Cruise of 2013 – First Full Day at Sea – November 15
I awoke early. Stepping out on the balcony, ten decks high, I could view the sea, still a tad choppy and could feel the movement of the ship under my feet. It had rocked me to a wondrously deep sleep the night before and I had it in my mind that I needed to go for a run. (I don’t try to understand the way my brain works..) We had ordered breakfast the eve before to be delivered to the room (a perk of a suite cabin) and it would not arrive till after 8:00 am, so I decided to brave the elements and run outside. Two floors up, I exited the interior of the ship and promptly ran five kilometers around the deck, dodging the chubby (Americans) who waddled along the interior of the track in the “WALK” zone. I say dodging as the ship was still plunging up and down and the wind was near gale-force, driving the ill-looking others into my lane. When finished, I drank my water, found the actual gym and an aged but well maintained Concept 2 rowing machine, rowed 3.5km then stumbled back to my room.
Upon arrival, sweaty though nowhere near as odiferous as some of the more surprising gym visitors that morning, I found no food had arrived. A quick call told me it was on its way and after a quicker warmish shower, was noshing on kippers and toast. We all noted that though the room was not small, it was not well suited to meals. The only table was a sub-knee height (shin height as I would learn later on) coffee tableau. We finished, dressed and wandered out to explore the ship.
My youngest boy did not wish to take part in the “kid” activities in the ship’s day camp areas so I was fairly quickly roped into the following:
· Inline Skating
· Swimming in cold pool water
· Rock Wall Climbing
Swimming. Cold but no colder than a public pool in the summer. Cruise folks wrapped in towels and sweaters commented that we were braver than they.
Climbing was not as easy as I had surmised. I made it within five feet of the upper bell and promptly slipped, misjudging a finger hold’s size. They would have swung me back to complete the climb but I refused. It was just not right to do so and I was not about to do it again from the bottom just yet. Failure. My son in the mean time climbed the same twice. Gymnasts… Ugh
The skating was actually not that bad even though I hadn’t strapped on inline skates in almost 16 years. I whipped around the figure eight at the back of the ship, lapping my struggling boy, stopping to help him on occasion and smiling at the cruisers who seems surprised that an adult knew how to skate. Then I promptly tripped over my son, landed on my knee and hand and spent the next few hours in pain. My only concern? My scraped knee would attract sharks in two days.
We went to one of the little café’-like shops in the middle of the ship’s open-ish air promenade to have coffee and treats. A very attractive brunette woman and her boyfriend sat at table beside us. Ice blue eyes, well dressed, well toned, ate with her mouth WIDE OPEN. I was aghast. I tried not to look. She might as well have had a hairy back and a tail. Her BF did not seem to notice, though he being a bit of a stereotypical guido-ish New Yorker, perhaps this is not an unappealing thing? Held myself back from taking a picture of her as evidence. Didn’t finish my cookie.
A few items from the day that I jotted down:
· Caribbean woman and man at entrance to buffet restaurant prompting everyone to use hand sanitizer with little rhymes and songs about “washie washie then yummy yummy” wore thin quite quickly.
· Sea mist dries into salt and makes nice white marks on dark clothing
· Being a suite guest results in constant calls and visits from concierge and guest services to make sure all is well. Perhaps we weren’t as needy as they expected?
· Waiter at restaurant told me that the unofficial drinking age in Jamaica is 5
· Flying fish look like dragonflies from 10 floors up
· Cruise people are CHATTY and for the most part drunk
· Large people do not plan ahead when buying suits as they all seem to be a bit too small
· Pools twelve decks above sea level SLOSH more than you can imagine
· I cannot manage four drinks in three hours
· The Jamaican reggae house band doesn’t seem to realize that Sweet Home Alabama is a song that sounds odd/ironic/wrong when sung by black men
That evening we received an invitation to attend a Suite Guests Only thank you dinner. We left the kids after feeding them with a few playstation games and instructions to NOT LEAVE THE CABIN, dressed and headed to the meal. Champagne, lobster and steak. Nom nom. Old people. Nice but REALLY REALLY chatty. Opinionated too. The HR officer for the ship sat at our table, a nice ex-military guy from Connecticut. After a while he became increasingly bombarded with issues from our table guests. My wife joined in. I sipped my champagne and enjoyed lobster.
We headed back to room and ended our day well fed and relaxed. The storm picked up outside as were gently rocked to sleep yet again.
Quote from my youngest to end the day: “Most of the people on deck ten like us are really old. That’s probably because they want to use up all their money before they die..:
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