“Sailing unties the knots in my mind.”(Al Noble)
“It’s out there at sea that you are really yourself.”(Vito Dumas)
Do you ever intuitively sense how you really need to take a vacation? In our busy urban world, many of us point to the obligatory time off to escape life’s realities. Or perhaps a birthday or anniversary celebration fulfills your travel fantasy at times. Moreover, you might experience recurring visions to indulge in materialistic binges of eating/shopping to occupy your wandering times. You could even feel compelled to work on that personal “ bucket list” of new and exotic places you wish to visit before you die.
Admittedly, the crux of this issue with me stems from a personal struggle to slow my mind chatter enough to obtain full benefit from each of the above travel purposes. Instead of enjoying the present moment, I’m thus easily distracted by the inevitable tedium of work, health, or family matters.Yet I can happily report that during our ten day cruise from Fort Lauderdale in early December, I surprisingly found relief from my self-defeating, introspective nature on several occasions.
For one, the calm aqua appearance of the Caribbean waters surrounding me on deck and from our 1st time cabin balcony undoubtedly did set the stage for me to escape from life’s realities in a more relaxed state of “letting go. “ It would seem accordingly fortuitous that we celebrated our wedding anniversary onboard ship amidst an inviting interior ambience of warm holiday spirit and sleek artistic design. It also seems plausible that my commitment to continue my practice of yoga along with my resolve to read novels each day diverted my attention in positive ways from frivolous souvenir buying and excessive buffet gorging to fill my idle time. As I engaged in friendly conversations with our Non- American servers who seemed eager to practice their English, I discovered new places to add to my travel bucket list for overseas travel as well.
Are you ready to feel some positive energy about the cruising experience? Travel with me then as I relive below some vivid, photographic memories from the Island Princess.
Happy Holidays: USFMAN
As we embarked on our cruise from Fort Lauderdale, I imagined living my life in lavish luxury along this exclusive residential shoreline beyond.
Taking the time to view this spectacular sunset hovering over the South Florida coast set the right tone for relaxed reflection in the ten cruising days that we anticipated ahead.
The open air, contemporary look of the midship atrium became a favorite area for us to roam freely on the Island Princess.
This beautifully decorated Christmas Tree and adjoining poinsettia bush display became a center-point of the warm holiday spirit emanating aboard ship.
“The Sanctuary” seemed the ideal place to peacefully meditate in relative silence around this pleasing pool.
My wife, Ruth presented me with an anniversary gift of a spacious, ocean-side balcony as we first entered our cabin.
Each morning, I woke up to spectacular balcony views of each port of call.
We celebrated our 45th anniversary with a delectable , three course dinner at Sabatini’s Grill.
While on buffet dinner occasions, we joined in for some relaxing fun with our attentive servers.
I can also proudly report that I kept my “monkey mind” under control by reading this 500+ page novel.
While reaffirming that I will never become a savvy tourist shopper.
* Note: In several upcoming blogs, I will address four land excursions we experienced on this exciting seaward journey at Jamaica, Panama, Costa Rica, and the Cayman Islands.