Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cruising; JED's preferred means of vacation

The one thing about taking 3 kids on vacation is the exhaustion that comes from it. It's 24-7 of their shenanigans and often the only way to survive it is to only keep the rules that matter (do not climb the railings of a 16 storey ship) and chuck out the rest (hash brown and french fries at every meal).

But what eventually makes it worth while is how happy and thrilled they are by the experience and how much fun they had.

And if we left it up to JED, every single vacation would be on an ocean liner.

We just got back from a 5 day cruise. We've been back 4 days and they haven't stopped talking about it. Even before they got off the ship, they were talking about going on another one (to which, we asked the perennial rhetorical question of "DO YOU THINK WE PRINT MONEY?").

To the uninitiated, a cruise vacation is for the retired folk and there really isn't much to do on board. And to a certain extent, it is true. JED had their grandparents, 4 grand aunts, 3 grand uncles on the ship with them together with their cousins.

But their unadulterated glee came from the fact that there was always something to do at close proximity. It really was a matter of either choosing to do nothing (sit by the pool) or do everything (ice skate, rock climb and play golf) all in a day.



Food was never a problem. And the cruise liner we were on, did this magical thing where they made french fries taste even yummier. So, french fries and hash browns at every meal, spaghetti from willing waiters at every beck and call and ice cream and hot dogs on tap at the pool deck.

Obviously, their favourite activity was to hit the pools. Packrat would find a spot in the hot tub and camp out there to keep an eye on them (an attack of hives kept me out of the pool) and the kids would alternate between the hot tub and the freezing salt water pools till they shrivelled up like prunes or got hungry which ever happened first. They never tired of it. They swam after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and would have gone first thing in the morning had we allowed them to.

Mayhaps it was just a JED thing but at every port of call, there were always loud protests about getting off the ship. Muffin physically panicked as we were on a tender leaving the ship for Phuket. He thought we were leaving the ship with his precious toys still on board. And even though they had fun filling their pockets with beach-fuls of sand, they could never wait to get back aboard the ship. By then, we were usually so tired of their belly-aching that we were also thankful to be back aboard the ship.

Reluctantly enjoying being on land in Penang

The lack of swim gear did not stop him from hitting the Phuket beaches and bringing aboard pocketfuls of sand. 

But it wasn't just JED who were reluctant to get off the ship when the ship docked back in Singapore. We were too. Perhaps it was the service; being well taken care of and the kids always happy with their meals. It might also have been the formal setting at dinner that made us feel that at least there were some moments that we could dress up and be adults rather than just parents; or the fact that the ship never sleeps and JED were always so knackered at the end of the day that we had time to take walks on the deck, go to supper or hold hands and explore the ship. 

Whatever it was, we are all a little bit wistful to be back on land and Evan has been hard at work campaigning that our next vacation be on an even larger ocean liner. 

But meanwhile, there's much de-toxing to be done and Christmas to look forward to. 


Post a Comment