This past February break I went on my first ever cruise: the Carnival Fascination. My first cruise experience happened to be with two of my best friends (S & M) and M’s mom. It was a sort of senior trip type extravaganza. We were to fly to Jacksonville, Florida and there, board a ship that would take us to two ports: Key West and the Bahamas. 

Now keep in mind, I was going on a Carnival Cruise about two days after the Carnival Triumph passengers had disembarked. To jog your memory the Carnival Triumph was the the Carnival ship that broke down and basically turned into mashup of Lord of the Flies and a giant floating toilet. However, (thank you God) everything with my trip went quite smoothly. 

I thought about writing a blog post that detailed pretty much every part of the trip but let’s face it: you don’t want to read all that and I probably don’t want to do the kind of over share that can only happen when I’m writing and not talking. So, instead I would like to share with you:

The Top 8 Discoveries of My Senior Trip:

8. Some people actually like to travel

I have a theory– actually I have many but I’ll just share the one with you right now— that my family is cursed by the travel gods (or more likely we just have bad timing). I’m still insanely bitter about the time our family trip to London was cut in half by Hurricane Irene. And, on countless occasions, I’ve been at an airport when my flight has been canceled. On one special occasion, our flight was canceled after we were halfway there and at a connecting airport. This resulted in my dad buying a ticket for another flight with a different airline that took off in approximately 45 minutes and further resulted in us running like lunatics halfway across the DC-Philadelphia-Chicago-Atlanta (airports are all literally the same in my mind) airport which was also fun because it gave my dad a chance to see how slow I run (hint: very). But still, I don’t like traveling for that very reason. And then, you add in the fact that I’m in a plane and nowhere near the ground and I basically lose my shit. However, up until this trip I thought that not liking airports/airplanes/traveling was kind of  a common phenomenon just like how everyone loves Jennifer Lawerence and everyone hates Nickelback (seriously, I think they have an entire twitter account dedicated to hating them). But apparently, it’s not. My friend, S, loves to travel and loves airports and looked at me like I was a fucking nutcase the first time I grabbed her hand as we were taking off (by our fourth and last flight she had figured it out and offered her hand willingly). Still, it blew my mind that somebody enjoyed this craziness. 

7. Hi my name is Abby and I’m a magazine-aholic

Seriously, I think I spent close to 40 bucks on magazines alone. And to me, it was money worth spending. Who doesn’t love a good magazine, especially when you are dealing with all this crazy travel? In fact, me just being inside an airport is an excuse for me to go nuts and buy at least 4 magazines. In fact, if someone wants to tell me this blog is like a magazine I’ll love you forever. 

6. Saying “Roll Tide” is all it takes to be friends with Alabamians

Apparently people from the south really enjoy cruises. And there was a good majority of our cruise that was from Alabama. S, M, and I quickly learned that if we just shouted “Roll Tide” we would get lots of smiles, cheers, and even made some new friends. Roll Tide! 

5. Key West is the perfect setting for an Indie movie

The entire time I was in Key West I desperately wanted to don a long floral dress and ride an old but classic bike around ala Zoey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer. Basically, I think that after undergrad I’ll spend a couple of months in Key West writing, wearing dresses, eating seafood, and (as I assume all people in Key West do) generally just being adorable.

4. Feeling insecure? Go to the Bahamas

Damn, was the Bahamas amazing. And there was no shortage of good looking men telling my friends and I how beautiful we are. I have no idea if they were being at all sincere but who cares because it was great either way. 

3. I have no willpower when it comes to food.

I think I ate everything. It really is a miracle that I’m not 300+ pounds. 

2. I think I’m going to really like having roommates.

I was more than a little apprehensive about spending 5 whole days (plus 2 days traveling) in such close quarters with two of my friends. However, I freaking loved sharing a room. Every night getting ready to go to dinner turned into an event and I loved practically doubling my wardrobe since we all shared clothes. It was odd once we returned home not to be able to tell them whatever I thought at any moment. I know my freshman college roommate may not want to spend that much time with me or share her stuff so willingly but once I get to move in with really good friends either during or post college we are going to have a hell of a good time.

1. Some parts of any senior trip story are meant to be kept secret because they are so amazing and also because if someone wasn’t there they probably wouldn’t understand.

For weeks before I left for this cruise whenever I told anyone over the age of 18 that I was going on a cruise with two of my best friends some people would just smile knowingly at me and say, “Oh yeah, I went on one of those (a senior trip). You’ll have a great time.” That smile was basically their way of saying you’re about to be endoctrinated into a special cult. And you know what? I so totally am part of the cult now. I’m very much looking forward to the day when I can scare younger generations of senior trip takers with my knowing smile. 


(from left) M, S, and I at the cruise formal night

(from left) M, S, and I at the cruise formal night