THE BEST THING ABOUT CRUIS­ING

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - WELCOME -

There is one as­pect of cruis­ing that I don’t think gets enough at­ten­tion. It doesn’t in­volve eat­ing or drink­ing or the pros and cons of one cabin over the next. There’s rarely a show­girl or quiz mas­ter in the vicin­ity, nor a cruise di­rec­tor en­cour­ag­ing you to join a conga line. It’s as preva­lent on lux­ury lin­ers as at the more bud­get end of the price range. No book­ing is re­quired and it’s very easy to find.

It’s the ocean. So much fo­cus is put on the ships and all the daz­zling, state-of-the-art fea­tures that wouldbe pas­sen­gers for­get that one of the great joys of a cruise is do­ing noth­ing but star­ing out to sea.

The ob­vi­ous place to en­joy this most re­lax­ing of pas­times is on an out­door deck where ba­nana lounges and chairs have been po­si­tioned to make the most of the view and fresh air. The only draw­back with these lo­ca­tions are that they are of­ten cen­trally lo­cated near the pools, bars and out­door games, so they can be crowded and noisy. All great if you want to be so­cial and eas­ily spot­ted by your com­pan­ions, but not so much if you’re look­ing for soli­tude and shut-eye.

The al­ter­na­tive is an in­door lo­ca­tion, away from it all. This is where the re­con­nais­sance you did when you first got on the ship comes in handy. It’s then you dis­cover the more se­cluded spots next to win­dows or port­holes, where the vast blue water can be stared at as a form of quiet med­i­ta­tion.

Then, of course, if you have a bal­cony in your cabin, why would you ever leave ...

JANA FRAWLEY, NA­TIONAL TRAVEL ED­I­TOR

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