Ahoy Matey! Yes, you guessed it – I am back from my first cruise.
If you follow me on my social channels – and you definitely should, because why not? – you already know that I just got back on land after sailing the ocean for five days with the Princess Cruises’ brand new ship, The Majestic Princess. This is the biggest luxury ship currently sailing the Asian waters. And oh boy, I am hooked on to cruising and how!
My first ever cruise experience has left me longing for it even more, and like a good hangover from a long night of partying at your favorite and the hottest club in town that won’t let you forget the evening you had, my cruise-hangover won’t let me forget the fun I had on-board the luxurious ship.
Let’s call it a Happy-Cruise-Hangover, okay? Okay.
And I know that a lot of you have asked me to write in detail about my first cruise experience with Cruise Professionals, I would rather start with listing the side effects of going on your first cruise, because that is what I am suffering from at the moment.
Fair warning: Reading this list of side effects of going on a luxury cruise will make you crave to be on a ship and might end with you day dreaming about a vacation on the ocean. I just want to say, you’re not wrong, you deserve a break and I support you. Everyone does.
And before I dive nose first into my list, let me give you a piece of advice. Before you decide to book your first cruise, or any other kind of vacation, really, please list out what you want from the trip and things you like to do on a vacation. This helps in deciding, and makes sure you don’t end up booking a vacation that’s not fit for your requirements.
Luckily for me, a luxury cruise fit like a glove. Things I want from a trip are:
- I love luxury,
- a rich experience,
- great food and a few options in cuisines offered,
- prompt service (and happy staff, please! Grumpy staff is off putting),
- exploring new destinations,
- And I’m always open to new adventures, looking to be pleasantly surprised.
Also, whenever I’m travelling with my kid, I want an environment that’s fun, comfortable and engaging for my daughter. A bored and uncomfortable child does not a good vacation makes. I will do an entire post about taking your kids on a luxury cruise later, so stay tuned.
On my first cruise however, my daughter and husband were not with me – I was with some traveler friends. And you already know how much I’m always stressing about the importance of going on a trip with like minded people, so this trip was made all the more fun because of the company.
And hence, my first cruise experience was nothing less than perfect. The bunch of us flew from Delhi to Dubai, from where we boarded the Majestic Princess, which was on it’s maiden voyage. This ship is the latest addition to the large fleet of the popular Princess Cruises, and I was on it for 5 days – Dubai to Cochin (India)
So, are you prepared to get blown away by my First Cruise Experience? Here we go.
Side Effects of Going on a Cruise For The First Time:
1. A Cruise Will Spoil You For All Other Luxury Vacations. It seriously will. If the cruise I went on is any indication of the general standard of cruise ships, it will be like a floating luxury resort. With the added and unmatched advantage of being on the ocean while you enjoy your luxury.
From a world class Spa, to a top notch beauty treatment on board (and I’m talking hair straightening to collagen treatment, all certified and safe), and from live shows produced by the best in the business to a food choice so wide you’ll get confused on a daily basis – a luxury cruise will spoil you rotten in the best way possible. Be ready to get pampered!
2. You Will Always Want To Spend All Your Vacations, Leave Days, Long Vacations On Board A Luxury Ship, Cruising The World. And I can’t blame you, I want the same thing. There is just so much to do on a ship, and so much to explore and be a part of, that one vacation won’t be enough. Ask me, the 5 days I spent on my first cruise flew by so fast, and I am left wanting a big fat slice of cruising again.
The Majestic Princess was full of things to do – Karaoke sessions at Princess Live, Movies Under The Stars on Deck 16, dance lessons, Trivia games and a splendid time at the Atrium where I played super fun games like ‘Can You Beat Your Cruise Director?’ where passengers were competing against Dan, the cruise director, in making ridiculous sketches or flaying a paper plane. It was hilarious!
3.You Will Expect New and World Class Entertainment Every Day on your future trips. On board the Majestic Princess, the entertainment was at center-stage. To give you an idea, here is what the entertainment schedule for one day looked roughly like:
- TV Shows Trivia Game at Princess Live
- A live session by a world renowned Mentalist at the Princess Theater – awesome mind tricks and full house
- Latin dance sessions at the Atrium – I learned a move or two!
- A round of Who Can Beat Your Cruise Director which was hilarious
- Who’s Line Is It Anyway routine performed by the crew and had the audience in splits
- A fun karaoke session at Princess Live – where I discovered that I in fact suck at karaoke but will never give it up because- Too. Much. Fun.
- A Ladies Pampering Session – creams and spas and all things nice
- Solo and Single Travelers Meet ups
- An original musical production at the Princess Theater – Crafted by some of the world’s top directors and choreographers, by a Disney show director in this case (I mean, the one I watched) which was performed by some of the largest and most talented casts at sea. This show included drones, moving stage parts – we’re talking huge and heavy parts, lavish costumes and world class performances – from singers to dancers. This one was such an enthralling experience!
