A few words from Alan: Reconnecting on a cruise


Reconnecting on a cruise might not be the first thing you think of when planning a cruise. Do you think of cruising as a way to see new destinations or experience a lifetime adventure? A cruise is all those things, but it’s also about reconnecting on a romantic getaway. Today, Alan’s here to share how he reconnects with Donna—and with himself—on a cruise.

What is reconnecting to you? Is it the high school reunion? Maybe not, with so many years gone by, you’re probably afraid of not recognizing half of your schoolmates. Is it reconnecting with family members? Perhaps the aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, that you just haven’t had time to keep up with. Is it reconnecting with the gym? You know it’s a connection that’s waiting to happen.

Starting a smoggy day in Shanghai with coffee on the veranda.

For Donna and me, cruising offers us the chance to reconnect. And for me it’s a reconnection with myself.

Reconnecting on a cruise

My personal reconnection is by taking a step back to take a look at my life. I use this unhurried time on a cruise ship to realign my priorities. During the business of daily life, it’s easy to lose perspective on a topic or problem because I’m in the middle of it. It’s called can’t see the forest for the trees. Ever been there?

Like everyone else, Donna and I have our routines, our habits, our ruts. Know anyone who isn’t in a rut? Everyday we are both busy with the various tasks deemed essential to our daily lives.

My day starts early, sometimes well before 6 a.m., in the gym sweating. During my workout I usually plan out the day; get this done, do this, do that, and so on. Sound familiar? Donna usually begins her day with coffee and quiet. I deliver her coffee and exit left. She boots the computer, sips the coffee and eases into the day.

Monday through Friday. Sometimes Saturday. All essential tasks needed to keep our lives going cry out for our attention.

Boomer man holding a cup of coffee watching the sunrise from the veranda of a luxury ship.

Sunrise, coffee and time to reconnect on a cruise.

Now transition to travel on a cruise ship. Doesn’t matter which ship, doesn’t matter where to, doesn’t matter length of the trip. What matters now is the daily routine has been broken.

Guess what? The world still turns even if those “tasks deemed essential to your daily existence” don’t get done. What matters now is time that’s suddenly available to reconnect with your mate. Time to be with each other and enjoy each other.

Remember talking? Now there is time. It’s amazing all the different topics to talk about if the news channel is not reporting the daily toll of death and destruction. Time to listen to your mate; I really like to listen to Donna, she has some pretty neat stuff to share with me. And I hope likewise. Sometimes we talk about current events and then the inevitable grumbling about this politician or that politician. We catch ourselves and say “the complaint department is closed.” It works.

Sometimes we dream about a part of the world we would like to see. Or we dream about the experience of connecting with the people and their culture. Sometimes we make a “mid-year resolution” about how not to live in a rut. Hard one to keep but a noble endeavor nonetheless.

Our days on the ship usually start with coffee on the veranda. Not much conversation, just looking at the waves and the beautiful sunrise. Amazing! When was the last time you shared a sunrise with your spouse? Try it and you’ll like it.

Boomer woman and man in formal clothes, reconnecting on a cruise.

For us, dressing up is part of reconnecting on a cruise.

At the other end of the day we plan our romantic dinner and the clothes to wear. Whether the night is formal, informal, or casual we enjoy looking our best—not to impress others but to look good for each other.

We head to the observation lounge and chat with other passengers, recounting the events of the day. Together. After dinner Donna and I seek out the music and dance. Sometimes, with several other couples on the dance floor, other times we’re alone.

Bottom line: A sea cruise is a perfect time and setting for a couple to reconnect with each other. It’s a time to slow down and smell the roses. Time to be together, time to listen to each other. Funny thing — this reconnecting usually leads to booking another cruise just to make it happen all over again.

How do you reconnect on a cruise? Come join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook. Or send us an email with your thoughts.

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