My husband and I got pregnant on our wedding night. I know that sounds like a plot line in a sitcom pilot or a straight to DVD movie, but two weeks post-nuptials I found myself holding a positive pregnancy test. We were elated! We were going to have our first baby!
What we weren’t going to have and didn’t even possess the foresight to recognize, was a vacation or time alone together for many years. Since we were married during the middle of our final semester of college, we weren’t able to have a proper honeymoon and it would be three and a half years and another birth later before we finally decided enough was enough. We needed some time away from the up-all-nights, the diaper changing, and the terrible twos.
We knew we wanted to spend a few days alone together, reconnecting in a place where neither of us smelled of spoiled milk, preferably somewhere warm, but that was the extent of our vision for our getaway.
“What we need is a vacation that is basically planned for us,” I told a girlfriend over lunch. “I don’t have the time right now to map out every moment.”
“What you want is a cruise,” she said matter-of-factly, in between bites of salad.
It took very little research to convince my husband and I that my friend was right. We booked our first cruise that very night and since then we have become a bit addicted.
I like to think of cruising as a ready-made vacation. I just show up with a suitcase packed full of swimsuits, cover-ups, and a couple of comfy dresses and the cruise line does the rest. There’s always a wide variety of delicious food, when you tire of lounging in the sun there’s never a shortage of things to do, and since it’s all located right there on the boat, it’s all within walking distance. Even better, your nightlife is taken care of with evening entertainment provided as part of your trip.
Best of all, as a couple on a tight budget, we knew the total cost of the trip before we ever left the shore. Since all of our meals were included and we were able to book our shore excursions in advance, it eliminated the need to play the guessing game with regards to how much money we should set aside for our vacation. Our getaway was taken care of months ahead of time.
Cruises continue to be our go-to getaway. Since our first, we have managed to sail away together at least once a year. While we normally make these vacations a couple’s retreat, this year we are thinking of making it a family vacation. Our kids are getting old enough to express interest in “the big boat” mom and dad take each year and I guess it’s about time we let them share in our adventures.