Britt was going on a luxurious cruise to explore many exotic places, ports, islands, and cities on a single journey. She could hardly wait to relax on-deck with a glass of her favorite drink and fine dining and enjoy stunning sea views.
Arriving on the dock, Britt looked up at the huge ship, her eyes scanning the gleaming white hull from stem to stern. It was so tall that it looked like it had ten or eleven decks. A red smokestack loomed above the three main decks, and toward the bow, there stood a bronze figure of a dolphin. The name of the ship was The Dolphin's Prize, which sounded very lovely to Britt. As she boarded the ship, she was amazed at how big it was. She looked about at the deck chairs, the shiny floors, and the portholes of the staterooms. Inside the ship, Britt saw that it was a lot more bigger and fancier than she expected. It was like she had walked onto a floating palace. She had never seen anything like it. The walls were painted gold and silver, there were huge, crystal chandeliers shimmering from the ceiling, and the windows were framed with deep red, velvet drapes. The steward showed Britt her cabin on the B deck, and she was pleased that her cabin was large and had a dressing table and a small bathroom. The cabins on the upper deck had panoramic ocean views that took up nearly the entire outer wall of a window, while the cabins on the lower deck had small, round windows that looked like portholes and could give passengers protection during bad weather. Some of the suites were a lot bigger than the others. The bigger suites had over a thousand square feet with separate bedrooms and balconies as big as the average stateroom. Britt's cabin had lots of storage space. The closet had pull-down extra racks and space for life jackets to sit on top of the closet so they weren't taking up any room inside. It had two sets of drawers and two side mirrors with shelves behind them at the desk area and two small cupboards above the TV. The nightstand had a shelf and a drawer and there was a three-shelf storage cabinet behind a side mirror in the bathroom. The mini-fridge was empty so Britt could put whatever she wanted in it. The room had two outlets in the desk area so Britt could plug in her power strips. The walls and cabin doors were magnetic, so they were helpful for keeping paperwork organized and were good for decorating. The bathroom had a small clothesline in a little round shower stall. Britt thought that having her own clothesline could be useful, especially since the ship didn't have any guest laundries. The bathroom supplies included a tubes of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and hand lotion. They also provided bars of soap. Britt liked the fact that her cabin had lots of luxurious items.
After Britt unpacked her suitcases, she explored for a little while, and there was one thing she had on her mind: This was going to be the cruise of a lifetime.
Britt stood on the main deck port side of the cruise ship. It was the first day since they set out, and she was amazed she had the opportunity to behold it. She worked for a long time to be able to afford a vacation, so she felt no qualms about indulging herself. She did not regret the refreshing experience that allowed her to just enjoy touring the boat for a while.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" said a voice beside her. Britt turned around to see a young man sitting on one of the deck chairs.
"Yeah," said Britt. "My name's Britt. It's the first time I've ever been on a cruise."
"Mine, too," said the man. "My name is Rick. So, where are you from? I live in California, but I might move one day."
"Well, I'm from Florida," said Britt. "I've been working for months in order to afford this cruise. Luxurious trips on sea aren't cheap, and you gotta work long and hard in order to book a trip like this."
Rick nodded. "I agree. If you want to go somewhere on a luxurious ship, limo, or plane, you gotta make sure you have enough money to pay for it."
"It sure is," said Britt. "But I'm a hard worker and I don't mind having to work from 9 to 5 so I can pay for something. After all, I'm used to it."
"So am I," said Rick. "But many of these people came on this cruise just for the luxury and entertainment. There's lots of activities on this ship. There are bingo tournaments, paddle boat races, and fancy-schmancy water sport events. From what I've heard, all they're talking about is tonight's show. I just wish that people here would just enjoy the non-luxurious things that this cruise has to offer, like seeing the dolphins swim by or watching the sunset."
"Don't we all?" said Britt. "Enjoying the beautiful, crystal clear water and the bright sun is way better than indulging yourself in swanky events. Some people just don't seem to understand that going on a relaxing vacation means you should leave all the stress of everyday life behind and just enjoy what the world has to offer. There's already enough stress when waiting at the port. While everyone else is floating in the pool, sipping on florescent drinks, and living it up at the buffet, I just like to enjoy the view by the ocean."
"Me too," said Rick. "I'm an artist, and spending time on this cruise actually gives me some inspiration for drawings and paintings. When I see the sunset from the deck, I feel content and want to capture it on my sketchpad. What really interests me is that some cruise ships have swanky paintings on their hulls, and since this ship doesn't have any art, I'm hoping that I can help paint some of the ships for this cruise line someday."
"That sounds interesting," said Britt. "I like art, too. I think people should have more appreciation for art and take a moment to look at some of the works of the world's greatest artists. Still, it's good to be on a trip like this."
"I agree," said Rick. "Even though I just go on vacations like this to get away from what everyday life has, I don't mind having a little luxury. I even order food and drinks through room service, because having your meals delivered to your cabin is actually a good experience to have. You don't have to go through those really long lines at the buffet just to get something to eat or drink."
"Hmm, that does seem pretty nice," said Britt. "I guess having a little luxury is a good thing to have on vacations like this one."
"It is," said Rick. "Want to see some of my sketches?"
"Sure," said Britt. "I'm interested to see them."
