I've always had a deeply personal relationship with travel, and a love for the ocean. So when the opportunity arose to travel to Central America by an Oceania ship, my old fashioned heart immediately exclaimed yes. I'd seen An Affair To Remember years ago when I was living in Austin and fell madly in love and fascination with the style of traveling over water from one beautiful destination to the next.
But first, I had to travel by plane.
Miami was the seaport from which the ship was the depart, and it was a regal looking ship. Being over 14 floors tall, it made a glamorous shadow on the waves of the Miami coast, and the expanse of the ocean made me incredibly excited to travel. At the start of my seven day cruise I settled into my suite; a comfortable room with a bathroom larger than the one in my own Brooklyn apartment (a luxury I no longer take for granted!), a sitting area and a desk beside the doors that open to a private balcony looking out onto the ocean. The entire experience is organized in a way that simplifies the itinerary, so that everyone can know the layout of the ship with a map and dinner times at various restaurants (more on that in a bit). I find this system to be a relief and a luxury, because then it allowed me to explore and be comfortable in the present moment rather than worry about where I was supposed to be all the time. Is it just me, or is vacation sometimes difficult to ease into?
When the ship pulled away from Miami they served drinks and a band played musical numbers inspired by jazz and contemporary tunes and dinner that night was relaxing and satisfying. As a side note: The thing about cruises that I didn't realize until I was on one is that after you've left land the ongoing activity throughout your trip is eating! It's mixed in with music, dancing and sitting by the pool of course, but they make it so easy to indulge, which probably made my adjustment back to real life post-cruise a bit hard when I had been used to not ever being hungry for seven straight days. Living in New York has taught me that everyone works so hard and gets caught up in their days that eating a lovely meal can be the furthest thing from ones mind. Least to say, I relished in the dinners and room service and breakfasts everyday, lightened by the view of the ocean every morning.
The first destination was in Cozumel, Mexico and I had signed up for a tour to snorkel and ride a dune buggy to see old mayan ruins. I swam in the water, sat on the shoreline with my feet buried beneath the sand. I also went kayaking towards the coral reefs, watching the way the water slowly rose against the sides of the plastic. Going to a place where no one knows you except you allows for a freedom you can’t find at home. For that, travel is essential to me. The freedom of wearing a helmet, riding through the streets of Cozumel on the roads leading to the ocean.
Stay tuned for part 2 of my Oceania cruise to Central America!