|Well, we made it aboard, but not without
|some plenty of excitement. Hey, you didn’t really expect things would go smoothly now did you?
Well, we are on the fifth day of the cruise, two formal nights behind us, and absolutely not even one sunny day. As you can imagine, there is a very unhappy camper sharing this cabin with me.
Our auspicious beginning was the pouring rain on the drive down. Then came the real insult, instead of being able to be dropped off curbside, we were shunted to a small concrete island four cars away and told we could get out there. Uh...it is pouring down rain. Anyone have a large umbrella? The answer was apparent, “No.” So, we unloaded the cart, Cesar put it together and someone helped us get out our five bags. By the time we headed across the lanes of traffic, stood in the lines snaking out of the huge terminal, we were soaked to the bone. Lance’s khaki pant’s now molded to his legs in a cruel joke, his navy blue blazer no longer recognizable as the snappy sports coat. In a stroke of genius, I had grabbed my black trench-coat, thus saving all but my head from the cold pelting. It seems two other cruise-ships were also leaving about the same time. By my calculations, it would be about 7,500 passengers and crew all trying to get aboard the three ships as soon as possible. Gawd.
Security was pleasant, considering the hoards of humanity who had survived the trip (so far) to this point. Once aboard we were standing in front of the elevator awaiting a ride up to the 7th floor, where our suite awaited us. I had such fond memories of the last Hawaiian cruise with Lance, in the large room, separate dressing room and double sinks. Ahhh yes, what would be our home for the next fifteen days. The young steward escorted us into the elevator saying, “Everyone goes up to the Lido, have some lunch, your rooms are not ready yet.” Okay...we exited on the Lido Deck to be greeted by fellow passengers in various stages of eating plates of food precariously balanced on their knees. I only wanted a place to sit, one where I could help Lance dry off some. The rained on clothing sticking wetly, coldly to his body. We found a place for me to sit and I extracted a crumbled kleenex from my purse and tried to wipe off his jacket. The tissue began to disintegrate and small pieces of white lint shown brightly against the midnight blue of the wet fabric. Uh-oh. For a moment I was tempted to make a wish on this, his personal night sky, but no time for fantasies, as the announcement that all rooms were now ready came blaring over the loudspeakers.
We took our time, realizing that we only needed to go down one floor to access our suite. We let the mass of humanity clear out, leaving leftovers on their plate, crumpled cracker wrappers and odd bits of unconsumed, unrecognizable pieces, of gawd knows what, there for someone else to clean up. The poor crew, probably working on their 16th hour by now, and still the afternoon of bag schlepping and food cooking left to do before calling it a night themselves.
Our room was the last one on the Navigation Deck, Starboard side, 7087. I inserted our room key and thrust open the heavy door, a small suitcase rolling behind me, the one filled with his medicines and our grooming essentials. My jaw dropped. This was not the room I remembered, this was...a closet-sized obstacle course. Yes, it had a balcony, but there was barely enough room between the beds and wall for Lance and his cart...and when he did so, there was no room for him to turn around. The bathroom door opened into the room and from the opposite side, therefore rendering Lance incapable of opening the door while he was in the hallway...which also meant once inside the bathroom he could not close the door either.
As our other four suitcases arrived I looked around and wondered where we would put them until I could unpack us. This felt like we have been very, very bad and Santa was leaving a huge lump of coal in our stocking. Honest, we were not this bad Santa.
Okay, enough of my doom and gloom scenario! It’s now the day after Christmas, everything has been tucked into its places around the room, we have laughed at the absurdities life threw our way and here I am sitting in the internet cafe with roughly 175 minutes left on my package deal.
I’ve decided I’ll blog on the word processor and do the copy and paste thing. The only problem I’ve had with this is there has not been even one lousy moment of sun so far on the trip. So, hubby and I are now glued at the hip, where I go, he goes. We discovered that his electric cart is not holding the charge very long, especially when you ‘forget’ and leave the key inside, effectively draining all of the juice out. So much for independence! We were on our way to look at the formal photos we took for you, when it seemed as though he was running on empty, so I just made a quick dash back to the room to get his electrical tether while he scoured the internet cafe for an electrical outlet.
As I type this, he is sitting over by the window getting charged up and reading a couple of magazines. I suppose when he gets a sufficient charge we’ll pop up to the Lido and find ourselfves eating some lunch.
We chose open seating this cruise, and so far have sat with different groups of people, none of whom have chosen to make any future dining plans with us. I’m sitting here laughing, as this once elegant cruise-line has cut costs (like many others) and I can assure you we will not be a guest of theirs on any future cruises.
Last night we sat with three retired Air Force men...about my father’s age, one was a Colonel, one a Lt. Colonel and I don’t remember the other’s rank, but I do know he lives in Chicago. Also at our table were the ship’s doctor, wife and one of their four children. Rounding out our table was the Cruise Director and her father. It was a lively group, especially the doctor and his wife, from the Dallas/Fort Worth suburb of Sunnysomething or other. She was precicely the embodiment of a woman who monpolized the conversation and had nothing of interest to say. I’ll call her Tish. The one son who decided to join the table is 16-going-on-seventeen and interested in show business or hockey. He had great manners, “yes sir, no mam” and was a pleasure to sit next to, even though he was so young he did not know who Danny Thomas is. Yikes! The really interesting part was how much the doctor drank...wine, champagne and at the end of the dinner, he bought us all the “house shooter” and implored us to drink it....in one gulp! It was Bailey’s, banana liquor, and Tia Maria. I thought I was going to barf right there. I couldn’t do it, having consumed two cocktails in the lounge prior to dinner. The doc pointed me out as one who only drank half the shooter...then told everyone, “You can keep keep the shot glass.” Like it was some sort of prize. Well, I still had a bunch of the vile mixture left, was feeling nauseaus from the half shot, and determined I would not try to out two sticky shot glasses into my crystal covered evening purse which had gathered so many oohs and aahs for it’s unique likeness to a watermelon slice.
We met a delightful, funny couple in the bar, prior to dinner...they were English, now living in San Diego. Tonight is their thirty-eighth wedding anniversary...hope to see them again soon.
I did get a few formal photos taken, since we have had two already, but the seas have been rough, 20-30 foot swells, so I have been unable to take a digital photo without eextreme blurring...so as of yet, no pics for you. Perhaps tomorrow, when we are in port in Hilo, it will be calm enough to take them and get them in. Sooner or later.
I have managed to read an entire book do to the horrible weather...I read “White Oleander”, a wonderfully written book...depressing, but the most carefully drawn characters I’ve read in ages. I would highly recommend it. I never saw the movie either...but don’t let the book escape your lists.
Signing off for now...your mildly amused cruisers...hope you all had a very nice Christmas!