There are a lot of lists of “things to do on a cruise” and most of them suggest taking advantage of everything a modern cruise ship can offer – food, entertainment, activities, and so forth. I wanted to talk about the most important thing I do on every cruise.
I remember I’m on a ship.
It’s easy to forget, with all the food and entertainment and activities, but you are onboard an ocean-going vessel, sailing (well, using diesel-electric) across one or more of the Seven Seas.
According to the Galveston Immigration Database, my maternal grandparents and their children sailed on the Lucie from Europe (the port of Bremen) to a new home in Texas in 1854. It took them seventy days to cross the Atlantic, and then sail across the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston to disembark.
My paternal grandfather sailed from England (after leaving Ireland) to a new home in the US (first New York, later Rhode Island) on the Caronia in 1913, although I’m still trying to confirm this. Who knew Patrick was a popular name in Ireland?
Why does this matter? It matters to me because both of my parents are descended from people who decided it was time to find another place to become whomever they were destined to become, and they had to take a ship to do so.
So, I try to take at least a little time each cruise to sit on the balcony, look at the ocean, and remember that I’m not the first sailor in the family, although I may be the first with a balcony.
Ships are the reason I’m here. A cruise ship is a far cry from the Lucie or the Caronia, but it is still a ship, and we’re crossing the ocean, even if we’re just island-hopping.
So, on your next cruise, take a few minutes to remember you’re on a cruise. Most ships today are floating hotels, but they are moving you from port to port. It’s easy to forget there’s an ocean under you. Take some time. Watch it go by.