- Movie Under The Sky on the 16th Deck – with latest movies playing everyday!
- A laser shooting competition on deck 17
And this is just what I remember, there was more. Clearly, you will blissfully busy while on board, like I was most days. And the major side effect of this will be seen once you get off that ship and go back to whatever it is that you call entertainment – in my case, binge watching an entire season of Girl Boss. This is when you will miss the drama and the thrill of a big production show. Sigh, I still miss them drones, acting like fireflies, surrounding a singer and fascinating the audiences. (Can I have my own drone to function as my personal firefly, please? No? Okay.)
4. You Will Be Amazed By The Luxury, The Variety, The Staff And The Rich Experience on a Moving/Sailing HUGE Luxury Resort. Before my first cruise, I had a limited and ill-informed idea of what it would be like. And the reality blew my mind, in a good way. The evening turn down service was immaculate (especially loved the tiny chocolates they left for us each day), the stateroom I stated at on deck 10, had a scintillating balcony and was very well done up. The crew and staff were always smiling and extremely helpful.
I always say that it’s the people who make an experience, and on the cruise I realized that the happy staff was a big reason the guests seemed so happy. The staff was friendly and warm, starting right from the captain, to the chef I made friends with at the burger bar.
And to top that off, the moments (or hours, in my case) you spend on the top deck, staring at the ocean will be itched into your brain for a long, long time. What an experience!
5. The Food Will Make You Swoon. Before my first cruise experience, I though there would be a couple of restaurants that offer internationally acceptable menu on cruise ship. I was wrong, and how! The ship had many restaurants, of which I was able to sample only 8 in my limited time. Each restaurant had a distinct flavor & theme, and offered various cuisine.
The All Day Dining place which was called The Marketplace, had a full section dedicated to bakery items and everything was freshly baked – a wide selection of cakes, muffins, tarts, breads and more. The menu covered so many cuisines that my plate often looked like an international affair – Hash Browns the American way, noodle soup in Chinese style, Tacos from Mexico and even Dal (lentil soup) and Rice if you want Indian.
[ All this ship and ocean talk remind me, you might like my post Road Trip To Goa: Travelling in a Group ]
6. But All The Walking, Running, Fitness Options Will Keep You Fit. The ship had a huge and fully functional fitness center on deck 17, with treadmills, weight training equipment and every-thing else that you can imagine. If you are more of an outdoorsy person, play a round or two of basketball daily with fellow travellers – a good way to make friends. You can also go for a walk and cover the entire length of the ship, or run!
And hey, there was a golf course on Deck 18 so practice your putting while the waves cheer you on. All this will keep you fit and active.
7. The View is To Die For and You Will Never Forget The Sun Sets You Witness From The Deck. Or Sun Rise, if you are an early riser. I am not one, so I had to be content with sun sets and it was a magical sight, day after day. Didn’t matter if I saw the orange ball dipping into the dark blue, agile ocean waves from the 17th Deck or stared at it sinking past the horizon from the Wake View Bar at the very rare end of the ship – the sun set was a sight to cherish, each day.
[ Have you read my super hit post Top 10 Things To Do In Jerusalem Yet? Read and share the love, won’t you?]
8. You Will Make Friends From Around The World, From All Age Brackets. Unlike staying at a luxury hotel where you pretty much keep to yourself, going a cruise will land you a lot of friends. There are people from all walks of life that you normally wouldn’t cross paths with, but on a cruise, you end up playing a game of trivia together, or singing in a duet karaoke as a team. The Majestic Princess had guests from all over the world – New Zealand, Britain, Australia, China, Indian, UAE and more.
When you attend as many activities and shows as me, you are bound to make friends with a lot of people. And everyone knows that the friends we make during our travels are always special. You might not remain in regular touch post the trip, but the experiences you shared together and the memories you made, are never going to go dull. And making connections is a beautiful thing, right?
So that was my list of the side effects of going on your first cruise.
Tempted already? You have to stay tuned for more updates on this travel blog for my experience of cruising on Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess. And meanwhile, go look at options that you can book for yourself because in my opinion you MUST go on a cruise once to experience the unique brand of high it give.
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Also, it’s time to be a little experimental with out travels, don’t you think? And what better than going for a vacation on a luxury cruise with your family? I am definitely hooked and you will see me going on another cruise very soon, preferably for a longer duration, now that I’ve had a taste of it and know that cruising is totally my style of travel.
Go check out Cruise Professionals for some tempting and very – doable options (budget and timeline wise, in case that’s a concern) and deals for various cruises for Indian traveler, and thank me later.
For now, I am wrapping this post up and going back to day – dreaming about my room on-board the Majestic Princess, the balcony that overlooked the ocean.
PS: Stay tuned and keep reading Aditi’s Monologue – popular travel blog from India for more updates on my first cruise experience.