As I embark on my third cruise, I like to think I am a seasoned veteran and can enjoy the experience all that much more. I had a very good time on the first two, but I have learned a few things and I know I can and will do better with the fun I have this time.
First. I don't like noisy kids. No big effing secret there. So, on the last cruise I briefly took advantage of the Adults only part of the deck where you can get a decent tan and relax without the "mommy, mommy, mommy" rant. I plan to do a lot more tanning on this one and I will make sure to go early enough to get a decent deck chair to do it on. The Adults only section is only about 5% of the whole boat, so the early bird gets the annoyance free tan. I will be one of those.
On the first trip I went up to the gym, but didn't use it. It was only a 3 day trip and there was too much to do. On trip two I ate like a maniac for the first 10 days of the trip, and basically could barely move by the time I hit the gym. I did the treadmill and it really helped get all the weight off. This time, I have a plan. I will hit the treadmill each morning and then the exercise bike just before dinner. And I will do some free weight work when I can. They have great equipment on these ships and I plan to take full advantage of them.
If you have ever been on a cruise, you know the food is very plentiful and very good. In addition to a full buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they also have a sit down dinner where they plow you full of enough to hibernate all winter after you get off the cruise. Moderation is the key. I have learned that. That has never been a strong point of mine, but I am very mindful of it this time. In particular, I will be laying off the potatoes and cake this time. I am not saying I won't have some of it, but no more than I do on a daily basis back home. The key is to act the same way you do at home. If you don't, you come home like a potential contestant for the biggest loser. I have worked hard to get back in some reasonable shape and I don't want to blow that in 7 days like I did last year.
On the first trip, I got a major sunburn. I have always been the type who tanned well, as I have naturally dark skin. But the Caribbean sun is a much stronger sun than what we are used to back home. On the next trip I put some oil on and was okay. But I only tanned one day. This time, I want to get a really great tan, so I will be loading up on a daily basis, mindful that if you slip up just one day, you will be baked to a crisp.
On the last trip, I was convinced to sing on Karaoke night. That won't happen again. I am a marginal singer on my best day, and those days are long behind me. Nuff said.
And finally, what I have learned most is that planning is the key. Book your excursions early and plan out your days in advance. Being on a cruise is a very relaxing time, but things move at a fast pace and you will miss them if you are not prepared. You only get one half day in each stop and if you aren't prepared you miss most of it. That wont happen this time.