Room With A View!NEWS | Nirasha Jaganath | September 7, 2010 at 4:03 am
The last time, or rather the first time I booked a cruise was in 2003. We had just bought our first house and I knew my fiscally focused husband would be penny watching so I wanted to make one big splurge. Trouble was coming from a poorer background splurging was not in my genes. So I indulged cautiously. I found a 3 day cruise in our BJ’s flyer (to those not in the northeast BJ’s is similar to Costco) dirt cheap, and booked the cheapest cabin (the rooms aboard a ship) and then used my points on my frequent flyer miles (I lived in Boston while hubby was in DC so needless to say we racked the miles over 3 years of dating ) to get us 2 free tickets to Florida to embark on the cruise.
So with a separate bag packed for the trip we moved into our new home and 4 days later left for our cruise – yeah like with me can be somewhat interesting (though my hubby may have other descriptions). I remember we stayed at the Riviera level – the lowest and though we enjoyed all the facilities of the boat had no idea that a change of room could make a difference. With visions of our old room and preparations for our invitation trip from Carnival Cruise Lines I began to panic imagining how our 2 little kids would make every effort to make that space feel smaller by the minute (have you met my 3 year old?).
This time we got the Panorama level, also known at the top level on the ship, and with huge patio doors leading onto an ample (well ample for a ship – fitting 2 chairs and a table adequately) deck with transparent wall type fence (ok so I have no idea what you call it and I am typing this late at night in bed hoping not to wake the kids). Needless to say the place, which is already huge, feels bigger with the curtains drawn. I have the greatest admiration for Carnival Cruise Lines who very clearly know how to make maximum use of smaller spaces in a way so creative that it boggles the engineering mind in me. I wish they could work that magic on my home, though I guess that won’t help me with the cleaning issues abound.
A bathroom so small yet feels spacious enough, a couch that doubles up into a twin bed, a bed that is carefully tucked into the ceiling (you would not even guess it to be there) which transforms into a bunk bed when needed and moved out of sight to make space available when not, 3 full closets and more cabinets than I can count – all this making for a room you could actually want to hang out in. Sure, this paranoid mama opted out of the bunk bed, being used to a much lower one from IKEA in my home, but both girls have been sleeping cozily in the twin bed.
Being able to enjoy an air-conditioned room or step out in the deck to soak in the sun and (sea) sounds is as close to convenience and serenity a mama badly in need of a vacation could want.
Disclosure: Carnival Cruise Lines is sponsoring the trip for my family.