“If I can’t scuba, then what’s this all been about?”

— Creed Bratton, The Office


About five years ago this week, my husband and I took our honeymoon. We’ll be celebrating our 13th anniversary this year.

There were many reasons we didn’t take a traditional honeymoon immediately following our vacation. One was I had used up a good chunk of my vacation time the week prior to our wedding, preparing the final details with vendors, welcoming guests to town, a group mani-pedi, the bachelorette party and rehearsals of all sorts (hair, makeup, dinner).

Then, life happened, and time got away. Nine years later, we took the plunge and booked a five-day cruise out of New Orleans.

Our night in New Orleans was very interesting. We ended up on Bourbon Street without even looking for it, and took in the view of the culture as we enjoyed a seafood dinner on one of the street’s famed balconies. There, we tried fried alligator and crawfish etouffee. As we waited for seats, we watched as one of the workers rapidly removed oysters from their shells. As we dined, we got to see a street band and just watched people mingle on the streets.

The view from our Bourbon Street balcony dinner.

St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans

The next morning, before we had to board our ship, we explored the French Quarter some more. My favorite was the St. Louis Cathedral. I would have stayed for Mass if we didn’t have to catch our ship.

The cruise itself had its ups and downs — and not just from the waves. The wind was strong, so that made lounging poolside difficult. The loungers themselves were getting blown everywhere. However, the dinners were excellent, and we had an amazing waiter named Robert. We got to enjoy some new foods once again, the most memorable being frog legs and escargot.

But the best part of the trip were the excursions. We took two, one to Mayan ruins in Yucatan, Mexico, and the other scuba diving.

The ruins were amazing, despite wandering in the heat of the day with a terrible, painful sunburn from the few hours I managed to lounge on the ship’s deck. We saw the remains of an entire city, including a court for the Mayan version of basketball, which was much more gruesome. It was beautiful and surreal to walk through that history.

Mayan pyramid in Yucatan State, Mexico.

But scuba diving was the best. We took a short class on the basics, then headed out to the water bordering Cozumel, Mexico. We took a few practice breaths by dipping our faces in the water while standing about waist-deep. It was quite unsettling at first, but I got the hang of it.

The half hour of swimming along the bottom of the ocean was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The fish came right up to us, and the clear water provided an unobstructed view of the coral and other sea life. It’s definitely something I would love to do again.

The excursion ended perfectly when my husband bought me a massage on the beach. I think it was one of the most perfect days of my life.

Maybe it’s time to take another trip, but I think this time I would opt for a resort over a cruise. And if you get the chance to scuba dive, take it. You won’t regret it.