOOD NEWS: Attention is paid to luxury.
BAD NEWS: Cruise fares are most expensive.
 
I’m not going to recommend a number of specific cruise lines because I haven’t been on that many different ones. Most of the cruises I have taken have been with  Princess Cruises and I do recommend them highly. After all, I wouldn't keep going back to them if they didn't deliver.

However, I will suggest that you check out a number of informative and fine web sites that can compare ship lines for you including individual ships within each line.
 
These web sites usually offer reviews submitted by actual passengers to give you an impartial (although remember that opinions are subjective) first hand report. You will find people that will tell you that the food was great… and the person at the next table might tell you that the food was comparable to a Denny’s (wait a minute I don’t think Denny’s is all THAT bad). You will also find someone tell you that the entertainment was wonderful while the person sitting next to them didn’t enjoy it at all (some people have no sense of humor.)
 
The main advantage of these reviews is when there is a meeting of the minds... and a consistency of critiques that you won’t find in the actual cruise line’s web site. You will find all the specific information you need on the cruise line’s website but the reviews and platitudes are understandably flavored somewhat. Hey, if you owned a cruise line you would do the same thing. Can you imagine any cruise line on their website telling you that “our food stinks and don’t even think about room service even showing up.” I don’t think so.
 
To locate these websites that can give you specific information along with impartial reviews and insights simply Google…. “cruise reviews.” You will find a large selection of websites to choose from that will give you much information, reviews by actual customers, deck plans, etc. Some of them will also offer to book your cruise for you and may offer you a discounted price.
 
My advise to you is to get the “free” information but be sure to compare prices not only between the various companies but also with the cruise line itself. Also, do not overlook the advantage of dealing with a travel agent or cruise specialist… if you know one you can trust.
 
Once you have decided on the cruise you want to take… if everything is equal or even close to being equal …booking directly with a cruise line has many advantages. The people you will be dealing with and needing information from … certainly know everything there is to know about “their ships.” The personnel representing the cruise lines are trained to serve you specifically about the ship you have selected to cruise on.

There are more than 200 cruise ships that you can choose from today. But the one thing that they all have in common is that a little advance planning and "insider" knowledge can help you save time, convenience and money.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS:

LOYALTY CLUBS. Basically every major cruise line has a club for its frequent travelers, much like airline frequent flyers programs. The benefits vary and the more times you cruise with them the benefits get better. If you have cruised before with a particular cruise line and have not joined their “club” ask them about joining and be given credit for previous cruises you may have taken with them. Even if they do not have a record of previous cruises (that were taken before computers) they will generally take your word for it… if you send them a letter with the name of the ship, your destinations and the dates you traveled. This could place you in a higher level which would increase your benefits.
 
SPECIAL FARES. Some cruise lines offer discounts to active and retired military persons. The same goes for union members, police, firemen, airline and other public safety people. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you might qualify for a “special fare” … the worst they can say is “no.” Also, most cruise lines will give everyone in the same stateroom the same special fare discount. (Don’t bother to ask for a special fare because you might be handsome or beautiful….I tried to and they said, “You got to be kidding.” And they didn’t even see a picture of me.) There are also upgrade possibilities where you pay for a lower category (inside stateroom) and end up with an outside stateroom. Ask your travel agent or cruise specialist (if you have one) or the cruise line itself about this and any other “special opportunities.”

DATES TO TRAVEL. If you have flexibility in when you can travel you can save money by picking the right dates. For example a New Years Eve cruise can be pricey..but the cruise right after (with the same destinations might be much less. Peak seasons (Alaska in July and August) are usually more expensive than in June or September. Check the prices on any cruise line’s website and you’ll see what I mean.

AIRLINE TICKETS. In most cases you can save money by making your own airline arrangements. Cruise lines offer Air/Sea packages but usually they charge much more than if you “shop” for airline deals yourself.
 
HOTEL PACKAGES. It is recommended that you arrange to fly into your embarkation port city the day before the cruise. There are many horror stories about airline delays, and even cancellations that have caused people to miss the ship’s departure (they will not wait for you). The cruise line will usually offer a hotel package (and will even meet you at the airport to take you to the hotel). The costs for these services are all built in to the package price and may cost you more than if you, once again, make your own arrangements (like air).
 
