November 26, 2008
November 21, 2008
A last minute opportunity that aligned with a school vacation sent us scrambling to the
The reality of cruising was such an unreality, we checked our passports at the door and were issued plastic id cards that identified us as non-nationals, we were now “fun-ship citizens”. Thank the stars that this cruise had an incredible itinerary including
We embarked with trepidation and fear, anticipation and suspicion, embarrassment and excitement. After 9 ports, as many hot tubs, 5000 calories per day, and the company of some 3200 fellow passengers, we disembarked pleased and plump with relief and sadness, already thinking about how hard it will be to return to more normal traveling of solitude and uncertainty, where adventure is replaced by comfort, and the search for sustenance becomes an absurd exercise in restraint.
We expected to enjoy the destinations, and we expected to tolerate the means. In fact the destinations took some tolerating (hordes) and the means (the ship) was too comfortable not to have an affair with. Cruising life, as the name connotes, is easy, one is fed, pampered, entertained, fed some more, and gently rocked to sleep every night. There are foreign, exotic faces offering every hospitality at every turn. It is easy to be a gracious guest in such an environment, you have already paid for everything, and every gesture is given genuine and forgiving, without the mantle of tipping or interpreting motivations.
We have been spoiled, I don’t think I will easily get Oscar on another vacation that doesn’t include a “life-boat-drill”. Pat, who went along skeptically is already asking about
Despite the hordes, there were wonders of the world to absorb. The remains of the city of
The other ports of call were stellar, and only escape mention in the shadow of the ones above. There was a bit of “ruin burn-out” with so many prime examples on the tour. Pompeii was overwhelming in it’s size and condition, complete homes!
It was a wonderful manner for our small team of three to vacation. Oscar quickly earned free range as a citizen of this small-country sized ship, coming and going as he pleased, bouncing between new friends, favorite crew, and familiar family. We all wandered about our giant floating living room of a vacation, snacking, being entertained and marveling at the worlds over the railings. Our last day on the ship was November 5th, we woke up to the moment where the election was called for our Barack Obama. The clouds spread, the sun shone through, and like in
Cruising is not for everyone, nor for anyone too often, but it is perhaps perfect for us, every 5 or so years! We found this one so inexpensive we couldn’t resist, I think it’ll be a while till another one comes along.
Interested in photos: click here
A moment to our transitory lives…. We lost a close friend this week, to a well fought cancer…. Tom stands as a hero to making one’s life a wonderful adventure…. His grace in these last few years will stay with me forever!....Today I’m appreciating absolutely everything….Thanks for reading.