I’ve just come back from a cruise and I want to tell you about it because it literally changed my life. “Hi, my name is Mélanie and I’d like to put twenty on Pump 4, please. And, I’ve just come back from a cruise.” Hey, I’m not bragging about it. I want you to go on a cruise. I swear, it’s nirvana (alright, that might be a slight exaggeration).

I have to tell you about it right now lest I convince myself that it was all nothing more than a dream. It was a metaphysical experience and it starts the moment you set foot on the ship’s bridge.

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The cruise I took was aboard the magnificent Norwegian Escape. There’s no better way to escape the routine of day to day life. It’s like Alice in Wonderland, minus the oddities, including the wonders only.

I never would have thought it possible to be so enchanted with an object but now that I’ve been aboard this creature, I understand why people refer to a ship as “she” rather than “it”. A ship isn’t just a means of transportation or a temporary residence. It has a soul, a vibe, a pulse.

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I did more activities in that one week then I did during all of the summers of my adolescent years put together. I rode water slides. I’m not talking about kiddie slides (although they do have them), I’m talking about the kind of water slides you won’t find in Québec. A man three times my size told me that there was no way he would try the slide a second time because it scared the heck out of him. I also did some panoramic ziplining, flying mid-air above the waves of the Caribbean sea without a single tree in sight.

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Let’s play a little game.

Imagine something you’d enjoy in the south. Perhaps spending some time aboard a ship? No problem. A spa? Check. A movie theater? Check. Discotheques? Check. Bowling? Check. Karaoke? Check, check, check.

Need I say more?

An arcade? Of course.

A pool hall? Definitely, and then some.

Pools? Do you really need to ask.

Theatres? More than you can count.

A casino?  You bet.

Mini golf? Yeahhh.

Basketball? Take a guess.

A workout room? Definitely!

Try wrapping your mind around all that and then tell me that cruises are for seniors only. I’m twenty-two years old and I barely managed to keep up.

Let’s talk about the restaurants for a minute, just one minute, or else I’ll start feeling nostalgic. My tastebuds are in mourning. Everything tastes like cardboard, back home. ‘Nuf said.

As for my cabin on the balcony, what can I say. You can imagine how exciting it is to have a view of the sea from your room. Well, imagine that room but this time, instead of a window, you have patio doors. You can sit on your balcony with an unrestricted view of the sea. The following day, you can admire the beauty of an island as the ship glides by. And later that night, you can count the flying stars as they pass by. Do you know what it’s like to spend the night with the doors wide open, being gently rocked to sleep with the sound of the waves in your ears, and without fear of being seen? I do. In fact, I’ve never slept so well.

Perhaps you prefer beaches and cities rather than ships… I can understand that but that’s exactly why you need to go on a cruise. A cruise is an experience: you’ll set foot in more than one country, you’ll get a taste of different cultures, and you’ll see so many varied landscapes. A cruise isn’t just a vacation… it’s a journey.

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I think I’m a little (a lot) in love with the entire experience. Truth be told, I don’t understand why you’re still reading this article.

Call your travel agent and book a cruise. Spoil yourself, you deserve it.

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