Cruising or camping – which is your favorite? Why choose a favorite? I say do both. This past week we took a break from life in the motorhome to move into EVEN SMALLER quarters aboard Royal Carribean’s Majesty of the Seas for a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas.
The cruise was fun, the ship was nice, and it offered all the amenities you’d expect in a cruise. But what was most memorable for me was the stark difference between life on the ship and the life we’ve been living for the past 3 months. Since we left California in August, the four of us have spent nearly every moment of every day together – which is awesome, but can also make one yearn for some time apart. The ship offered an awesome kid’s program, with new fun activities every hour from 8am until 10pm at no charge! Each morning, we’d ask the kids whether they wanted to hang out with us or go to the kids program… and every single time, the answer was a resounding, “KIDS PROGRAM!” Bam. Kids were happy. Mahmood and I got to enjoy much-needed downtime and enjoy the pool and our dinners without interruptions. I’d say the babysitting alone was worth the price of the cruise!
It was also nice to not have any to-do’s for four solid days. While this camping life is fun, there are always things that need to be done every day: decide on meals for the day, prepare food, wash dishes, tidy motorhome, do laundry, as well as all the usual kid management stuff – which means we don’t really do as much lounging around as I had expected. On the ship, my to-do list looked like this: 1) Find swimsuit. 2) Do something fun. That was awesome.
We also enjoyed dressing up and being fancy for a couple of days. It’s not like we’ve stopped showering, or that we wear old flannel shirts and cutoffs every day when we’re camping, but I haven’t had a reason to pull out the 1 formal dress I packed and I also just realized that I haven’t worn heels since we left (gasp!)
But I think my favorite part of the cruise was realizing how much our past 3 months on the road have changed the way we approached our days on the cruise. Instead of booking excursions and waking up early to hit the tourist destinations, we avoided optimizing and just did whatever sounded good. In Nassau, instead of hopping the ferry to Atlantis, we had an amazing day walking around town and talking to locals. As a result, we met some awesome people and happened upon the best meal of the week at a local restaurant.
Our days on the cruise were indulgent, carefree, and relaxing. It was nice to get a couple nights away from the kids, and probably even better for them to have a couple nights away from us. That said, I was very happy when it was over and we got back to our motorhome. While our time in paradise was dreamy, it also seemed like just that: a dream. It felt exciting and extravagant, but I realized that I’ve grown to really love our simple life. Plus, I missed hanging out with the kids 😉
For highlights and pictures from the Bahamas, check out this other post that I just wrote.