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26 March 2016 / leggypeggy

Cruising to a first

Casting off from Honduras

Casting off from Honduras

Okay folks, are you sitting down?

Poor John and I finish our first-ever cruise tomorrow morning in Florida. Later in the day we fly to Cancun, Mexico for two nights. But wait, there’s more.

I know, it’s hard to keep track of us.

We were in Alaska for a couple of weeks. Then we had two nights with my cousin, Jo, in Seattle. From there we flew to Tampa to join a seven-night cruise that would warm us up and keep us busy until we headed to Cancun, on our way to Cuba.

Whew!

I’ll get around to all those flittings soon (assuming I can get wifi in Cuba). I still have lots more to tell about Alaska and Seattle, but for now I’ll interrupt programming with an introduction to cruising.

Song and dance routine

Song and dance routine

My mother’s first cruise
My mother took her first of many cruises with her mother a couple of years after my dad died. I’ve always loved mom’s story about the Greek guy she met during a stopover on a Mediterranean cruise.

He took a real shine to mom and urged her to join him on his yacht. Mom declined graciously, saying she couldn’t possibly abandon her own mother. Back on ship later that afternoon, mom and grandma saw the guy sail by on his seriously huge yacht. He waved furiously at mom and she waved back.

Mom then told grandma about the invitation to cruise with him. My grandmother—and I have to say I had no idea she had such a sense of humour—said ‘Shall I push you overboard now?’

But I digress.

Our first cruise
We’ve been wary of cruises. Seriously we aren’t the cruising type. I know we went to the Antarctic by ship, but that was an expedition, not a cruise. All of us were bundled up in parkas, boots, scarves and mittens. There was one dining room, no 24-hour service, no formal night and plenty of exercise walking on the snow.

This has been totally different.

For starters, I felt the need to pack a dress and two skirts. The last time I packed a dress was to go to a nephew’s wedding in the USA. The good thing about that is that I brought the same dress on this trip.

We’ve had two ‘formal’ nights on this trip, so I’ve worn the dress and one of the skirts. I wear a dress about twice a year, and now I’ve worn dressy clothes twice in a week!

Song from 'Chicago'

Song from ‘Chicago’—one of the top performances

But it gets weirder. Poor John has worn a dressy shirt twice in a week, although he drew the line at a tie and he did not get kicked out of the dining room.

He was reluctant on other fronts too. He did not enter the men’s belly-flop competition, the sexiest-man competition, the battle of the sexes, the scavenger hunt, the want-to-feel-like-a-millionaire competition or the 1970s dance-a-thon.

I have been just as bad. I didn’t buy a massage, a $19.95 watch, a cheap tanzanite, two t-shirts for $20 or diamonds discounted by 20 per cent.

We have, however, turned up to quite a few of the trivia quizzes and won one. Poor John really does bring his genius and memory to these events, and our fellow quiz mates have been delighted to have him on their team.

Pity we weren’t at the one quiz that asked ‘what is the capital of Australia?’. We are from Canberra, but for that quiz, no one knew the answer.

We’ve had daytime stops at four ports—one each in Honduras and Belize and two in Mexico. You can’t see much in a day, but the ports have been fairly small and I’ll write more about the highlights.

When you disembark, the main sights are acres and acres of duty-free shops, so we’ve bypassed them and headed straight to town on foot. The first stop was so rainy that it took two full days for my shoes to dry out. Luckily we had umbrellas to cover most of the rest of us.

But that’s enough intro for now. I need to get this posted and then get to bed. It’s after midnight and they are kicking us off the ship in the morning.

And in case you’re wondering, internet on ship is not cheap at $20 a day for an often slow and intermittent service. But, hey, it has kept me in touch with you!

More soon, I hope!

