Last week, my husband and I took a Virgin Atlantic cruise out of Miami to Bimini and Nassau to celebrate our anniversary. The ship was beautifully decorated with different items that carried the themes of sailing, having fun, and enjoying life. We had a great time, and I came back with some thoughts that I would share in this week’s post.
- Don’t put off things you want to do – as you never know when you won’t be able to do those things. I chose this particular cruise as it went to Bimini…a place I always wanted to visit!
- The ship was less than half full, which allowed the crew to spend extra time with the guest. They were willing to talk, share where they were from, and a little about their lives. I am the curious one, and I love to learn about people. It was nice to learn about how they came to cruising and what they looked forward to in their lives. Many said they miss their families and send home most of what they earn. They love to travel and use this time to ‘see the world while working. I also liked that each person we talked to wanted to know about us also. They asked things like; where were we from, what did we do for work, did we have children and other questions people ask each other when getting to know one another.
- The crew was very diverse – there were people from all over the world—many parts of Africa, Spain, Portugal, England, Hawaii, and even Ukraine. When I heard a Russian accent – I would ask the person where they were from. Some were from Russia and some from Ukraine. When I met someone from Ukraine, most of the time, I just took the person’s hand and gave it a squeeze for a minute. They would nod and say thank you. When it was time to talk, I said I was praying for them and their families. It was an extraordinary moment between two people that shared a common bond of sadness but at the same time hope. The crew members from Ukraine were under a six-month contract so they have been on the ship before the war started and could not go back without breaking their contracts. . They were watching the same news as we all were and feeling so many emotions during this challenging time. I have to say they were stoic, but you could tell from their eyes they were hurting inside. It was sobering to be with them while across the world people were being killed in a senseless war.
- Being on a cruise ship after the past two years of being careful to guard against getting COVID was a challenge. The fact that the ship was less than half full was a testament to how things have changed over the past two years. People were careful, we did not sit close together, and when we did talk, we kept our distance. Most of the crew wore masks – but most of the passengers did not. Seeing the crew with masks reminded me that we still need to take precautions.
- The food was very varied, and there were many places to eat. It was a casual atmosphere with everyone in their places to ensure the passengers were having a good time.
Virgin did a great job – it was defiantly a different cruise experience that I liked and would try again on some of their new itineraries they are coming out with over the next few years.