This can be a little trickier. What you need to do is find out which hotel(s) the cruise line is including. Then check out the hotel rate by contacting the hotel directly. One hint here. You can sometimes get a better rate if you contact the hotel directly (instead of a toll free number). Then you must factor in transportation costs from the airport to the hotel (first ask if the hotel has a free shuttle service from the airport.) If you find that the cost savings are significant then make your own arrangements...otherwise go with the cruise line's program. 

SOME MORE TIPS:

DINNER SEATINGS. Ships offer early dining (generally around 6:00pm) or late dining (around 8:00pm). Some ships offer “anytime” dining. This means that you show up for dinner when you want to (between certain hours.)

Here are the things to consider.

With early dining you have more time after dinner to see shows, gamble in the casino, dance the night away or whatever pushes your buttons. You also can catch the midnight buffet (if your ship has one) after working up yet another appetite. The negative side to early dining is you might have to give up some time in the port you are in to get back to the ship in time for dinner.
 
Late dining is fine except that after dinner there is not that much time (unless you have more energy than me) to take advantage of all the “after dinner” activities going on board the ship.
 
“Anytime” dining has certain advantages (you can pick the time each day.) However, the disadvantages are that you might have to wait in line to get into the restaurant… you will be eating with different people every night… and you most probably will not have the same waiter. These disadvantages might not make a difference to you if you don’t care who you eat with or who your waiter is.
 
There are many opportunities to eat on board a cruise ship and for the most part are all included in the price you pay for the cruise. Breakfast and lunch in the main dining room or hamburgers by the pool. Pizza, buffets, salad bars, seafood, desserts etc. are scattered around most cruise ships. In addition to the main dining rooms some ships have specialty restaurants (which you pay extra for but are generally worth it.) Room service is also available on most cruise lines at no charge (except for the tip to the person bringing you your food.)

You also pay for drinks (including soda) on most cruise lines. If you drink a lot of soft drinks (Pepsi,Cokes, etc.) you will find that there are usually bulk drink cards available which will end up saving you money in the long run. This also applies to some of the specialty coffee drinks. Check it out on your first day aboard ship.
 
Here’s something else you should know.
 
(Hypothetical situation) … You are ready for dinner and on the menu you see that tonight you can choose among such items as lobster and filet mignon. You can’t decide which one you want. Sooooooo…. Order both. No problem, you can not only order multiple entree’s you can also order seconds..or thirds…or (wait a minute… you need to save some room for the midnight buffet.)
 
TYPE OF STATEROOM. Most staterooms in ships are small. Tiny, in comparison to even an average hotel room. There are inside staterooms (no port hole or window)…there are outside staterooms (with a window)…there are outside staterooms with balconies where you can go out in the fresh air and enjoy the oceans’ breezes…and there are suites (of different sizes.) All of the different configurations are priced differently with the inside staterooms being the lowest and the suites being the most expensive (no surprises there.)
 
If at all possible, you should consider, at a minimum, to book an outside stateroom. You cruise will be much more enjoyable if you can “see outside” when you are in your stateroom. One piece of advise if you have an outside stateroom (particularly with a balcony.) Check and make sure that you don’t end up with a stateroom either with an “unprotected” balcony (people on the deck above can see you when you are on your balcony)..or one with an “obstructed view”. This means you might be looking at a lifeboat instead of the ocean. Proper planning will avoid these problems.
 
Check out the deck plans of the ship (available on the ship’s web site.) Make sure you are not booking a stateroom that is above or below any area of the ship that might send waves of loud noises when you want to sleep (bars, discos, lounges, ship’s propellers, etc.)

No matter what type of stateroom you have there are things you are “entitled” to on most ships. Ask your room steward for mattress pads or feather pillows if you want them. He should make them available to you.
 
It’s also a good idea to bring a small flashlight and a small travel alarm clock with you. They may come in handy. Those handy little post em notes may also come in handy to leave notes for your room steward or for people you might be traveling with. I always bring some extra batteries, paper clips, rubber bands, and scotch tape. Sounds weird but you never know when they can come in handy.

SWIMMING POOLS. There are usually several swimming pools on most cruise ships. You will find that some have slides, some have hot tubs, and some are bigger than others. They will all have lots of people (unless you are on an Alaskan cruise in September.) You will also find a distinct shortage of deck chairs. If laying out in the sun is your thing it might behoove (now there’s an interesting word..look it up) you to “make friends” with one of the deck hands in the area you want to “sun out at” and ask if they would (tipping is advisable)  save one or two for you.
 