Another song

Another song

 

86 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Yvonne / Mar 26 2016 4:59 pm

    Is that you in the last photo, in your dress? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. wfdec / Mar 26 2016 5:11 pm

    I’m not sure I’d be happy on a cruise but I have always longed to go to Cuba. I wrote my UNI thesis on the Inevitability of the Cuban Revolution.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. poshbirdy / Mar 26 2016 5:26 pm

    Can’t wait to hear about Cuba. We’ll be there in August for the first time

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 26 2016 11:40 pm

      Look forward to hearing about your travels there too.

      Like

  4. Vicki / Mar 26 2016 5:42 pm

    What an amazing life you and Poor John lead.
    Wearing a dress twice must be a sight in itself 🙂

    I couldn’t imagine myself on a cruise, but you and Poor John would have to be the best kind of company if I did.

    I would have missed the answer of what is the capital of Australia. Is it Melbourne 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 26 2016 11:47 pm

      We’ve made some great friends on the cruise. If only we can lure them to Australia to visit the capital! hahaha

      Like

  5. Coral Waight / Mar 26 2016 6:22 pm

    You’re right. It’s very hard to keep track of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gerard oosterman / Mar 26 2016 6:23 pm

    Poor John is right to avoid the tie. Perhaps a knitted safari suit next time with gold buckles? 😉
    Yes, stories abound about cruises. The larger, the more severe the intestinal hurricanes sweeping through all the decks. I believe the Norwegians stock up on herrings on their boats and swear by the medicinal properties when eaten raw.
    In Canberra, all is well and very peaceful. Here in Bowral the leaf blowers have been taken out of the colour-bond sheds. I saw a man on a ladder cleaning his gutter. A Coles shopping trolley was turned upside-down on the nature strip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 26 2016 11:49 pm

      Oh gosh, your days have been more exciting than mine. We’ve had rain and cloud and more water. In fact surrounded by water.

      Like

  7. derrickjknight / Mar 26 2016 6:42 pm

    For such entertainment for us, the Internet is cheap at the price. It’s amazing how many people over here don’t know what the capital of Australia is – Sidney, innit? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 26 2016 11:56 pm

      I’ve certainly made the most of the internet connection. Hoping to continue to have access as we travel. As for the capital of Australia—guess again! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dorothy / Mar 26 2016 7:21 pm

    I have never been on a cruise ship Peggy but have been thinking about it for a while now. Your review will be read word for word. Dorothy

    dorothysstories.wordpress.com

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 26 2016 11:58 pm

      It’s a very easy way to travel, but try to resist all the food.

      Like

  9. The Whitechapel Whelk / Mar 26 2016 7:55 pm

    I know a woman who lives in Florida. She’s a boorish type who suffers from Dunning-Kruger Syndrome (she has a very high opinion of herself despite strong evidence to the contrary). If you spot her, could you feed her to an alligator please?
    Cheers 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  10. jazzyoutoo / Mar 26 2016 9:13 pm

    You’ll soon become cruise addicts!:D:D:D

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Derrick / Mar 26 2016 9:59 pm

    Always been reluctant to go on a cruise (my son’s wife sister works on a cruise ship)

    I have been offered free trips, but never taken them up, I hear all this stuff about ‘tipping’, dressing up for dinner (I don’t even own a tie or a suit (well just a birthday suit) I just don’t think I would fit in, despite all the luxuries on offer

    I know the ships are huge, but its the thought of being stuck on there with nowhere to go, just sitting around for most days

    Never really stopping anywhere for a real look around

    I have been on a Nile cruise, but its not really the same thing, same as a booze cruise (not a fan of them either)

    Be good to see what you did, got on with and how you found things

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 3:51 am

      Derrick, I can’t imagine you on a ship, and I never expected to take a cruise either, but this fitted in between two other trips. Not too bad for a week. The ships are huge, but they try hard to give you plenty of things to do.

      Like

      • Derrick / Mar 28 2016 10:48 am

        has to be better than a truck and making your own entertainment (phone, ipod, laptop, hanging over the side 😉

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Mar 28 2016 10:53 am

        You make a good point!

