Ever since we got the itinerary I've been doing a lot of reflecting on how this cruise will be different for me, while trying to focus mostly on the positive differences. And I’m not talking about the obvious things, but I realized on a more personal level this cruise will be very different from the last one.
One big difference for me this year is that I won’t have my brother on board as a Carnival employee. It was nice having him on the ship for so many reasons. Obviously it was nice to have a familiar face on board, especially since I wasn’t going with anyone I knew. He was also able to lead me around the huge ship, since that was his home for 6 months. This time, I will probably be a little more lost. I should also mention that he is a BSB fan, so it was also nice to share the experience as a whole with him. It also had a few random perks that I will miss. For example I had him store my luggage in his room for those first few hours until I could go to my cabin. Nothing major, but a little nicety that I won’t have this year.
Another thing is that I am going into the cruise knowing a lot more people than I did last year. I think it will be tough to balance all of my friends as well as still make the effort to get to know more people. I feel like there won’t be enough time for everyone, but I will certainly do my best.
Speaking of friends, I’ve noticed with past cruisers that there is almost a sense of burnout when it comes to the door decorations. A lot of my friends who poured their heart and soul into last year’s door are a lot more reluctant to spend so much time and energy on something that really didn’t get acknowledged last year. I feel similarly because, while optimistic, I’m also a realist. The odds of actually coming up with the winning door are slim to none. So my roommates and I have come up with a fun and simple idea, that hopefully will not be too horribly time consuming but still creative enough to garner some attention. This is very different from my outlook last year because there was a part of me who truly believed I would win. I’ve become a lot more realistic.
My biggest concern is that my expectations for this cruise are ridiculously high. The boys set the bar almost too high last year, so I’m constantly reminding myself that this is going to be a very different experience. I’m just afraid that the cruise could not possible live up to my unrealistic expectations.
On the flip side, I think I will overall be more relaxed than I was last year. For the last cruise, it was a first for everyone, and no one knew what to expect. The boys included. So there was almost a level of anxiety because of the unknown. This upcoming cruise, I have a better sense of what to expect which I think will remove some of the unnecessary stress. Plus It was also my first time meeting the Backstreet Boys and I was really focused on getting pictures with them. I have since gotten to meet them so I feel in that aspect, I’ll be a lot less worried about wondering if and when I’d run into them.
Overall I’m really excited to see how this cruise will compare to last year’s. Even if it turns out to be a fraction of the fun I had last year, I would still consider it a huge success.