Epilogue–2015 World Cruise
At the end of each of these long voyages I seem to go through the same series of mental observations and questions. As we come into port, there are no activities to distract and it is a good time to contemplate the journey.
1. It will be good to get back to the world of fast internet and omnipresent cell service. This must be common to many of my fellow travelers based on the number of people on deck at dawn as we near Ft. Lauderdale, who are texting and talking.
2. As my screen fills with messages and emails, demanding responses, I rethink the observation above.
3. Will we ever do this again? This question initially receives a negative answer – definitely not. But I know that as time passes we will miss life aboard ship and visiting all of the interesting places in this world, so I imagine we will do it again, though it is hard to contemplate at this point.
4. There is a mental jarring back to normalcy now that we have to arrange everything ourselves instead of having the luxury of the ship’s personnel handling everything. Plane tickets, passport, cash, transport to airport, transport home in Dallas. Why am I suddenly having to worry about all this stuff? It may sound strange but it is probably similar to release from prison or the military – there is almost comfort in having all these decisions made for you. A strange feeling that is unique to long voyages, since we never really surrender those things on shorter vacations.
5. How would I compare this ship with others offering world cruises? Holland America’s Amsterdam is our only other one to compare, since there are not many ships doing this. This ship is smaller, which is a plus getting into small ports, with less passengers (600 vs 1100) which is also a plus. The cabins are a little nicer and bigger, though it is hard to compare apples and apples. The lecturers and entertainers are perhaps slightly better on the Amsterdam. The library, where I spend a lot of time, is nicer on the Amsterdam (it has a coffee bar) but quieter on the Pacific Princess. THERE IS A POKER TABLE ON THE AMSTERDAM, AND THEY HOLD DAILY TOURNAMENTS. The Amsterdam has a wrap-around deck (Deck 3) which is great for exercising and reading on deck. They are close enough that I would probably make a future decision based on itinerary.
This has been a journey of life’s experiences more than just travel. We saw wonderful sights and places, truly enjoyed shipboard life, and absolutely relaxed. However, we also lost a new, but dear friend who passed in Dubai – injecting reality into our lives. We suffered a little illness – nothing too serious, but enough to miss Sorrento and Rome. We met marvelously friendly people on board the ship and in Samoa, New Zealand, India, Italy and France, and many other places. We saw amazing sights in Petra, India and Barcelona. Another wonderful slice of life on the sea.
I close each trip with the same commentary on life, because, for us it is very, very true.
On life’s journeys it’s not where or how you go, but who’s by your side that makes the difference.