TRAVEL INSURANCE. Most cruise lines offer travel insurance policies. My advice is that you absolutely positively get it. There are many things that could possibly go wrong (don’t be scared because it probably will not happen to you) …but it did happen to me once. Actually not me..but my wife injured herself two days before we were to go on a cruise through the Panama Canal. She could not go on the cruise but we had the travel insurance protection and recovered all of our costs except for the airline penalty ($50) for canceling.
 
The point is the relatively small cost for the insurance is worth the comfort of knowing you don’t have to worry about many things that possibly could go wrong. There are usually more than one option available so make sure that your travel agent or the ship’s representative explains the options to you and make sure you fully understand the specific coverage including limitations before you make your final decision.
 
PACKING. If you are going to be staying overnight in a hotel before your cruise you should pack your change of clothes for the day of the cruise in a specific place so you can find them without having to go through all your suitcases. Also, pack any medications or other important items in your carry on and not the luggage you check in at the airport (if you are traveling by plane.) You do understand that sometimes luggage is lost or delayed.

Dress on cruise ships have become very casual and informal in recent years. Pack clothes that you will be comfortable in. On nights that are declared to be formal you can still be comfortable. There will be a mixture of apparel being worn. For the men a shirt and tie with a suit or sport coat and dress slacks are fine (don’t forget shoes, socks and underwear.) For the women a nice dress or fancy skirt and blouse are also OK. Of course if you want to wear a tux (men) or your Cinderella gown (women)…go for it. The point is do what YOU want to do and don’t worry about what someone else might say. You probably will never see them again anyway.
 
Although, be reasonable. Don’t go to dinner on formal night (or any other night) in your swim suit and slippers (you won’t be allowed in the dining room.)

Most cruise ships have very limited electrical outlets. You should take an extension cord with additional outlets so you can use more than one electrical appliance at the same time for items such as chargers for cell phones, laptops, travel irons, etc.

Try to avoid over packing. Leave space for those things that you will pick up during your cruise. That T-shirt with the funny saying, the small elephant paper weight that you must have and will never use, the trophy you won at the dance contest, and all the other souvenirs that will need space in your luggage on the way home.
 
You should also separate your used clothing and (if you have an empty suitcase in your stateroom) pack them away regularly so you don’t have a big mess packing at the end of the cruise. Take some empty plastic bags with you. They will come in handy for packing damp or dirty (really dirty) clothes. The ship will have laundromats for you to use if you feel so inclined. There should also be dry cleaning and pressing available. In your toiletry case use small zip lock bags to protect any item that might leak while being transported. Your liquid eye glass cleaner ( or whatever) doesn’t mix well with your cologne if the bottle leaks.
 
I always include some duct tape (you never know when a suitcase might rip.) Don’t forget to pack the instruction books for your cell phones, or any other appliances or electronic things you may be taking with you. A small traveling umbrella is also a good idea for when it rains.
 
Don’t forget to take at least one pair of binoculars. You don’t want to miss seeing that hump-backed whale, flying dolphin or the MacDonald’s sign when you pull into some exotic port.
 
TIPPING. Most cruise lines give you a rather simple and easy to understand guideline to a fair and balanced tipping policy. You can follow their suggestions and be extra generous to anyone who went out of their way to give you special above the call of duty service during the cruise. By the way, you will hear all kinds of stories from the room stewards and food servers during the cruise. “My wife and 6 children depend on me and I hardly ever see them.” “I haven’t seen my family for 8 months and next month I go home for a week without any presents for my 7 kids.” You get the picture. While some of the stories may be true…the ship’s guidelines are still fair. If you want to give more it’s up to you. They will recommend a certain amount per day for each passenger. This includes each child (sometimes they make more messes than you do.) Well, maybe not YOUR kids. If the head waiter has given you “special” service throughout the cruise you can give him something extra. If he just shows up the last night of the cruise it’s not necessary.
 
Remember that it is up to you who you tip and how much. Tipping actually starts when you first check in at the airport. Porters who handle your luggage actually expect a tip. $1-$2 a bag is the average. If you are taking a taxi from the airport to either a hotel or directly to the ship and you have a porter assist you with your luggage..guess what?...right, he also gets a tip.
 
