The Explorer of the Seas
|The Explorer of the Seas in Argostoli, Ionian Islands, Greece.
Another successful trip planned by Caroline! We sailed from Miami to Barcelona, then Croatia, and finally Greece. A transatlantic, by definition, consists of many days at sea, so you have to be prepared to entertain yourself on a cruise ship. For many, this involves drinking, eating, gambling, more eating, more drinking, and sleeping by the pool.
That's not what Caroline and I do.
Every morning, we started the day at the gym: treadmill, stationary bike, weights, stretch class, or the abs class. Sometimes I'd run on the outdoor track, but the wind on deck 12 often was brutal.
After a quick breakfast in the Windjammer, I'd either visit the stateroom for a shower, or I'd head over to the Sports Court on Deck 13 for an hour of... Wind Pickleball!
|Notice the wind speed... 25 mph. That is guaranteed to make a pickleball lob act erratically! Thus, "Wind Pickleball."
Off the ship, we enjoyed walking. Right around the port, as expected, the shops were dedicated to the tourists. The further you walked, however, the more "local" the neighborhoods became. This means we missed out on seeing yet another European church, or a cave, or a beach. We never felt like we missed out. Of course, when it came to world famous sights (like the Acropolis), we made sure we were on an excursion.
You can wait for the ship's staff to entertain you, or you can seek your own entertainment. Either way, there is always something to do or see onboard.
|Weather is a real variable when cruising. We didn't have our planned stop in the Azores because of high winds.
I am aware of the negative aspects of cruising. Cruise ships are huge, resource-demanding creatures, getting about 9 feet to the gallon of fuel, as I understand. However, on a per-passenger basis, it may be "better" or more efficient than 3000 people flying or driving separately around Europe to the same destinations. There are other environmental issues, of course. For example, in Kotor, Montenegro, I watched one of the ship's tender boats belch out dirty, oily bilge water every time it left the ship.
And the culture of excess consumption was on full display, which, of course, is a big selling point for many on the cruise. Eat, drink, and be merry!