I made a mistake in planning this voyage, and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it. An avid cruiser like me should not make such a rookie move, and yet I did.
For years, I’ve been advising that you should plan to arrive a day or two before your cruises. I’ve proselytized readers with a consistent message that I believe benefits them. The message is this: Arrive in your destination at least one day before your cruise begins so that you will have time to appreciate the port city of embarkation, and — this is especially true when traveling to long-haul destinations — the early arrival also allows you to shake off any travel fatigue before beginning your voyage. Another benefit of arriving early is that it gives your luggage a chance to catch up with you should it be delayed by the airlines.
I ignored my own advice and flew in the day that my voyage began. I reasoned that Silver Shadow was overnighting in Bali for two nights anyway, so I didn’t need to build in an extra hotel night or two. In retrospect, I should have.
I’ve spoken with several folks on my voyage who stayed in Bali three, four or five nights before boarding Silver Shadow. Doing so allowed them recover from jet lag and also adapt to being several time zones away from their homes. They told me that arriving pre-cruise also allowed them to explore the island and to relax at Bali’s beautiful and expansive beachside resorts.
The good news is that as I have not yet adapted to the change in time zones, I am up with the sunrise each morning — long before the sunrise, in fact. My eyes open, and I become restless at around 3 a.m. It’s not a bad time to be up on a voyage like this one. The ship is quiet, and the early morning air is refreshing.
Suffering from insufficient sleep (did anyone see “Lost in Translation”?), I nap for about an hour each afternoon — again, not an unpleasant activity but one that interrupts the flow of the day. So from now on I plan to follow my own advice: 1) arrive a day or two before my cruise begins; and, also as I have advised in previous posts, 2) fly Business Class or better so that I arrive refreshed and as well rested as possible.
Fortunately, there is an antidote for jet lag here on Silver Shadow. In fact, there are several: my comfortable suite, which I will tell you more about in a future post; massage treatments and the spa; a swimming pool and two jacuzzis; any beverage I want to consume — coffee, tea, soft drinks, champagne, spirits, beer, bottled water — not only served on a complimentary basis but also available in my suite.
I can order room service 24 hours a day. If I want to vegetate, there’s a good selection of movies and television shows from networks worldwide, as well as a library if I want to relax with a book.
All of these are great, but they pale in comparison to what may just be the greatest antidote for jet lag: Roland.