Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The cruise

It's a senior cruise. It wasn't advertised as such, but the vast majority of the passengers are retirees. I've seem maybe a dozen kids so far. At 39, I am the youngest diner at my table of eight. The disco had at most ten people on the dancefloor at once. By 1:30, the club was empty save myself and the bartender. I feel somewhat out of place amongst so many old folk. And, my hopes for a ship board fling are dashed. I doubt I'll need the condoms I brought along.


David has already booked a second cruise. A lady at our dinner table mentioned that she was taking the same boat on its next cruise, a tour of the eastern Mediterranean with stops at  Sicily, Turkey, Athens, Crete, and back to Rome. David was immediately intrigued. So, he thought about it overnight and booked today. I told David that I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to spend the rest of his life living on a cruise ship. He actually started considering it, figuring the math. He thinks that if he lived in an interior room, he could afford it. His biggest concern is that Amazon doesn't deliver. He likes Amazon.

Being only a seven day cruise, hopefully the average age will drop below fifty. Maybe I can have a fling then. I might need the condoms then. Well see.


He booked a Junior Suite for this trip. It has a bathtub, a balcony, a small sitting area, and a walk-in closet. It's a small walk-in closet, but you can walk into the damn thing. We had a touch of worry when we arrived and saw that the room had a double bed. I like David, but I'd sleep in the walk-in closet before I shared a bed with him. But the beds are designed to separate into twin beds if required. Neal, the cabin attendant, took care of it for us. He also brought me an ashtray for the balcony. It's designed to not blow away. It weighs about five pounds. Sitting on the balcony with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and enjoying the ocean and breeze is a joy. I'm waiting for room service to show up now, so I can have lunch out there.


Ooh, what timing. Room service came. It was okay. Food is included in the price, booze and specialty dining cost extra, as does late night room service. Dinner is at the main dining room. The tables seat eight. Our table is two married couples, a pair of sisters, both school teachers, David and myself. One of the teachers is a cruise virgin like myself. One of the married couples have been doing one or two cruises a year for the last thirty years. Old hands, them.

Dinner is a three course meal with about a half dozen choices for each course. I had the steak. It was tasty but dry. I've had better. I skipped the dessert so I could watch the boat leave.

The other main dining option is a large buffet on the eleventh deck. It has a large selection and great  views.


Fort Lauderdale has a row of long barrier  islands. There be the beaches. Behind the islands is a shipping channel, used by the cruise ships, container ships, pleasure boaters, and what-not. It makes for a good set up. Fort Lauderdale essentially has two waterfronts, the beaches and the docks.

The ship was pointed the wrong way, so we had to back up a ways and turn to leave. A Broward County Sheriff's boat provided an escort, mostly keeping pleasure boats at bay. Those riding upon the pleasure boats like to wave and holler. I waved back. I didn't holler.


The rocking of the boat is odd. I haven't been seasick, but it us a weird, discombulating feeling. It doesn't bother me; I just find it a touch strange. It's day four now, and I still haven't gotten used to it.

But, I haven't gotten used to this whole experience. Yesterday I read a bit, had a lovely three course meal, watched a show, and went to the club. Every now and then the boat would rock noticeably, reminding me that I'm doing all this on a boat, traveling to Europe. This is all outside my range of normal.

But, I'm loving it.

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