Carnival Legend - December 2008 travel blog

olden times

younger days

what we've left behind

When asked we admit to having been on 54 cruises. Those doing the asking then look at us with "You've got to be kidding," in their eyes. But we made a list and checked it twice and it really is true. Getting started early in life helped us get to this grand total. In the old days when we were still working, the cruise of the year tended to be a holiday cruise in the Caribbean. We would pay through the nose to travel during the holidays. Cruise lines often charged a holiday supplement. From what we could tell the only difference between the holiday cruise and the ones before and after it were that Santa landed on deck and gave trinkets to the many children on board. The airports were crazy and snow inevitably complicated things. Sometimes O'Hare was socked in, but even when the weather was fine here, there'd be interesting weather in the city where the plane originated. One year we returned to an airport full of luggage unaccompanied by the owners of those bags. The carousel area was so full of luggage we could hardly move. Another year snow closed O'Hare and we were stuck in Miami after flying all night for two more nights along with thousands of Orange Bowl revelers. Yet another we connected through Atlanta and four measly inches of snow shut the place down.

Staterooms with balconies were few and far between and definitely out of our price range. But we so looked forward to a week or two away from the cold and darkness that goes on forever in Illinois in the winter. Laying in the sand under a palm tree became our Christmas tradition. Happy times...

In retirement we still average one or two cruises a year. But many of them are much longer that the precious week we used to wait all year for and to much more exotic locations than the Caribbean. And now we can go during low season for terrific prices and have a balcony outside the door. This cruise is so cheap and the flight is free with frequent flyer miles. We would probably spend more staying home. And when we get home, we only have to put up with a few more weeks of cold and dark before we head off for a cruise that circumnavigates Australia. These are the golden years....

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