So, Britt spent the rest of the hour talking to Rick and looking at some of his drawings. After a while, they both decided to go back to their cabins. Britt couldn't stop thinking about how great Rick's drawings were. She thought that he was a very good artist.
The next day, Britt decided to go to one of the decks to mingle with some of the other passengers. As she headed over to the pool, she saw a few people talking, sipping iced teas, and taking a dip. She thought they wouldn't mind if she hung out with them for a while.
Walking over to the pool, she sat on a deck chair and decided to talk to one of the people in the pool.
"Uh...hey there," she told a woman in a green, striped bathing suit.
"Hey," said the woman. "First time here on this cruise?"
"It is," said Britt. "In fact, this is the first cruise I've ever taken."
"You're lucky," said the woman. "Going on cruises like this one is the experience of a lifetime. Many of us here get to do a lot of fun stuff."
"I can see that," said Britt. "But, I'm not one of those people who like the indulge themselves in crazy activities and events. I prefer to take it easy and enjoy the ride."
"Really?" said the woman. "You should know that most of us cruise passengers are all about partying and having fun. You don't know what real entertainment is."
"Huh?" said Britt. "What are you talking about?"
"Well, there are lots of activities you could try now that you're here," said the woman. "You can try some water sports, go on a waterslide, play mini golf, catch a movie at the indoor theater, have a beauty treatment at the spa, or watch some of the shows at night."
"Whoa," said Britt. "That sounds like a lot of stuff to do."
"But if you don't like any of those things," said the woman. "Then you're probably out of luck unless you like lounging in the hot tub or playing shuffleboard."
"Actually," said Britt. "I think I'll just take it one step at a time. I'll try some activities that aren't very weird or wild."
"Oh, please," scoffed the woman. "You don't know what real entertainment is."
The woman went on and on, talking about the entertainment of the night. Eventually, Britt decided that she couldn't take it anymore and excused herself. Getting up from her deck chair, she decided to just go and explore the ship a little more and see what other activities they had. She didn't trust the pool people anyway, as all they did was talk on and on about the luxury and entertainment of the cruise.
Britt took a look at some of the activities they had on deck.
The waterslides looked too fast and curvy, so there was no way that Britt was going on any of them. The bungee jumping area made her feel a little nauseous, and she didn't really like heights. Volleyball seemed like fun, until she saw one of the players get her lip ring stuck on the net. The skydiving simulator seemed a little scary to Britt, as she didn't quite like the idea of jumping out of a plane. The rock-climbing wall made Britt feel a little nervous, because she was afraid that if she went up there, she could fall off easily. Ziplining wasn't her cup of tea, as she prefered to go on rides that were a little slower and lower to the ground. At the buffet line, she simply rolled her eyes at people gorging on food they could get for free. She knew having food delivered to her cabin through room service was a better option than that. Britt wasn't interested in seeing the nightly shows, because that's what all the passengers talked about.
After a while, Britt felt rather tired out and decided to head back to her cabin. Rick was right. Too many passengers of the ship wanted nothing but entertainment and didn't tale their time to enjoy the nice warmth of the sunshine or watch the dolphins swim. She decided that it was just best to stay in her cabin for the evening. On her way back to her cabin, Britt saw Rick on the deck, watching as the sun started to pass over the horizon. She decided that, since she had no one else to talk to, she would spend some time with him.
Britt came up to where the young man was sitting and said "Hey, Rick."
"Hey, Britt," said Rick. "I'm going to capture the beauty of the sunset."
"That's nice," said Britt. "I met some people at the pool today."
"How did it go?" asked Rick.
"Not very good," said Britt. "You were right about some of the passengers here. All they do is talk about how cool the entertainment is and how luxurious this cruise is."
"They sure do," said Rick. "That's why I prefer sticking with standing on the deck, looking at some of the beauty of the sea. I prefer not to get involved in sticky social situations. I just like to draw and observe."
"So, what did you do today?" asked Britt.
"Well, I was discussing art with a few people at the pool area, but then one of the staff members came in and started this huge conga line and tried to get me roped in. Then he set up a game for the kids to play which involved diving for coins. Then I saw a paddleboat contest, but I couldn't watch it without trying not to get seasick. And then I decided to participate in a bingo tournament, but I lost to a guy who was a huge cheater. The rest of my day was pretty wild. You don't even want to know what happened."
"Wow," said Britt. "You seemed to have an even more exhausting experience than I did. I decided to participate in some activities, but I couldn't find any that were suitable for me."
"Well," said Rick. "Maybe I can teach you about dawning and painting. It's how I take my mind off of the wild or stressful things in life and focus on the more calm things. I also like observing the scenery, because it gives me inspiration for my art."
"I guess I like observing the scenery, too," said Britt. "And I guess I could have some art lessons. Maybe I should just take it easy on this cruise and enjoy some of the beauties of the sea, just like you suggested. But I guess a little bit of entertainment isn't quite bad."
"Yeah," said Rick. "Want to join me? I'll show you how to draw a dolphin."
Britt sat in the deck chair beside Rick and watched the sun set and the dolphins swim by. Watching as Rick drew on his sketchpad, she thought that having some rest and relaxation on this cruise was exactly what she needed, especially with a new friend to keep her company and give her some much-needed lessons.
She was never going to forget this amazing experience.