Enjoying Your Retirement Cruise

Ever wonder why so many people like to take cruises in their retirement?

Some people refer to a “retirement cruise” as a cruise they will take shortly after they retire. Maybe it will be their one and only cruise. It is a big thing and something to look forward to.  Just make sure you take a least a 7 day cruise and not a 3 or 4 day cruise, which in my opinion is really not enjoyable at all.  All your time is spend getting settled in and then start packing. So do at least a 7 day cruise or a 10 day cruise is even better.

But why are so many people really die hard cruisers in their retirement. You know the people who take one cruise after another, maybe 3 or 4  a year.

It’s like a travel bug that bites you and you just got to have more.  What’s the big attraction?

Cruising in Retirement

1. Taking a cruise is nice because you just pack and go. Once on ship you can do as little or as much as you want to but you don’t have to repack or catch a bus or change hotel rooms. That’s convenient and people like it.

2. Meeting and talking with new people is interesting and enjoyable. You have plenty of time on a cruise ship and everyone is open to talking with you at meals, at the pool or anywhere around the ship. We have met some very interesting people on every cruise and people are so nice.

Pool on ship
Pool on ship

3.  The food is really good. You can try new foods you don’t normally try. You can go formal dining or casual. Fixed seating or anytime dining.  You can visit the many specialty restaurants.

4. There is always something to do. During the day there are many activities and games, entertainment around the ship or just watch the waves and the flying fish if you are lucky.  Grab a chair and people watch. Share a drink at the bar. At night there is special entertainers like singers, ventriloquist, and magicians.  Then several shows each cruise with the ships singers and dancers which are excellent.

Food carving demo
Food carving demo

5. Oh there are destinations to visit too. Take one of the ship’s excursions or just get off the ship and walk around. Many cruisers set up their own excursions in advance over the Internet. Or just enjoy seeing them from the ship! Here is a picture I took from the ship of Antigua last week.AntiquaAntiqua

6. Take a class. The photo below is my wife Mary Ann taking a cook class aboard the Celebrity Equinox this year. There are classes for dancing, learning musical instruments, healthy living, computers and more.

Cooking class in ship
Cooking class in ship

7. There is always something to see from the ship like the Manhattan sky line on this photo I took last week.  I have seen flying fish, whales, Russian MiG plane, rainbows, 25 foot waves, beautiful islands, coatlines, mountains, skies and moonlights on the sea.

Manhattan from Royal Princess
Manhattan from Royal Princess

8. Relax by one of the pools or in the deck chairs all around the top levels of the ship.  On the middle level decks there are plenty of chairs and tables to sit and people watch and look out the window at the views.  Movies Under The Stairs is a big hit. Pick up card and table games are all over and you can check out the games from the ship’s library or bring your own.

9. Cruising is fun. We don’t live forever, have some fun! These people are having fun taking a dance lesson on ship.

Dancing on a cruise
Dancing on a cruise

Taking a cruise will give you many good memories. Planning a cruise is awesome too.  Give it a try and you many just like it so much you will become one of us frequent cruisers!

Retirement Travel – Why Cruise?
Cool Weather Cruise
Retirement Travel

View from cruise ship
View from cruise ship
Cruise for retirement
Cruise for retirement

Romantic Anniversary Getaways – Barnsley Gardens Resort

Many couples  celebrate their anniversary with a romantic getaway rather than just going out for dinner at a nice restaurant or even taking a cruise.

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a romantic getaway. Many places are just outside metro areas.  You can settle in a resort for a couple of days and take a break from the routine and that is what we did to celebrate our 41st anniversary.

Barnsley Gardens Resort

A Southern experience with history, fine cuisine, attractive gardens,  sport and play bring couples a delightful getaway from their everyday lives at Barnsley Gardens. Located only an hour and 15 minutes from our home in Johns Creek (Atlanta area), it was easy to get to.

We stayed for two nights in the middle of the week on their Smart Stay Days plan and was very pleased with our stay.

What We Like About Barnsley Gardens

We liked our room because it was in a large manor house, yet private with it’s own porch. Free wi-fi and turn down service.

We liked we could walk to anywhere on the property. The grounds are gorgeous and there are plenty of green spaces including large town greens that go the whole length of the property.  There were 5 or 6 fire pits along the greens and in the evenings they just start them up and first come dibs on the chairs but that was not a problem.

town hall
town hall

 

Rice House at Barnsley Resort
Rice House at Barnsley Resort

The restaurants were excellent. The first evening we tried the Woodland Grill (pic below) and I enjoyed the trout and Mary Ann had the salmon after our fried green tomatoes appetizer. We both loved it.  The second evening we splurged and dined at the upscale Rice House and again loved it. (pic above)

The Woodlands Grill
The Woodlands Grill

The first day we walked to the beautiful gardens and toured the ruins of  the Barnsley house. There is an interesting history about this house which was built in 1835 by the Barnsleys. The ruins (pic below) are both interesting and beautiful.

