Cruising After the Pandemic
I do not know how to swim nor did want to go on a boat, however, I went a cruise with my wife in our 25th anniversary. We took a 5 day cruise to Bermuda from Bayonne, NJ on Anthem of the Seas. It was an first cruise experience for both of us.
We took a couple more with our friends, back to Bermuda on a Norwegian Cruise Ship but I preferred Anthem. The other one was from Fort Lauderdale to Cuba with a stop at Key West on Majesty of the Seas. We were planning more cruises, however, pandemic hits all of us. No one was spared. Personal lives and businesses changed forever.
After 2 years, we cruised again. This time with our family and friends. We departed from Bayonne to Nassau. Stops in Port Canaveral and Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean’s private island). We boarded Oasis of the Seas. It’s huge compared to the previous cruise ships we boarded.
Comparing it with past cruises, I preferred this because I was cruising with family and this was bigger and I did not feel it moving as much as the smaller ones.
Cruising this time around was different. We must have proof of vaccination and/or negative covid test result prior to boarding. During this time masking was optional, however, it was still mandatory for all the crews. The only thing not different was hygiene. A must before you go dining, “washy washy”. Well, this is a no brainer, it was must for you to either wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. Pandemic or no pandemic should be observed.
I was told that earlier cruises would have had rules for vaxed or unvaxed passengers, but not on this cruise.
I know that I was somewhat difficult during the cruise since I did not want to go to any water (pools and the ocean). I have had my hang ups during the cruise like not liking to stand to close the railing and not cutting in line. I guess I need to loosen up a bit and just relax. I thought I was just feeling grumpy for no particular reason. I did not get drunk this time and I think I liked it better. I did not want to get drunk since I don’t like to get hung over.
Cruising is not for everyone. Some would not want to be couped up in the middle of the ocean, well others just get seasick and get bored. However, I would like to suggest that one must try ones in their life. For the duration, you get to live without any worry. You sleep, you wake up, you eat, and your room is always made up. The only thing you need to worry is what to wear and what to eat. Of course, you can do the same going to an all inclusive resort, however, the difference is that you get to a different port and experience different places. Yes, you feel the ocean but not as much on a bigger ship. There are so many things to keep you pre-occupied in the ship: you have several live shows; restaurants and bars. Not to mention other recreations for kids and adult alike (water rides anyone?), also casino if you like gambling. If you have kids, there is day care. If you like shopping they have it too aside from port destinations.
There are also different state rooms to choose from. If you like ocean view or neighborhood view (only for rooms with balconies). Balcony facing the ocean or balcony facing inside the ship (various neighborhood like board walk and . Central Park with real trees and plants) There are suites (which I can only experience by watching videos), or rooms with port holes facing the ocean or an indoor room (don’t pick this if you are claustrophobic).
I don’t have complains with the crews, especially the attendant in-charge of our room as well as our designated waiters during dining. Not to mention bar keeps and rest who made our cruise enjoyable. Well, at times I feel bad for some of the crew because of how passengers treat them. There were a few passengers who thought that they were entitled (“Karens”) or just simply rude. It is not because that you have paid for the experience that you have the right to be rude to people attending to you or to other passengers.
I have compiled photos I have taken during the cruise, and you can see them by clicking on the links below. I still shoot using my Sony A 99 and my go to lens, prime lens (50 mm 1.4). I guess this is my one way of keeping memories and sharing my experiences.
Day 1: Embarking from Bayonne, NJ
Day 2: At sea on our way to Port Canaveral.
Day 3: Port Canaveral, not much to see outside the port. All attractions are about an hour away.
Day 4: Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island
Day 5: Nassau
Days 6 and 7: At sea, on our way back to Bayonne