I was going to write about a visit to Papua New Guinea but as I flipped the pages of my travel journal I came upon this ‘Day at Sea’ entry. I read it and realized just why we enjoyed our cruise trips so very much. At sea you can do as much or as little as you want and you never have to do the dishes. This sea day is a good example.
‘Breakfast in the Lido was great as usual. I do appreciate the service. Bert and I just choose what we want and there is staff to take it all to our seats. The ship was not rolling. The sea was calm, glass smooth which made me wonder if we looked as if we needed the extra help. No, it was a service.
Next came a trip to the library. There is a new librarian on board. The last one was Canadian, this one is British, a bit prissy until Bert told her I was a librarian and being Bert and my number one fan, she got a bit more information than expected. She thawed, visibly. Bert borrowed Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Daniel Goldhagen which I did not think was cruise reading but then WWII is of special interest to Bert. I took out Alice Walker’s short fiction collection The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart. I do like her work, this was somewhat autobiographical which drew me to it and I had not yet read it.
We went to lunch in the restaurant and met some people from the USA and a couple from Germany. Good conversationalists all and found out that the German couple would be on board for the entire cruise too. The ones from the USA would be leaving earlier. I selected lunch from the ‘Spa Menu’ – light, calorie controlled, low salt and delicious. It is so much better when someone else cooks it and all you have to do is eat it.
Bert read while I decided to go to the ‘Stretch and Relaxation’ class. (Note: You can tell it is early in the cruise if I am on ’spa menu’, doing exercises and living a somewhat virtuous existence.)
We went for tea. Really this is not needed as we are on early seating for dinner. Where did the good intentions go? To hell, I must presume.
Dinner companions will be with us for a short time as they are only on board another 15 days. There is Ruth, who had a birthday yesterday, Barbara and Eleanor, travel companions who live in Los Angeles and Willem, who is a dance host on board from The Netherlands. Willem will be around for the entire cruise but not necessarily at our table. The dance hosts are usually seated around the dining room at tables where there is a high proportion of single ladies. It did not take long for Bert and Willem to start the usual joshing and teasing that occurs when Dutchmen meet. That was fine by me as I found the women to be very interesting.
The evening’s entertainment was a lot of laughs. There was comedian, Mel Mellers and a multi-instrumentalist Simeon or Simon Woods who kept us in stitches.
It is time to work off dinner so off we went to the Yacht Club and got lucky. The OPUS Caribbean Band was playing and the party was in progress. They are the house band and play a variety of dance music. Just about everyone was having a great time. At one time I was worried about Bert’s knee but he was in the swing of things and having a ball. It does not matter if you were the world’s best or worst dancer at all. The object was to have fun and it seemed the crowd was hell bent on doing just that.
We made plans to meet two other couples for breakfast and agreed to share transportation next day to go touring. It should be a good day as we had all looked at the tour brochures and were interested in seeing the same sites and attractions. We also promised others to be in the club to be back for more dancing.
We closed out the club that night. I might have danced off dinner but certainly not the drinks. Not to worry, we are on vacation. Maybe just maybe I would walk it off tomorrow depending on how much walking there would be on our sightseeing tour.’
The Meander: What a pleasant and relaxing day. What a day of doing just what you want to do. How wonderful it is to meet people, to find common ground, to laugh, make connections. We have some dear friends whom we have met on our travels. They are a very important part of our travel memories. Travel unifies.