At the midnight buffet on my 1st cruise in 1991. WOW!!!
full of interesting moments, and we are often amused at the way things turn
out. For example, someone tells you a story, and you forget about it. But years
later that story resurfaces, and gives you an "Aha!" moment. Here's
years ago at a cruise seminar, the speaker started her presentation by telling
us that her travel needs changed as she approached 50. She no longer wanted to
put up with lineups. She preferred boutique hotels, and she wanted finer food,
wine and personable service. She said, everyone at some point in life, will
experience this change as well, and then it will be time to move them up to
premium and luxury cruise lines. Other than a great way to introduce her brand,
I really didn't think much more about that, until recently when I sat down to
reflect on all the cruises I have taken.
Shore excursion crowd in Ephesus on my
NCL cruise in 2009.
my 1st cruise in 1991. My only other vacation as an adult was to Disneyworld.
The photos in the cruise brochure looked pretty enticing, so I decided to give
it a try. Off I went to the Bahamas on the "superliner" Fantasy, one
of the 1st mega ships back in the day. I was in awe of the soaring atrium,
endless entertainment and activities, and most of all, the delicious
multi-course meals served by waiters in tuxedo jackets. All exciting
experiences that completely sold me.
that, I was cruising at least once every year. Being young and curious, I
always booked the newest and biggest ship. I was fine with 3,000+ other people
onboard, being herded on shore excursions and waiting at the buffet line.
Whatever activities were on the daily program, I did as much as I could. And it
was so much fun.
Attending the fruit carving demonstration
on my Bermuda cruise in 1994.
lines know the psyche of the new cruiser all too well, which is why new ships
are designed to woo and wow. It is also why they're always deployed on 7 day
Caribbean itineraries, the most popular cruise for 1st timers. That strategy
certainly worked on me - as I took many of those.
forward to 30+ cruises later, I noticed my habits changed. I'm still the same
outgoing and social person I was before, but I stopped going to all the shows.
It no longer mattered that the ship had 20 bars and lounges, the largest casino
at sea or the longest water slides. I was not tired of the cruise scene by any
means! But now I want to meet people I will actually see again for the
Big ships docked in St. Maarten. I was on the
Disney Magic in 2010.
the cruise, instead of searching for them in the sea of faces. I pay extra to
have the attentive service and cooked to order dinner in the specialty
restaurant. And for the 1st time, I "graduated" from a balcony to a
suite. And this change wasn't just happening to the way I vacation, it was also
apparent in my lifestyle. I used to love going to large parties, now I prefer
dinner with a few friends. I have favourite restaurants that I visit regularly,
instead of trying out every new trendy place. When I shop, I pay more for
Nowadays, relaxing on my balcony is
so much more civilized!
As I was
evaluating this change in my preferences, the story from that cruise
presentation, which I had completely forgotten about, came back to me. Aha! She
was so right! But the part that makes me chuckle, is that I'm approaching that
age she had mentioned. Funny how life's like that isn't it?
Ming Tappin is a cruise veteran with 20 years' experience in the
industry and has sailed on 35 cruises and counting. Based in Vancouver, Ming is
passionate about cruising and is always looking forward to her next adventure.