Western Caribbean: Cruising Near or Far

Fun Time on Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Western Caribbean: Cruising Near or Far is a sequel to Travel Near or Far, posted on  richlyaged.com on April23,2017.

The April post described our 2015 twenty-day relocation cruise to Rome. 

Today’s post concerns a week cruise in the Western Caribbean on Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Both trips were great fun and easily accessible for active adults.

Our most recent trip was just before summer 2017. We travelled with our  good friends and neighbors for an easy-going kind of camaderie. Check out this link below.

Norwegian’s seven-day Western Caribbean cruise.

This trip includes the following ports:

  • Depart Tampa, Florida (only a 1.5 hour drive north of our homes.) Smaller ships can travel out of Tampa, as opposed to the Florida east coast ports.  The Tampa “Sky Bridge” prohibits ships that are as large as the MSC ship we travelled on to Rome.  They are too tall to pass under the bridge.  Plus, it’s so easy to find the port in Tampa, park and board the ship.
  • Day at sea, with adjoining balconies.  Great food, accommodations, entertainment, swimming  and balcony views.
  • Port:  Cozumel, Mexico where we snorkeled off shore and partied on our snorkeling boat.  Yes, we saw colorful fish,
    Beautiful friends and beautiful area of our world.

    and lots of sand and reef.  Yes, the margaritas tasted great when we returned to our boat, were hosed down and dried off.

  • Port:  Costa Maya where we swam with the dolphins in the lagoon, shopped and visited the Fish Spa.  The
    Introduction to the Dolphins before swimming together

    dolphins were amazing, gentle and so smart. The trainer showed everyone the hand commands and had them try the commands with the dolphins.

    In addition, they demonstrated letting the dolphin push you by your foot while you lay on your stomach on a “boogie board.”   The second round was grabbing the dolphin’s dorsal fin as they swam by at surprising speed. They are amazing!

    Yes we did. ‘Fish food’for the fish spa.
  • Secondly, in Costa Maya, we visited the Fish Spa and provided the “foot fish food” for the tiny Turkish Groupers. After having our feet scoured and sterilized, these little fish were both tickly and attentive.
  • Port: Roatan, Honduras, zip lining.  We arrived after an entertaining and
    Ziplining in the jungle. Woo Hoo

    perilously fun bus trip up into the jungle. We were outfitted by a great crew with all our zip line garb. Then we were instructed for our three-mile, twelve separate zip-line runs.  Really beautiful, fun and exhilarating.

  • Harvest Caye, private island in Belize. Norwegian has
    Harvest Caye, one of Norwegian’s beautiful private Islands.

    another private island in the Caribbean but this one is new. It’s equipped nicely and laid out well.

    It included a beautiful beach, balmy breezes, white sand and fun blow-up water sides.  There was also a huge pool with floating bar, fancy umbrella drinks, lots of colorful shops, restaurant buffets. Outdoor showers and misters were randomly placed to keep you cooled off.

    Happy, rested and on the way home. Happy Cruisers.
  • Day at Sea, heading North to Tampa. We were able to try some dancing and entertainment throughout the ship.
  • Disembark Tampa.  What  a great time! Can we go again?

In Summary

We live in America, a beautiful country with several beautiful seas surrounding us.; Pacific, Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.  Enjoy these ports rich with

Make new friends after swinging through the trees.

history, tradition and natural beauty.

Consider traveling near and far.

Consider trying new things and making new friends.

We’ve cruised with Norwegian many times and several other cruise lines as well.  As I mentioned in my previous post in April, it’s really convenient, easy and economical when you live in southern Florida.

All of these adventures add to being Richly Aged in retirement…and Loving Life.

Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.   Meantime, take care and enjoy smooth sailing!

Dixie , RichlyAged…and Loving life

writers@richlyaged.com

richlyaged.com

 

 

 

Downsize, Snowbird or Stay Put?

Relocate? Stay where you are? Second Home? Snowbird?

Before choosing where to live in your new retirement, there are several important questions to consider.

Key questions for choosing where you want to retire.

  1. Are your kids going to move back home?  Do you want them to?
  2. Is your current residence manageable? By manageable, I mean; financially (taxes, mortgage, utilities), physical accessibility, friendly climate, repair and landscape upkeep.)
  3. Do you want to stay in the area you live in?  Or have you dreamed of moving closer to family, the mountains, the coast or a different country or living in an RV or boat?
  4. Are you situated where you can ‘age in place?’
  5. Can you afford to buy a second home to retreat to and fill those desires
  6. Have you thought about the thousands of “snow-birds” who live six months in their “home residence” and six months in their dream location?
  7. Have you thought about a “house swap” to try out those locations?

Evaluate your Answers

Answering these questions will narrow your choices and move you closer to your ultimate plan.

 

 Remember this:  nothing is concrete (except, of course, concrete).  If you make a choice and it doesn’t work for you, it can be changed.

My location certainly has changed during the years I’ve been retired.

Three out of 5 Americans want to spend their golden years in another city or state, according to a national Bankrate survey. A majority said they’d be interested in moving, regardless of gender, income and education, though wanderlust did seem to fade with age.  See this complete article at  bankrate.com/retirement/3-in-5-want-to-retire-somewhere-else/

Look at one couple’s experience:

Several friends of ours have moved into age restricted communities.  These come in all sizes shapes and costs.  Choose something that works with your retirement budget in an area that you are excited about and check it out.

One couple we know moved into a suburban neighborhood.  Being retired with their children grown, graduated from college, working in their careers, married with children, the couple thought that living in a nearby neighborhood would be just the ticket to get to see and be involved with their grand-kids lives.

