That's the way to go.
|Cruise to Bermuda
I’ve never been on a cruise, so when my friend, MaryAnne, suggested that we both go on one, it didn’t take long for me to think about it. We both had our turns in dealing with a down part in our lives, and we needed something different to do, and at the same time, a chance to get away from the drudgery of everyday life. MaryAnne booked us passage on the Homeric, a beautiful ship, which was taking its maiden voyage. That was back in July of 1986. I was widowed for almost three years, and my friend was recently divorced from her husband.
MaryAnne drove us to the pier in New York City, and after some fanfare with our luggage, we boarded the ship. When it left the pier, I had this strange feeling of exhilaration. It was an emotional experience to be on board as the ship left the shoreline of Manhattan, and then passed by the Statue of Liberty. Shortly afterward, we went to our compartment just long enough to put on our life jackets and get back on deck for the safety drill that all passengers on board were required to take.
It didn’t take us long to get into the routine of things. We had 7 days of exploring everything that the ship had to offer its guests. We took care of seating arrangements in the dining room and we rented our chaise lounges on deck. The Italian crew was ready to cater to our every whim. The deck Steward made sure that we were comfortable and brought us refreshments and pillows. We were treated like royalty. Even when we returned to our berth compartment each day, we would find that it had been straightened and our nightgowns were put on the beds with some wrapped chocolate candy placed on top of them. The first time we viewed that display, we laughed so hard that tears came to our eyes.
The second night out, we dressed elegantly for the Captain’s Welcome dinner. We enjoyed cocktails and snacks one hour before the actual night’s dinner. Every evening was special aboard ship. The menu was changed each night and was based on different countries around the world. The waiters would dress accordingly and the dining room decorated in the night’s International theme. There was always dancing, shows, and other entertainment after dinner. At midnight, we had our choice of pizza at some of the bars or we would enjoy a buffet on deck.
During the day while the ship was at sea, we had the run of the vessel. We had our choice of an indoor or outdoor swimming pool. There was a beauty parlor, some stores, coffee shop, exercise room, Jacuzzis, and even a gambling room aboard. The ship itself was beautiful with marble columns and mirrored walls. Of course, there were elevators to take us to the various decks. In one part of the ship, there was a wide stairway. Such elegance! Even in one of the breakfast rooms, the length of one wall had floor to ceiling windows that was facing the open sea. They had the tables set up along the wall and we would enjoy the majestic view.
We left the ship when it docked at a specific port in Bermuda. We bathed at a pink sanded beach that was shaped like a horseshoe. The water was clear and blue as the sky. We enjoyed exploring other attractions, just walking about, taking a bus tour, shopping at the stores, and being amused by the inhabitants going about their daily routine. The men in the business district were dressed in proper attire, complete with ties, but they wore shorts in place of slacks. Even the traffic officer wore shorts and he stood inside a booth. It was equally amusing to see that almost everyone got around with mopeds or bicycles. On a bus tour, we saw that most of the homes had roofs that were white and made in a special way to catch rainwater. We were told that it was the only means of a supply of water for the occupants of some private homes. Later on in the day, we would return to the ship and ready ourselves for the evening’s dinner and entertainment.
MaryAnne and I spent our days making use of everything that was available to us aboard ship. Some evenings, we would make arrangements to visit a nightclub or see a show in Town. We never returned to our compartment before two in the morning. We were up and ready by eight o’clock the following day. MaryAnne surprised me one morning when she announced that she was going to try her hand at skeet shooting aboard deck. She took her turn in line, and I admired her spunk. She was the only woman that participated in that sport, at least at that time.
Then came Thursday evening, and dress was formal again for the Farewell dinner party. The lights were dimmed in the dining room as all the waiters paraded around while the band played. In their upraised hands, they flawlessly balanced flaming cherries jubilees high above their heads. The evening’s dinner was exceptionally exquisite. Mary arose early Friday morning to witness a sunrise over the waters. We said our goodbyes that evening to our dinner companions, some of the people that we met, and of course the wonderful crew. On Saturday morning, we disembarked from the ship and headed back home taking with us the memory of a fabulous vacation. A cruise is the way to go. Naturally, we took many pictures to share with friends and reminisce about our wonderful trip.