I step out onto my balcony in the middle of the night. Holland America Line’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam quietly plies through the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. The weather is warm and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Looking over the railing of the balcony, the only thing I can see is the dark horizon and thousands of stars reflecting onto the calm water.
I pull up a chair near the railing, sit down, and raise my feet up onto the railing. I lie back and let the sounds of the waves and the sight of the stars wash over me. It’s completely calm and I couldn’t be happier. I feel that feeling you experience on a cruise. It’s unexplainable and only known to those who have had the blessing to sail across the seven seas. It’s the feeling I experience when I’m in my happy place – a cruise ship.
As the Nieuw Amsterdam sails on into the night, I become even more relaxed. Standing up, I lean against the railing and stare off into the distance. The beauty of the clear night sky over the Caribbean Sea is absolutely stunning. I can’t take my eyes off of the dark, night sky. I’m absolutely still. I’m never still. As an adventurous young man, I’m very active and want to keep moving forward. Slowing down is not an option for me. This moment is an exception. Standing on my balcony, watching the hull of my ship glide across the water, watching the stars shine above me, I don’t ever want to leave this spot. I wish for the morning not to come, only for this moment to remain.
I can feel the sea air brush across my face, I can smell the stinging salt in the air, I can hear the small waves crashing onto the bow. I close my eyes and take in this brief moment in time. Nothing is on my mind, I have no responsibilities, I have no worries, I have nothing to do except be present in this beautiful moment. Yet soon, the sun will rise on a new day, and my ship will dock again. I stand for just a few minutes more, gazing at the bright stars and the calm waves below. I remember thinking to myself, “The world is truly a beautiful place and I’m so thankful to God that I am able to be in this place to experience its beauty.” I turned away from the railing, stepped back into my stateroom, and drew the curtain on the pure beauty of the sea at night.
~ Mike Faust, from a 7 night western Caribbean sailing aboard Holland America Line’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam in 2014.
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From The Sea is a new series of articles for Cruise Currents designed to showcase the experience of cruising. From short stories to full cruise coverage, From The Sea offers cruisers around the world a glance into the cruise experiences of the Cruise Currents editorial crew.