IMG_5261Certain aspects of cruise ship life seem totally lame in the advertisements, I mean you wouldn’t be caught dead in a Conga line around the pool with strangers all dressed straight from a Nassau souvenir shop, right? Until you are there- in the middle of the deepest turquoise sea you could ever imagine, with air so sweet you can almost taste it. It’s at that moment that life changes for you. You go home with a bit of the islands in your suitcase and in your heart. If you have cruised before, you’ll smile and nod at our list of subtle life changes. If you’re still stuck on shore thinking about your first cruise, read on. Cruising may not seem so lame after all.


You instantly start swaying when you hear the sound of a steel drum playing a Caribbean beat. The music surrounds you from the first moment you step onto the pool deck of your ship. After you spend a few days immersed in the sounds of the Caribbean it becomes a part of you that can transport you back to cruise mode in a flash. You suddenly love Jimmy Buffet music, and Zac Brown’s Where the Boat Leaves From is your new favorite song. You may even find yourself downloading an entire playlist of Caribbean tunes just to keep your groove going.


You find yourself with a compulsion to add to your new collection of glass fish, straw hats and bags, or brightly-colored pashminas. You didn’t intend to start a new collection, but now that you are home, that one piece you brought back seems so lonely. You can spot a glass fish across a crowded shopping plaza at fifty paces. You suddenly see pashminas on every street corner. The catch: they never look quite as good as your souvenir. Pick up another on your next cruise. And your next.


You stop hitting the delete key when emails arrive from Vacations-to-Go. One little peek at this week’s specials won’t hurt. It will only take a second, or so you think. Next thing you know you are half an hour into your cruise-porn session, lost in next-cruise fantasyland.


You start thinking about everything in terms of when, where, and how you can cruise again. Will your new iPhone case let you take snorkeling selfies? Will that evening dress pack well? Will those sandals be comfortable for long shopping excursions?


You actually use the word “excursion.” If you think about it, unless you drive a big Ford SUV, did you ever use that word before you went on a cruise? But now you find it applies to other things in your life, making them sound infinitely more fun, like your kindergartener’s field trip to the museum or a weekend picnic in the country.


You have a new appreciation for the color turquoise. Even if it’s a color that held no place in your life before your cruise, you suddenly think it might be the perfect color for a throw pillow on your living room couch. You may even contemplate redecorating your office in island colors.


You want rum in all your drinks. Why is your bartender looking at you that way when you ask for Captain Morgan in your Bloody Mary? It wouldn’t be that weird. And certainly nobody will even notice that you’ve switched from sipping Chardonnay to slamming Bahama Mama’s.


You have a new appreciation for the ocean. You start thinking about finally taking scuba classes and maybe investing in your own snorkeling gear. Who knows how many germs live on that rental gear. You dream of swimming with the oceans creatures, fearlessly. Maybe next cruise you could dive with sharks.


You become a beach snob. The beaches closest to home just don’t have the right sand, or there are too many rocks. And what good is a beach you can’t snorkel at, anyway. If they only served Bahama Mamas, you might feel the love again.


You apply for a cruise line credit card. This is how you know you are hooked. If you charge all your groceries to that card, you’ll earn an upgrade to a balcony before next summer. Welcome to the party. We’ll see you in the Conga line.