If you have paid for transfers to and from the ship tipping is included for luggage handling. In fact after you check your bags when you leave home… you might not see them until they are delivered to your cabin door on board the ship. However, if you are transporting yourself to the pier be sure to tip the baggage handler at the dock. This person is responsible for making sure your baggage is taken to the right spot to be taken aboard your ship. Treat this person kindly.
 
TIPS stands for “To Insure Personal Service”. Sometimes it can be a good idea to TIA……. “Tip In Advance.” For example if you are going to ask your room steward for anything special you want to him to provide for you on a daily basis (ice, extra towels, toilet tissue, kleenex, extra pillows, etc.) give him AAT “An Advance tip” $5-$10 and let him know that if he doesn’t let you down he will be rewarded again at the end of the cruise.

SECURITY GUIDELINES. Before you leave home make 2 copies of all important documents that you will have with you on the cruise. Passports, driver’s licenses, credit cards, insurance papers, etc. Leave one set of copies with the ship’s purser’s office and leave the other copy with a family member or friend at home.
Keep a list of all medications you take including the dosages and what time of day you take them. If you lose medications or become ill your medical information should not be committed to memory.

Make sure that your ship’s boarding pass, passport, charge card and a picture ID are kept together in a secure place for when you go ashore.
 
It probably will not happen to you because most cruise ships today cruise in calm seas and have stabilizers which keep the ship well balanced most of the time. However, nature has a way of letting you know who is really in control and there might be some moments of rough seas. That still doesn’t mean you will get sea sick.
 
However, if you do begin to feel “queasy” get the wristband (Travel-Eze) which applies pressure to a specific point on the wrist. It works better than pills and has no side effects, Most ships have them in their gift shops..or you can take them with you just in case. Like I said you probably will not have a problem but it’s a good thing to know. The brand name is Travel-Eze and it works.
 
When you have so many people confined to a relatively small area and mingling with people in locations all over the world…there is always the possibility of a health issue arising. There is really not much you can do if that happens..but the simple act of washing your hands with soap and water frequently during the day just might keep a germ or two from landing on you. Carry one of the many brands (small travel size) of hand disinfectants and use it often.
 
Passports are required if you are going to stop in ANY foreign port. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to either obtain one or renew yours if it will be expiring before the cruise.
 
If you are going to be using your credit cards on land to pay for things you might think about notifying your credit card company in advance and inform them you are going to be taking the cruise. Some providers will place a stop on charges if there are out of the ordinary charges from areas that might be unusual.
 
Read the chapter under the TOTALLY RANDOM heading entitled “Protect Yourself Against Scams.” for information about what to look out for when you go ashore.
 
LAND TOURS. Do your homework before leaving on your cruise about where you might want to go on shore. The cruise ship web site should have a complete listing of all available tours and a description of opportunities to enjoy each port you might visit.. including the costs.

You will find that the cruise ship’s costs might be a little “pricey” but they are generally well organized, hassle free and safe. There are generally cheaper prices by dealing directly with the local companies on shore but unless you know who you are dealing with you could have a problem. One other thing to keep in mind. If you deal directly with a local company and something happens along the way (bus breaking down) and you are late getting back to the ship…the ship will sail away without you…they will not wait. If, on the other hand, you are on a ship’s tour…they will wait.
 
If you are just going to go to the beach or shopping.. you can generally do that on your own. Shopping “excursions” are very profitable for cruise lines because they generally get paid for advertising certain stores in the port. You can also usually pay a very reasonable fee to take a local taxi to the popular beach areas.
 
SOMETIMES SCHEDULED STOPS ARE MISSED. Weather delays and engine problems could cause a ship to skip a scheduled port. If this happens don’t blame the cruise line. There is, in most instances, nothing they did to cause it and there is really nothing you can do about it anyway (read your contract.) If the entire cruise is cancelled for whatever reason the passengers are entitled to a full refund.
 
MEDICAL INSURANCE. We have already discussed trip insurance. Medical insurance is a must if you are traveling abroad. There are so many different plans and policies so you should seek professional advise from a reputable insurance agency before you leave home. Cruise lines may offer medical coverage but you should compare the extent of the coverage along with the costs. You should also know that Medicare and Medicaid provide little or no coverage at all once you leave the country. In the event you have a problem that requires evacuation be sure that you have coverage for an “emergency evacuation.”

