THE BEST THING ABOUT CRUISING
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