Cruising With Granny: Pt. II

A few days ago, we posted the first of two sections named “Cruising With Granny”, a first hand experience with cruises! What to do, where to go, what to bring. Here is the 2nd part of that series!

By Jo-Ann Clegg


CRUISING WITH GRANNY

PART II

Welcome Aboard

Shore tours: The ship doesn’t cut you loose when it pulls into a port. Granny will get a list of possible shore tours when she books passage. You can choose what you want ahead of time or after you board. Or you can opt for shuttle service to the center of the host town and choose your own itinerary from there. Since popular tours fill fast, book as early as possible. Which tours are best is definitely a matter of chance and interest. Museums? Galleries? Pubs? Historic sites? Shopping? An overview? Or that shuttle into town? The choice is yours.

Pool: In good weather, fun revolves around the pool area. With plenty of deck chairs and café tables; huge water slides; ample shade for the sun-sensitive; a couple of bars; ice cream, fast food and pizza stands; ping pong tables and nearly continuous movies on a giant outdoor screen, it’s arguably the most popular place on any cruise ship.

Activities: If you can dream it up, it’s probably available on a large cruise ship. Most of the ship’s bars and lounges will double as gathering spots for lectures, classes, competitive games and sales pitches during the day. In the evenings they’re the places for music, meeting, greeting, eating and, of course, drinking. Check the ship’s TV and daily newsletter for what’s going on where.

Fitness areas are generally filled with lots of well- maintained, up-to-date equipment, all available at no extra charge. For walkers, a few turns around the promenade deck will satisfy your FitBit for the day.

Spa services come at world-class prices. Unfortunately, finding a world-class stylist, nail tech or masseuse among the staff is a rarity. Better get the haircut and pedi before leaving home.

Art and jewelry sales seem to be going on 24/7. If you want a memento to hang on your wall when you get home, a better choice is a piece of native art from one of the countries you visit. As for the jewelry, let’s just say the prices usually aren’t as great as the salespeople lead you to think. If you can’t live without a piece, get it. Otherwise, save your money.

Shows: On most ships, all entertainment is included. The musical production numbers are usually very good. Comic, magic and acrobatic acts vary widely. As long as it’s free, it’s worth a look. You can always leave early.

Music: It pops up everywhere on the ship: classical, country, oldies, Latin, folk, jazz and contemporary can be heard in the common areas, on the pool deck and in the lounges at just about any time of day. Generally, you’ll find more contemporary music later in the evening.

Casino: Best leave the slots and tables to Granny. Age (that’s minimum, not maximum) limits are imposed, the tab can run up fast and big wins are rare.

Jo-Ann Clegg

Granny@ Large

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