A little backstory: A few months earlier, my husband had been abruptly laid off from a job that had consumed him for many years. This unexpected bump in the road was a jolt for both of us, and the weeks that followed were stressful. We finally decided that we needed a vacation — an affordable one — where we could totally chill. My sister, a frequent cruiser, suggested a stint at sea was the perfect prescription, so, with our expectations in check, we decided to give it a try.
Our maiden voyage turned out to be far more enjoyable than we'd anticipated. I didn't feel seasick for a second — my number-one fear about being on a ship. Nor did I feel cooped up, or bored and restless, as I'd worried I might. We managed to avoid the things that had turned us off to cruising (small talk with strangers, large-group activities, too much food and alcohol, glitzy casinos) and, instead, to embrace the more relaxing aspects of life at sea: morning yoga classes, long walks around the ship's decks, the sauna and steam room at an awesome spa, and the curative power of the surrounding ocean. "It's the negative ions," a man we met at the Mast Bar told us one afternoon. A retired high school teacher, the guy explained that these invisible molecules, abundant around water, emit positive vibes and boost your mood. "Maybe," my skeptical husband said, laughing. "But I think that this rum punch might be helping a bit, too."
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