Friday, January 22, 2010

Sailing takes me away...

OK, so actually it doesn't.

When I think of going on a cruise, a few images come to mind. Relaxing with a book, gazing out over waters going by and enjoying the capricious sea winds. Sleeping on a small bed, gleefully coming back to check out the latest towel animal lounging on said bed, relaxing, eating more than necessary, sunsets...did I mention relaxing?

Cruising with kids, however, is a whole new ball of wax. Just like everything else once you add kids to the mix. (Childless friends take note.) Even on a vacation cruise there aren't those blissful long days at sea of doing nothing.

Which is a total bummer.

I am really into doing nothing.

Especially in foreign lands.

Fortunately we had planned well. Our little room was near the kid's club babysitting center, the super cool kids' waterslide and the play area, and while it wasn't a second honeymoon, we made do.

Plus, we got to see the ship through their eyes, which is pretty awesome.

Already chock full of Vegas-esque glitz and glamour, the Superstar Virgo was further decorated for the holidays for an over the top eyefull. More restful was the view from our room balcony, here setting out to sea from Singapore Harbor.

We also learned that, along the lines of doing nothing (and being served food, which is another step up in the category of Good Living) we really like assigned seating for dining. We didn't have it during this voyage and instead did a lot of cafeteria-style eating. Since most of the passengers were Asian, (Indian or Far East..we, and the Aussies, were the rare exception,) the majority of the food was Asian as well. Thomas, again, ate a lot of french fries and fruit.

For the more adventurous of us, it was an opportunity to try out cuisines we might not have been exposed to otherwise, and in small portions so we wouldn't have to feel too guilty if we didn't finish eating whatever the heck that stuff was that I put on my plate in a mindless moment of gluttony or curiosity. (Generally both.)

A major highlight for Bethy was going to the "All-Philippino Cast Production of The Little Mermaid." I was kind to Mike and spared him the experience of going, knowing how painful he finds musicals.

Post show party with the cast

I thought it was lovely, fabulous costumes, new songs, elaborate staging, and much closer to Hans Christian Anderson's story than the Disney version. Bethy had huge eyes the entire time, and she and I made sure to sit right up at the very front. Oh, the excitement. She could not get enough, and I ended up buying the soundtrack for her as well. (Santa brought her the t-shirt for Christmas...oh, that wiley Santa. He sure does know stuff.)

A lot of being on the cruise ship was about getting on and off the ship, and waiting in lines. The kids did great. Our kids may need work in some areas, but boy, can they travel.

And, like their Mom, they love those towel animals:


sea turtle

and swans

Either because our kids are cute or because we were kind to our room stewards, we sometimes got two animals a day.


Best of all, I think the kids found it as exciting as we do to go to sleep in your bed in one country and wake up in entirely another. Bethy pulled me aside one day and said, in a confidential tone, 'Mom, I love cruising. I mean, I really, really love it, OK?'

Definitely OK.


Cindy Napier said...

I'm with Bethy-- I love cruising too! Unfortunately Bill gets seasick, so I probably don't have much in my future! LOL!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian said...

I have been on 3 cruises in my lifetime and not once didn't anyone make me a towel animal!!!!!
How hard was it for the kids to let you take them apart?

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian said...

That should say "not once did anyone make me a towel animal"

But I love cruises anyway.

Natalie said...

Luckily there were plenty of towels and I never had to take one apart. Well, OK, I might have carefully taken one apart and then reassembled it to figure out how to make one at home, but that doesn't count.

Hey Cindy, maybe we can go on a running cruise together: You travel to different Caribbean islands and run races on each one!

AKBrady said...

I think that was my son's fav; the towel creatures, especiallly the monkey hanging from a coat hanger in our stateroom.