Good at Doing Nothing

It’s early afternoon and I am sitting in the poolside shade watching a line-dance class and thinking it looks like pretty good exercise while having fun. Maybe tomorrow.

Today is Day 2, the first full day of my 30-day Mariner of the Seas cruise from Galveston to Dubai. Technically it is two 15-day cruises, but many passengers are sailing on – lots even beyond Dubai to Singapore, where Royal Caribbean’s Mariner will be newly based.

This being my 31st cruise, I’ve established a bit of a routine for the first 24 hours:

–     Explore the ship – checked!

–     Unpack – checked!

–     Sign up for Internet service – checked!

–     Meet my cabin steward – checked!

–     Review the daily schedule – checked!

–     Say last goodbyes on cell phone before shutting it down – checked!

Because this is a Trans-Atlantic repositioning, we have many more sea days than port days, so there are lots of daily activities to keep us busy. I know many people who would go crazy on a cruise with a lot of sea days. I am not one of them.

My friend Daisy once observed that in order to enjoy sea days, you have to be good at doing nothing. At the time Daisy, another friend Sue and I were sitting on a hillside in Madeira doing not much of anything as we waited to join a 14-day cruise with no stops between there and Barbados. We decided we were practicing “doing nothing” so we would be better at it once we boarded later that day.

That was a small ship (Windstar, about 100 passengers) with few scheduled activities. This cruise has around 3,000 passengers and dozens of alternatives every day. Your choices can be hints into the reason you are on the cruise – to party, to soak up the sun, to compete in a plethora of games, to sit quietly and read or knit.

Why am I on this cruise? Basically, for a little “Jo-time,” which doesn’t mean just doing nothing. Although there will be some of that. I’ll explain more in a later blog post. Keep reading!

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