Ultimately, it wasn’t the parasailing, the bicycling, the boating on the “SCREAMER”, the snorkling, or the sea kayaking that made the trip unforgettable.  It was the fact that my brother, who’s an enduring inspiration to me, was able to share this time with me and we went through an adventure on the seas through highs and lows that made it meaningful and great.  My brother and I have been family for 30+ years and have gone through a lot of highs and lows in life, and here we were, having an opportunity to try this crazy trip.  By Day 3 we had developed a daily routine of going separately on the ship and meeting up for certain events.  After sailing through thousands of nautical miles we now have a memory that can be shared for the rest of our lives.  I think this is why cruise trips are so popular with multi-generational familes.  There’s something for everyone, and for 7 days, it’s like being at camp or in college where you can do whatever you want and your only job is to think of the next fun thing to do.  This hasn’t changed me into a cruise person and I’m unlikely to take another one unless it’s with family, but I’d say that this was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken.  The 1700-member crew worked their butt off to make sure that this was a fun trip for all the passengers.  Three hours after we disembarked, a new crowd of 3000 passengers embarked, and the whole cycle continues.  The operation is unbelivable.  I won’t spoil the ending for everyone who’s yet to go on a cruise but there’s a heartwarming event at the end of the trip.  My hats off to those hard working young people who endure 6 months of being away from home, working hard, dreaming of a bright future.  I feel really, really blessed to have had this experience.  Good bye, 2008, and thank you. 

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