This worked for a while but then the grand-kids grew and had their own interests and lives as did the other younger neighbors on the couple’s street.  Without the involvement of their own children’s school age kids in sports and activities, they found it difficult to nurture any active social life in this neighborhood so similar in age as their own adult children’s.

Ultimately, they moved to a retirement community where every day offers choices to participate in tennis, golf, dances, theater etc.  Very little effort is required to become involved in an age-restricted community and it’s easy to say yes or no.

The best advantage is that there are so many choices of activities with people who have a lot in common with you.  They felt like they had extended their family.

Downsize, Snowbird or Stay Put

Today the accomplishment of your goals is determined by you, not work constraints or others’ opinions. If you want to accomplish these goals, do so.  If you don’t want to, don’t. Just forget about it. But realize that at this time in your life,  what you do is your choice.

In all of this exploring and self discovery, please remember this: small changes can equal big results.  Eat less, spend less, sit less, stress less, watch TV less, worry less, be active more.  Get up and walk around the block or skip, skate, run or ride your bike.  Your choices equal your results. When you choose a job, neighborhood, location or partner, YOU choose a life.

Homework:  Grab a sheet of paper and brainstorm all your answers to the above questions.  Add a little research, mix it with desire and see what your retirement possibilities reveal.  There are good doctors and dentists, hairdressers and grocery stores most everywhere. So, get started!

Dixie

writers@richlyaged.com

 

 

Retirement 13: Explore, Dream New Adventures

                                                     

 Time to explore new adventures.

So far in this, Baby Boomer’s Guide to a Happy Retirement, you’ve been encouraged to replace old “work think” with new “retirement think.”

Fill your own bucket with your Dreams and Goals.

You’ve also been encouraged to “drill deep down inside” and release those forgotten seeds of your visions for the grown up you. Now you are being asked to push the edge of your experience and knowledge levels and try new opportunities.

This chapter is designed to plant those very seeds that will take you from spectator to participant.    Let’s see if we can pique your interest in some long forgotten adventures.

A “bucket list” is about dreams or goals.

Sometimes, when we steal a few moments to reflect, we might have a tiny tinge of remorse – for the undone or the unaccomplished during our determined mission of always paying the bills and caring for the family.  These regrets might be about the things you once imagined in your life or hoped for in your future but learned to live without.

Can you conjure up those passed-over thoughts now that you are in this wonderful new phase of your life?  Are they, or a version of them, now obtainable?  Is it possible or even probable that you can realize those filed-away dreams?

The recent movie “The Bucket List” capitalized on the idea of the dreamed for and not yet attained.  Its popularity has been nurtured with the current Baby Boomers coming of age and exploding  demographically.

Two of my husband and my dreams and goals were:

  1. Buy a floating home (not a houseboat- they have motors) and live on a river in the Northwest.

    Dream of living in a floating home. Ours on the Columbia River.
  2. Full time in a motor home for a couple of years while travelling our nation.

    Our full time motor home for 18 months dream

 Define Dreams and Goals?

Continue reading Retirement 13: Explore, Dream New Adventures

Retirement 12 – Create your Ideal Retirement Life

Settle down with a cup of coffee for a little bonding time

Gather up the essentials – your significant other, a crisp glass of chardonnay or a strong cup of coffee, and your imagination – to create your ideal retirement life.  This is a wonderful conversation, so prepare to linger over it.  The sky is the limit.  Don’t be discouraged by incidental problems like a lack of money.  Dream big!  You can almost always find a way.  We’ll talk about that later.  The important thing is to figure out exactly what it is you want your ideal retirement life to be.

We’ve had many of these conversations over the years.  We usually start by each making a list of what we want to do in the next couple of years.  Then we share them with each other and consider how we can make the lists come alive.  It was one of those conversations that got us to Florida 15 years before we retired.  We knew we wanted to be somewhere warm when we stopped working. Continue reading Retirement 12 – Create your Ideal Retirement Life

Retirement 11: Outline Your Ideal Retirement Life – Embrace Happiness

Know what you want and go and get it!

Before you begin to plan the nuts and bolts of your ideal retirement, make the life-changing decision to embrace happiness.   This may not be as simple as it sounds, but it can be done.  So much of how we feel is a decision.  Consider the example of Abraham Lincoln.

President Lincoln said that we’re just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.  That’s truly amazing when you consider that he suffered from melancholia (clinical depression) and that he had recently lost a beloved son and was responsible for steering the nation through a brutal Civil War.

If Lincoln could decide to be happy, surely we could give it a try!  Here are some proven ways to raise our level of happiness.

Proven Happy-Makers

1.  Be non-judgmental. This doesn’t mean you don’t have standards.  It just means that you’re willing to take people as they are.  We can never change the other person; all we can change is our reaction to that person. Continue reading Retirement 11: Outline Your Ideal Retirement Life – Embrace Happiness

Retirement 8: The Self Discovery Process

Self Discovery: Who are You?

 

Self Discovery:  Will the real you please stand up?

Sensational retirements don’t just happen. They take some planning, and the place to start is with you. Take a little time to think about this and begin by asking yourself some questions to peel back the layers and find the “authentic you.”

Drill deep.  It took years of experiences to add those layers and it may take some time to remove the ones you no longer want or need. Write a description of who you believe you are. Link to mind-mapping to try mapping a visual of who you are.

A simple example of mind mapping for self discovery Continue reading Retirement 8: The Self Discovery Process