        Like

  12. blondieaka / Mar 26 2016 10:32 pm

    Can’t wait to hear about your Cuban adventure my daughter has been and loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 12:07 am

      We’re really looking forward to it. Everyone we know who has been has loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Jane / Mar 26 2016 10:46 pm

    Hahah…I know what you mean about the formal attire. Fancy wearing a dress twice in one week! 🙂 I’ve never been on a cruise. I am not sure it would be my thing. If I found out you two were on a boat though, I’d be guaranteed of some fun and extremely tempted! You do make me laugh. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 12:07 am

      Let me know if you plan to cruise and we’ll make our booking too. That would be fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. spearfruit / Mar 27 2016 1:19 am

    Thanks for the updates – such a traveler you and Poor John are. Keep us up to date, enjoying the travels with you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 3:52 am

      So pleased you’re coming along with us. Don’t forget your passport. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. susan@marsha'sbungalow / Mar 27 2016 2:11 am

    If cruising gets us where we want to go, then we cruise. I’ve found no one kicks you out of the formal nights even if you wear pants instead of a dress. Can’t wait to hear the stories of Cuba. Hope your visit is wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 3:53 am

      Yes, we noticed the dress code was very laid back, so I could have skipped the dress. We’re learning as we go. And looking forward to Cuba too.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. lulu / Mar 27 2016 3:40 am

    We are definitely not big boat cruisers, preferring smaller vessels. One thing cruises have in common is they are seamless. One only has to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 3:53 am

      Seamless is right. But way too much focus on food. Burp!

      Like

  17. dfolstad58 / Mar 27 2016 4:29 am

    I really enjoy your writing style. It’s fun, light, and similar to sitting around with you just relaxing while you share your trip. Although you are blessed to have the freedom to travel and have great experiences, I Like you are not pretentious. Safe travels to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 4:58 am

      Wow, what a lovely compliment. Thanks so much.

      Like

  18. afterthelasttime / Mar 27 2016 5:23 am

    Wow! So many unusual delights in a week!
    My parents went on two cruises together and my Dad has been on numerous since my Mother passed.
    He’s found the day activities while in ports to be fun , rewarding, and full of great memories. He always travels Princess Cruises and they throw in at least 3 or 4 free day activities; site seeing, scuba diving & senorkeling, air boat tours, submarine rides, etc.
    Glad you and PJ tried one cruise anyway. Maybe PJ would appreciate the uniqueness of a bow tie or bola?

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 5:43 am

      We didn’t get any Freebies thrown in, but maybe that’s because we were first-timers. We have a second cruise (different line) coming up—a repositioning one from Chile to California. It has 11 or 12 stops, so that should be interesting. But you can bet PJ won’t be wearing a tie of any kind unless they loan it to him.

      Like

  19. Carol Ferenc / Mar 27 2016 5:50 am

    Oh, my, I thought you were still in Alaska viewing ice sculptures. You are hard to keep track of. You’re right, Peggy, about cruises. It’s wise to choose your activities carefully. Sounds like you’ve made good choices!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 5:53 am

      We thought many of the excursions were not value for money or all that interesting given our travel background, but we still saw plenty of interesting sights on foot. We did do one major excursion that took all day and it was fascinating. Now off to Mexico and then Cuba for 12 nights of homestays.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. mistermuse / Mar 27 2016 6:00 am

    I thought the capital of Australia is Wallaby. Now you say it’s Cangaroo – I mean Canberra? Well-ington, at least I was close (as close as the capital of New Zealand)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Yahooey / Mar 27 2016 7:36 am

    With a name like leggypeggy, I am surprised to learn you rarely wear a dress/skirt. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  22. federica pedullà / Mar 27 2016 8:39 am

    Happy Easter leggypeggy!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder / Mar 27 2016 8:48 am

    Never been on a cruise, but it sounds like great fun. I’ve spent nights on houseboats in Kashmir, that’s really enjoyable, too… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 10:43 am

      Houseboats and ships are quite different. Houseboats have a lovely cozy feel, while ships have up to 2500 passengers. A big difference in ambience but, of course, lots of activities offered on a ship.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. kkessler833 / Mar 27 2016 11:14 am

    Great photographs! Looks like fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. BunKaryudo / Mar 27 2016 12:21 pm

    My first thought was, “Goodness, that cruise ship looks a bit basic!”

