Photo by Jason Leppert

Hello fellow cruisers, I am Jason’s wife Heidi, or Mrs. Popular Cruising. I am hoping to start contributing to Popular Cruising on a regular basis, and I wanted to say ahoy and introduce myself. Before I met Jason I had been on a few cruises with friends and already loved cruising as a vacation option, but it wasn’t until meeting Jason that I became truly smitten with the world of cruising.

He may have 100+ more cruises under his belt than I do, and he may be able to do really dorky things like differentiate the weld marks from Fincantieri and Meyer Werft just by looking at them, but I’m getting there. I’ll never care about the thickness of the weld marks, but I’m getting up to speed by letting him quiz me on which cruise lines are corporate cousins, answering really important questions like who has my favorite pizza at sea, and trying my best to get on as many different lines as possible so I can grow my breadth of knowledge.

I’ll get there, slowly but surely, because hey, one of us has to have the job with health insurance. I’m thankful for every day I get to spend at sea with my love, and I will never run out of places to explore and new ships to experience.

So why do I cruise? Do you like tapas? So do I. I love lots of small plates; I love having a bite of this, a nibble of that, and I’ll definitely go back for seconds (or thirds) of anything that is cheese-in-pastry related. Cruising is like tapas to me. There’s a huge array of wonderful choices at my fingertips and I get to enjoy them all. Instead of flying to St. Kitts and spending a week there, I’ll take a cruise that hits St. Kitts, but also spends a day in San Juan, a day in St. Lucia, a day in the Virgin Islands, and a day in Dominica.

And on that cruise, I might discover that I love St. Kitts and decide I want to go back. It’s true, actually. Jason and I will be returning for our third time in two years on our upcoming Christmas cruise onboard the Freedom of the Seas. I guess you could say St. Kitts is my phyllo-wrapped brie of the Caribbean islands, but I probably never would have discovered it without a cruise!

Sure, there are some shortcomings of a cruise vacation. The huge plus is that you can unpack once and see the world, but the flipside to that is that you have limited time in each port. Personally, I don’t see that as a bad thing. I see it as research for the future. If I’m on a river cruise in Europe (which I haven’t done yet – hopefully 2018!) and wish I had more time in Vienna, I would make a point to choose an itinerary in the future that hit Vienna.

Or if I truly fell in love with it and I could manage to convince Jason to stay on dry ground for awhile, I’d rent an apartment in Vienna for a week before setting off on our next river cruise. (True confessions, I just spent 10 minutes staring at a wall, daydreaming about spending a week in Vienna, and having apple strudel with really delicious coffee for breakfast every single day.)

The other reason I cruise is because there is absolutely nowhere more relaxing than sitting in a deck chair, staring at the ocean, feeling the wind on your face, listening to the waves, and letting the sea gently rock you. Can’t you just feel it?

Life can get so stressful – traffic and bills and laundry are daily worries, but then we worry about the health of our loved ones, or if we will be laid off, we worry about the legacy we will leave behind and if we are contributing enough to society – none of these worries will ever really go away, but they’re always the furthest from my mind when I’m at sea. Sitting on that deck chair is good for the soul, and it’s something I think everyone should experience.

We’ll dive into more of why I think cruising is an excellent value for your vacation dollars, why I am comfortable on cruise lines from Carnival to Regent, and why I get really ticked off when my husband removes my Oxford commas from articles that we co-write, but for now I’ll just say cheers and I hope to see you at sea someday.

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