We cruise. That is our vacation of choice. We work hard all year, and annual vacation is one of the benefits of hard work. We have only not cruised together twice since we started. Once was last year when we went to Israel and also the year before that when our boat was going to not return until Resurrection day and we thought God’s house was where we should be that day. So, for the next little bit, I am going to be that obnoxious guy who makes you sit and watch slide shows and regal you all with a  little tour of our week.

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There were four of us again this year, with minor adjustments. Our oldest is married, pastoring his church and quite busy with his own life. It was the two of us, our youngest and her significant other. No worries! The boys shared a room and the girls had theirs. Plus he has been sealed with the FEAR OF DAD, and they know the rules for personal interaction. So, I spent a week in a room with an 18-year-old young man who snores and talks in his sleep. Yay! Nice fellow, he is, though.

So, why do we cruise?

It’s an awesome value, with a LOT of bang for the buck. More or less, once you pay, you could technically not have to spend another dime. If you drink(which we don’t) it costs. If you do stuff like spa treatments, buy pictures or buy souvenirs it costs. Other than that it is an all in deal.

The food. Oh….my…the food. First, that is all included. Folks, one can literally eat 24 hours a day in one form or another. “Fast” food, buffets and nice sit-down dining are all available. The staff who does this are the real deal, and the quality is excellent. There will be more on the food later.

The coffee. Hey, coffee matters. Again, one can have it 24 hours a day and it’s good stuff. They have these neat coffee machines that brew it as needed, on the spot. Hot, fresh and free-flowing just as coffee should be. Specialty coffees are available but are extra. One of my personal high points when we port in Jamaica is to purchase a couple of pounds of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. This may possibly be the best coffee on the planet. I only buy a couple of pounds; more would require a second mortgage LOL.

The stuff to do. Again, something for all. One can lay on the deck, play games, read in the library, go to clubs, sing Karaoke or just about anything you could want. Or, as we do, one can lay on the deck for hours and periodically arise to go have fun or eat, then return to the deck.

The simplicity of relaxation. Oh, my. I read four books. Fiction books. Not great works of literature, either. Crime and suspense novels. Brain candy. I also got to work on my current Bible project, which is to memorize the Book of James. Many words crossed my eyes in this week.

The ports. Okay, I get that cruise ports are tourist traps and they just want our money. So what? They earn a living and we have fun. This time it was Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

The ship staff. All I can say here is the service industry back home could learn a few things from Carnival Cruise lines. They are always friendly, always attentive and always ready to fulfill passenger needs with a smile. They actually are taught how to have fun and personally interact with people. Amazing really. By the end of the week, the ones you see daily are almost like friends.

So, what’s the downside? Well, Carnival calls its ships “Fun Ships.” Not all fun is Godly fun, and this can be problematic for believers at times. Often the fun is a bit outside the pale of comfort for some. Sometimes that covenant one makes with their eyes has to be self-enforced. Sometimes one just has to walk away from something or another. Sadly, many who probably claim to be believers just dive in full force, but that is probably another story.

At any rate, stay tuned as our journey unfolds!