going on a carnival cruise is a lot like going to vegas.
there are a lot of people in all shapes and sizes, eating all sorts of foods that turn them into larger shapes and sizes (myself included), gambling, yard-long drinks in varying shades of azule, too-tight dresses with too many sequins (i may or may not have also fallen into this category. no judging please), toddling toddlers, pimply teenagers, and crocs. lots of crocs.
of course it didn’t used to be like this, or so i am told.
not that long ago, when crocs were still reserved for doctors and chefs (and even then they are questionable), cruising – on any ship – was the highest form of luxury.
staterooms appointed in the finest linens. four-course three-hour meals with white-gloved garçons, and ten-piece orchestras.
naturally once we docked i found it absolutely necessary to research if some such cruises still existed. they do. and instead of a cuddly towel animal at the end of your bed, it’s a bottle of dom perignon or a massage therapist named sven (and sometimes even both).
well naturally it is now my singular life goal to go on one-such (or many such) cruiseships, beginning with the below (future husband take notes)…
seabourn sojourn – an 11,400 sq-ft spa? i think yes. and maybe some more yes. some suites even feature solariums. i don’t even know what i do with a solarium, but i know i want one. and like most seaborns the menu in the avant-garde designed restaurant is curated by foodie darling, charlie palmer. can you say yum?
the paul gauguin – it sails where gauguin painted. if that isn’t pretentious enough for you, know that the ship is tailor-made for the shallow waters of french polynesia, so you can get your snorkel on without having to worry about those banal tender boats which are so déclassé. finished snorkeling? enjoy some butler service (yes i did say another round of beluga), or sun tan on one of their seven decks. going topless is about the only thing you can’t do on this ship. pity.
river queen – okay so it is a river boat, but i assure you huck finn and jim never found themselves on anything like this. with an art deco flair and a sheet count that far exceeds the number of guest rooms, the ship puts some of europe’s finest hotels to shame. and to make the deal even sweeter they offer complimentary bicycles and nordic walking sticks for any excursion. i mean really, who can say no to a nordic walking stick.
and last but not least, which apparently can not be called a cruise ship, but rather a a residential yacht, is ms the world.
the expression the world on a string comes to mind as the world is constantly at sea, stopping for 2-5 days at ports as diverse as baffin island (a game of golf on the tundra anyone?) and as close as santa barbara (probably considered the applebees of their visits). twelve marble-encased stories are devoted to 250 full-time residents. the yacht boasts a movie theater, a spa, 6 restaurants, a grocery store, library, a learning annex, and of course residences that are double the size of my current apartment.
but before you start counting your scheckles keep in the mind the ms world has a strict financial policy – residents must be worth at least $5 million dollars to be considered (rude) and monthly dues hover around $20,000 (double rude).
well, clearly that is out of my budget range for at least another 6 years. until then you can find me on carnival cruise ships, i’ll be the one happily sipping champagne out of a plastic mug and playing spot-the-mullet.