Wanderlust Wendy

Cruising on the Atlantic

Cruise is a popular way to travel, especial in the USA. Prior to last week, I had never been on a cruise ship nor did I have much desire. However, due to lack of time to plan a proper family vacation, we decided to give this way of travel a shot. The family and I boarded the Carnival Glory departed from Manhattan’s Cruise Terminal and spent a week on the Atlantic Ocean. Two of the days, we stopped at the ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint Johns, New Brunswick.

My first impression of the cruise is that it’s a summer camp for grown ups. You have lots of people rounded up in one place ¬†and the meals and entertainment are on a schedule. The diversity of the people, however, was fascinating. Few of the crew members were Americans and many of the passengers spoke other languages as well. Many of the crew members came from countries that are not as economically prosperous as the US and in some ways, it made me think of the wastefulness that took place on that cruise ship.

There were food available 24 hours a day and the choices were so vast and supply so plentiful that people didn’t feel bad about throwing away half plate of perfectly edible food. The electricity was running constantly, be it the hot tubs on the deck, lights all around the ship, the casino, the rooms, etc. Constant electricity was rare on land where I was living just 3 weeks ago, yet I was able to have it ON A BOAT? And then there was the service – customer service so amazing that it was almost over the top. One evening, our wait for dinner was a bit long, and the next thing you know they sent us cakes and a note to apologize in our room. We love the turn-down service where they make animals out of towels. The contrast was drastic, and surreal. Throughout the week, I kept thinking to myself, this is the epitome of the American culture, and it was bizarre.

The two port-of-calls were charming little seaside towns and good chance to get out of the enclosed space and walk around a bit. This was the first time I ever step foot into Canada, and much like what I imagined – it’s a lot like the United States. There are very few, if any, particularities that made me though, “oh, this is very Canadian.” There is one thing – the sales tax that hovers around 15%! No wonder they have such great social services. The money always comes from somewhere.

The cruise was overall an interesting experience, though probably not my favorite way of vacationing. It was, however, lovely to spend quality time with my family whom I haven’t seen in a year. Besides being enclosed on the ship for a week, we’ve also put on our touristy hats and visited New York and Washington D.C.. The tour continues to Boston tomorrow. Stay tune for updates!

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