Believe it or not, cruising is not only exotic and amazing, it’s sometimes one of the most economical ways to travel. I became enamored with cruising about 20 years ago when I found a 10-day cruise of the French Polynesian Islands for $400 per person ($40 per day). Considering a cruise provides room, board, and transportation, if you patiently watch for sales, it can often compete favorably with other types of vacations. For instance, once (just to prove my point), I spent less per day on a Caribbean cruise than Alan spent planning a week vacation in Florida. Recently, a friend seemed embarrassed to admit that he was taking his wife on a cruise for their 25th anniversary, I’m guessing because he assumed I’d think that was too extravagant. But, the fact is, it you’re willing to get a sell-out deal for an inside cabin, it’s very likely going to cost you less than flying wherever, renting a car, staying in motels, and eating in restaurants. Just sayin’… With that intro, I want to tell you about the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Sinfonia, which was our “home base” recently. We were looking for a convenient way to spend a week with our kids
who live in Italy. Their home is pretty much a 400-year-old palace, but Alan has asthma, so he feared that the inevitable molds
(they have their own cave and their home is carved out of a mountainside)
added to pet dog and cat dander would be a recipe for hospitalization,
so we opted for sea breezes instead. The MSC Sinfonia was the perfect ship! It has a great splash pad and swimming pools for kids, a dedicated Lego Room that could keep our kids occupied indefinitely, a miniature golf course, shuffle board, foosball, ping pong tables, a basketball court, and lots of fun activities. I found a special where two adults could take two kids free, so the four of us could take Mike and Grace’s four kids free! Our grand daughters were truly ideal bunk mates (not so sure about the two little boys,
who might have kept their parents up at times…). Our waiters were incredibly good-natured and kept the fresh rolls, french fries and pasta bianca coming so the kids never got too hungry waiting for dinner. Thankfully, the children are very industrious and would spend a lot of time drawing and coloring so the adults could enjoy all the courses of the (usually) 2-hour formal dinners each evening. The ports were also gorgeous, the weather perfect, and the Adriatic Sea like glass. In all, it was a pretty much ideal experience… or at least as smooth sailing as possible… with little ones. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to maximize your bonding time while minimizing your work time, don’t totally discount cruising. (One point of warning: We always watched the kids like hawks to make sure they didn’t fall off the ship from the 15th floor.) The railings are not kid safe! May I share a quick spiritual thought? Sometimes we’re afraid to consider something because we think
it might be too spiritually expensive. I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t want to become a Christian
because it would be “too hard” or cost them too much. Really? I believe that in reality, becoming a Christian is the most spiritually cost-effective way to attain the goal most people are after: Happiness, love, joy, and peace. Because we’re just human, nothing works flawlessly on this earth, but salvation through faith in Christ is the best “ship” to travel on
as far as I can tell, hands down! If you haven’t looked into it yet, please do!
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:3-5).
(All photos, except the one of Tahiti, were taken a few weeks ago on our cruise of the Adriatic Sea via the MSC Sinfonia.)