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My final analysis of the world cruise - a serious commitment that was totally worth it

Updated: May 10, 2023

Going around the world entails a serious commitment of both finances and time.

I made those commitments because I had been thinking about doing it for decades.

It started when my dad's parents went on a world cruise back in the '70s, and mailed us wonderful weekly tales of adventure written on blue onionskin envelopes in my grandmother's delicate hand. The fantasy was reignited in 2010 when Mark and I were in line at an airport behind a couple who were about to embark on their second trip around the globe. Suddenly our own flight to Florida seemed rather colourless.

(The pictures in this blog, like the one above of the Suez Canal, have nothing to do with the text, btw. They are just random shots taken during my cruise that I inserted to fill grey space.)

Now that the odyssey has ended and my dream has been realized, was it worth it?

First, the finances. I could have bought a nicely equipped Audi A4 for the combined amount I spent on the four-month cruise, plus the Internet, the gratuities, the drinks package, and the excursions. I could have done some much needed renovations at my place in Bala.

(You can see the base price of my cruise by going to vacationstogo.com, picking January 2025 as the date, world for the region, and searching for the MSC Magnifica - the Poesia is already sold out. Look at the cost of an inside cabin, then add the 70 percent singles supplement and change it to Canadian dollars.) Yikes, right?

So, was it worth the money? Absolutely.

As one of my friends said, 20 years from now (barring dementia), you will still have the memories of the cruise. But you are unlikely to be able to recall with any great excitement or pleasure the car you were driving in 2023.

I also want to point out that it was not a ship full of the super wealthy. Many passengers were former teachers and health-care workers. One of my best friends worked three jobs to pay for her trip.

The Poesia travelled 35,000 miles with me aboard. I visited 26 countries - stopping at multiple ports in many of them. We went to destinations I am unlikely to ever see again (Papua New Guinea, Oman, Samoa, for instance - all three of which gave me some of my best days.) I could easily spend a fifth of what the cruise cost me going to any one of those places for a week.

Yes, you get just a snapshot of many countries - I need another month in Australia and Greece and several weeks in so many other places.

But some stops (Dubai, I am thinking of you) were not worth more than 8 hours. One of my friends described a world cruise as a tasting menu - you get a bite of each place and you go back if you want more.

And, as much as cruising is the least adventurous form of travel, the advantages of not having to shlep your stuff from place to place, having the same bedroom to retreat to for 118 days, having someone to cook all your meals and help you through immigration, and, frankly, having wonderful choices of entertainment every night, cannot be understated.

So, yes. For me, at my age, as a widow without close friends or family members who have the time or the cash to explore the world with me, it was a great investment.

Now, as for the commitment of time. I was in the fortunate position of being able to take five months off work. I DO plan to go back to it in June.

And I am an introvert. I live alone seven months of the year. So the thought of hours, days, weeks, months, of not having close friends or family nearby did not scare me. I enjoy my own company.

BUT .... there is no question that I made some wonderful friends on this trip. I did it mostly by befriending Josie, a super extrovert, and swimming in the pool of people who gathered around her when I needed social time ... and then hiding away in my own room when the socializing became more than I could handle. (The 70 per cent singles' supplement that gave me my own cabin was worth every penny!)

I also made friends with John and Judy and the people they went on excursions with, who were like a separate group to Josie's crowd even though we ate dinner together. And that made for a really fun mix of folks.

Then there was Brian and his friend, Ivan, who was my dancing boyfriend - between the hours of 8 pm and 9 pm.

And, if I felt at all homesick. my children and my close family and friends were just a text away. (I did not regret, in any way, the amount that I spent to have Internet always available on ship. Some of the passengers who had to find wifi on shore and were cut off during sea days had serious separation anxiety.)

So ... was it worth giving up four months of my real world for this adventure? Yes.

I say that without reservation or qualification.

I also point out that at least two of the couples among my relatively small group of English-speaking friends have already booked to do it all again in 2025 and the rest of us talked about making plans for 2027.

I don't know that that will happen. There is a lot of land travel that is going to take my time and financial resources over the next few years. There are a lot of destinations on my bucket list that will need more than a day excursion. Still, I guess I can't rule anything out.

But, this is the bottom line. When I booked my cabin on the Poesia in the summer of 2020 - in the middle of the COVID lockdown - I thought I was buying a chance to see the world and experience new places. I got that.

But I also made such wonderful connections with so many people - both passengers and staff - folks I already miss with all my heart, and with whom I hope to maintain lifelong friendships. So I got good friends along with the adventure.

And, in my view, the friends and the adventure were well worth the time and the price of admission.





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