Barnsley house
Barnsley house

The formal gardens were beautifully maintained.

Formal Gardens
Formal Gardens

There is a neat museum in a house attached to the ruins that tells the history of the house and the family. It has extensive collection of the family’s personal items.

Lovely Grounds
Lovely Grounds

The formal gardens in front of the Barnsley house are impressive but there are all kinds of flowers, shrubs and vistas throughout the property like the photo I took above will show. We also toured the chefs garden behind the Rice House restaurant.

Chefs Garden at Rice House
Chefs Garden

There are so many places to walk throughout the community. You can walk the wide streets to admire the homes and the landscaping with many interesting architectural improvements, view the golf course (and play too if you are so inclined). It’s a walkers paradise.

Or you can fish or hunt.

Fishing at Barnsley Resort
Fishing at Barnsley Resort

Fishing is one of the free activities offered so we stopped by the sports house and picked up two spinners, a tackle box and a box of worms and did some fishing in one of the several lakes on the property. We fished from a walking bridge and caught 6 or 7 nice fish. The picture above shows my wife Mary Ann’s prize catch.

Tellus Science Museum
Tellus Science Museum

At lunch time we drove the fifteen minutes to the Booth Western Art Museum over in nearby Cartersville.  There are two excellent museums in Cartersville, the Booth Western Museum and the Tellus Sciense Museum.  We visited both on consecutive days and had lunch both days in downtown Cartersville at Swheat Market & Deli, which is a real gem.

Other activities offered were hunting, fly fishing, boating, horseback riding and enjoying the pool and nearby salon.

pool
Pool

We feel like we escaped for a little while and got in touch with the land and nature.

Butterfly
Butterfly

So for a romantic getaway you don’t have to travel too far even though that is fun too. The couple seated next to us at the Rice House, who was celebrating their anniversary too came from Ohio.

For more information, visit Barnsley Resort.

Robert and Mary Ann Fowler

Retirement Travel: Why Cruises Are Most Popular

Retirement Travel: Why Cruises Are Most Popular

From what I see in the retirement world, cruises are the favorite option for retirees when doing their retirement travel.

We have talked with many retirees about their cruise habits and here is what they are telling us are the reasons they like to cruise.

Just Pack And Go

Yep after booking your cruise and airfare just pack and go.  You don’t have to worry about repacking and moving every day or so and that really is a nice benefit. It is hard moving around with a suitcase or two. This way your hotel room goes with you.

Do As Much or As Little As You Want

I remember taking a two week bus tour of Italy. Sure we saw a lot of sights but we got so tired of getting up early and getting the suitcases in the hallway by 6am. We couldn’t slow down because we had the bus to catch to the next town.  Well with a cruise you do as much or as little as you want. In fact each person can make that decision for themselves. Get up early or stay up late, whatever you want to do.

cruise ship entertainersThere Is So Much To Do

In fact there is more to do on a cruise that you can do, so you just pick what you would like to do. Except for some excursions, you don’t have to plan ahead too much either. Shows, casino,bars, entertainers, dining, sports, or just lounging by the pool.

Travel to Different Parts of the World

Sightseeing while in port is fun and there is so much variety whether you are flying up a glaciers in Juneau on an Alaskan cruise or walking through the rain forest in Dominica on a Caribbean cruise.  Tour  St. Petersburg Russia while on the Baltic Sea cruise, spend a day at Waikīkī beach while on a Hawaiian cruise. Visit Ireland and Scotland on the British Isles cruise.

Most Affordable Retirement Travel

Cruises are some of the most affordable travel you can do and by paying a little attention anyone can get a good rate.  $80 to $100 per night is a good rate for a cruise.

dancing on cruise shipFriendly Like Minded People

Most people like meeting and talking with other cruisers. Many live in active adult communities and are used to making friends easily. Share a table with new folks at most meals and you may consider this reason enough to cruise again.

Wow I didn’t even mention the meals which many think is the reason to cruise, but most people we talked with didn’t even mention that.

If you are retired then you probably will start with 7 day cruises then move on to the longer cruises of 10, 12 and 14 days. Then many retirees like to either do back to back cruises or a cruise land vacation combination.

We have two more cruises booked later this year and are looking into a river cruise soon.  We enjoy cruising in our retirement and hope you do too!

Celebration Cruises

Celebrations are one of the main reasons people like to take a cruise. Anniversary cruises, retirement cruises, birthday cruises.

Resources You May Like:
AARP Travel -travel deals, tips & news for tours, air, hotel.
Retirement Travel
Cold Weather Cruises
Boomer Travel – Expedia CruiseShipCenters