EVERYTHING IS NOT INCLUDED. When a cruise line says that the price is “all inclusive” what they are really saying is that it covers most of the food (except specialty restaurants), entertainment, activities, and other onboard programs. What isn’t included is alcohol, wine, beer, soft drinks (as previously mentioned) espresso, spa services, pictures, massages, merchandise, art auctions, gambling games, land tour packages, food bought on shore, tipping (which we also mentioned) and probably a few more that I forgot about. The point is while most all of this is optional … you will be spending more than you might have planned on. I’m not saying you shouldn’t. Chances are you will be visiting ports that you have never seen before and you should soak in the local culture and take tours that might interest you. You may never go deep sea fishing again or visit a native Indian tribe. And a massage or facial may be a real treat. All I’m saying is plan ahead and be prepared for what your TOTAL coat will be so you are not taken by surprise.
 
SOME OTHER IDEAS. Print up some cards with your name, address, phone number and email address to share with new friends (if you are paranoid or if your new “friend” asks for your social security number you might forget about it.
 
Walkie Tawkies (is that spelled right?) or two way radios are convenient to have to communicate on board ship or on land between you and family members or cruise companions.
 
Consider donating any books you have finished to the ship’s library. It will be appreciated and will save some space in your suitcases.

By the way remember that you are going on a SHIP. Never refer to it as a BOAT. A boat is something you play with in the bath tub.
 
You will also find yourself getting lost a lot on the ship. Look for the “YOU ARE HERE” maps that are generously place throughout the ship. They will show you where you are as well as how to get where you are going. The reason they are “generously placed” is because, as I have said, you will be getting lost a lot.
 
Something you can do is to print out the deck plans and staple them together in order from the bottom deck all the way to the top. Use your computer to reduce their size so you can carry it in your pocket or purse. You will have a type of flip flop layout of the ship to help guide you. Then, when you get lost you can still look for the “YOU ARE HERE” maps.
 
Here are some terms you should memorize so you can impress your fellow passengers.
 
AFT means the back or stern of the ship. BAR is a large mass of sand or earth (also known as the place that you’ll usually find karaoke on the ship.) BEND is a knot used to join two ropes or lines (also a city in Oregon.) BOW is the front of the ship (also something pretty on a gift package.) BUOY is A floating object of defined shape and color, which is anchored at a given position and serves as an aid to navigation. (also the name of a young man misspelled,) GALLEY is the kitchen of the ship ( make up your own funny saying here.) GANGWAY is an opening in the bulwark of the ship to allow passengers to board or leave the ship. GHOST is to sail slowly when there is apparently no wind (also the noise you hear outside your stateroom at 3:00am.) LINE is the correct nautical term for the majority of the cordage or "ropes" used on a vessel (also what female passengers hear a lot of on the dance floor.) MESS is an eating place aboard ship. A group of crew who live and feed together (also what the children’s play room looks like at the end of the day.) POOP DECK is a high deck on the aft superstructure of a ship (you fill in the blanks.) PORT is the left side of a ship (also a type of wine at dinner.) STARBOARD is towards the right-hand side of a vessel facing forward. Denoted with a green light at night (not to be confused with that coffee place.) STERN is the rear part of a ship (not Howard.)
 
                                                           AN INTERESTING STORY.

Someone sent me a story which I found interesting so I thought that I would pass it on to you. This is not my story because it is someone else’s story but it is verrrry interesting !!!

About 2 years ago my wife and I were on a cruise through the western Mediterranean aboard aPrincess liner.

At dinner we noticed an elderly lady sitting alone by the rail of the grand stairway in the main dining room.

I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers, waiters, busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady.

I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told that she owned the line, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last four cruises, back to back.

As we left the dining room one evening i caught her eye and stopped to say hello. We chatted and I said, "I understand you've been on this ship for the last four cruises". She replied, "yes, that's true."

I stated, "I don't understand" and she replied, without a pause, "It's cheaper than a nursing home".

So, there will be no nursing homes in my future. When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship.

The average cost for a nursing home is $200 per day.

I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.

2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast in bed every day of the week.)

3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.

4. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.

5 They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

6. I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days.

7. T.V. broken? Light bulb needs changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.

8. Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don't even have to ask for them.

9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare; if you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they might upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go?

Princess will have a ship ready to go so don't look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.

Like I said this is not my story and I haven’t verified the facts but I’m sure you will agree…it is verrrry interesting !!!

I will be updating this chapter as time goes by so keep coming back for more hints and ideas for cruising.

See you next time,   

Lou