    Then I realized the thing in the first photograph was just a concrete platform for mooring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 1:02 pm

      Clean your glasses. The ship is attached to the other end of that big rope! That said, we have travelled on basic ferries that look rather like the concrete platform.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BunKaryudo / Mar 27 2016 1:35 pm

        I know what you mean. I’ve also stayed in a couple of hotels that weren’t so very much more luxurious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Mar 27 2016 1:59 pm

        Ah, was it you in/on the next door slab?

        Like

  26. Forestwoodfolkart / Mar 27 2016 5:15 pm

    I keep away from cruises. Too many people indulging in food or wine.And there aren’t many cruises suited to the independent traveller. A big dollar supplement is you are a single…..
    But the trivia sounds like fun. It would bring out my competitive streak.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 28 2016 12:10 am

      The food and alcohol consumption is mind-boggling. We didn’t buy drink packages and kept strictly to meal times for food. Still gained a little bit of weight, but working it off walking in Mexico.
      Like you, I wouldn’t want to pay a single supplement. And the quizzes were fun: lots of variety in the questions although a slight leaning to USA subject matter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Forestwoodfolkart / Mar 28 2016 7:21 am

        You sound quite disciplined, Peggy. I think it would be hard not to gain weight with all those temptations.

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Mar 28 2016 9:07 am

        It took a couple of days to realise I had to be disciplined. So I avoided fried foods, sweets, soft drinks and such. Had fruit and bacon (my cheat of the day) for breakfast, salads for lunch and then the server’s recommendation for dinner (minus sweets most nights). I splurged on dessert a couple of times. As a result, I haven’t had to ease out my belt by a notch.

        Like

  27. Midwestern Plant Girl / Mar 27 2016 10:32 pm

    Wow! I thought that was you flying overhead last week 😉
    I can’t wait for the Cuba photos! I picture the cars as all being 1960’s era… I’m sure you will, but please post lots of pix from there please!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 28 2016 12:12 am

      I promise, I promise, I promise to post lots of pics from Cuba. Not sure if I’ll have much connection there so it may be a couple of weeks. Be patient. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. pagedogs / Mar 27 2016 11:24 pm

    I adore boats of all kinds but those big cruises sound like a nightmare to me. Cuba, on the other hand, I’d love to see (especially before the inevitable deluge of tourists). Looking forward to seeing it from your perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 28 2016 12:13 am

      Oh, the cruise wasn’t a nightmare and it never felt like there were 2000+ people on board, and the staff were excellent. But now we’re really looking forward to Cuba.

      Like

  29. Lynz Real Cooking / Mar 28 2016 1:15 am

    Wow, we cannot keep track of you! What a busy and fun time you are having!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet / Mar 28 2016 8:27 pm

    And the journey continues…!
    Looks like you are having a high old time Peggy.
    Keep up the posts and sharing your fun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Stephanae V. McCoy / Apr 11 2016 12:39 am

    Peggy, it’s fun just to read about you and Poor John’s adventures!! While I couldn’t do a cruise (serious aversion to being surrounded by water and no land) it sounds like a blast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Apr 11 2016 4:23 am

      Really glad you like to ‘float along’ with us. I promise not to let you fall overboard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanae V. McCoy / Apr 11 2016 4:42 am

        Hahaha. Much appreciated 😀 I had to chuckle when your grandmother offered to push you mom overboard.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Apr 11 2016 11:35 am

        I’ve always loved that story.

        Like

  32. mommermom / Apr 26 2016 10:16 am

    Wow, Peggy you guys really do get around! I love following your journey and your adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

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