Loren’s First Cruise Experience
This past week I went on my first cruise ever, sailing from Miami to Jamaica.
My husband and I love the band 311, and have been huge fans since we were teenagers. We had always talked about going on the '311 Cruise' one day, and 'one day' finally arrived. We extended our vacation a bit by first spending a couple days in our favorite vacation spot, Myrtle Beach. Then, it was onto Miami where the ship was to set sail from. I had never been to Florida before, so I looked forward to spending a couple days in Miami to enjoy the warm weather and see what it was all about.
By Wednesday we were off to the Port of Miami to set sail. I really didn't know what to expect, but tried to keep an open mind. We walked onto the ship greeted by staff high-fiving us and shortly after we met the "Happy-Happy Washy-Washy" folks. The ship was gorgeous. I was overwhelmed by the ship's size and decor as well as how many fun options were available to me on a boat! There was a casino, a bowling alley, an art gallery, dance club, a theater and tons of food options. In a way, it kind of reminded me of a modern day Titanic, only with a happier ending of course.
Now, I have been to a number of 311 concerts over the past 15 years or so, and the typical 311 fan is well, not me. I'm pretty much the exact opposite of your typical rock/reggae music fan. I'm not a big drinker, I have zero tattoos, and I don't smoke...cigarettes or anything else. I had a feeling there might be a lot of pot smoking on this boat, but then I thought 'how is anyone going to get drugs through customs?' Well...they all found a way apparently, because I had smoke of all kinds blown in my face for 4 days straight. The lines for the bars started before 9am every single day. I had a few drinks each day, but like I said, not a big drinker, so definitely wasn't hitting up the bar at 9am. Plus, the drinks on the boat were expensive! Before I realized that, I ordered my first drink, a mojito, and it was $12 bucks, that adds up quick!
So, let's talk about the food...it was so mediocre! I was very bummed about that. If you know me, you know I don't mess around when it comes to food. I love eating and I was very much looking forward to eating some really tasty food on this cruise. The best meal I had on the ship was waffles every morning. Kinda sad, right? Hey, they were killer waffles, but man, for the money I paid to take this trip, I expected better than delicious waffles. Oh well, live and learn.
After 2 days of huge crowds, huge lines for everything and being surrounded by 3,000 drunk and/or stoned people constantly, I was ready to go home. I know, I'm kind of a party pooper. I joked that I should have attended a cruise with old people, cause they'd be quiet and in bed by 9pm. Now, that sounds more like it!
I've never been a big partier, and I kind of knew what I was getting myself into with this kind of cruise, but gave it a try anyway. I didn't have a bad time, but I'm willing to bet if I went on a different kind of cruise, I would have enjoyed myself more for sure.
I will stay open minded about cruises though, and maybe next time I'll try a different cruise line and a different type of cruise. I still love 311's music and really enjoyed all the live music from the other bands on the boat as well. Some of the other bands like 'The Dirty Heads', 'RDGLDGRN', 'The Green', 'Chali 2na', all have a new fan in me! They were all excellent!
Oh my God! I almost forgot! The very BEST part of the cruise was when I got to meet 311! I had a smile from ear to ear! I've been a fan of them since I was 15 years old, meeting them absolutely made my day! All in all, it wasn't perfect, but it was a good experience and I guess I'm glad I went. I am happy to be back though...back to my routine, back to my house, my cats and even back to work.