Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Captain's Lunch

Nov 26, 2011

“How did they get in without an invitation?”

That was Greg’s question tonight. 

The three of us received an invitation to the captain’s lunch – meant for pinnacle, diamond plus, diamond and platinum members.  A payoff for returning patrons.  Lucky for me, I have reached one of those categories because I tag along with Wyona and Greg and get to have my name put on invitations with theirs.

Before this first event for me, they would go off to hear the Captain talk – everyone in the room with a glass of champagne in their hands, or off to the Captain’s brunch or hors oeuvres with the Captain. Now this invitation had my name on it as well, and said in a kind way, in order to be admitted, the card had to be shown at the door. 

And yes, we were checked at the door.  When I went in, about five steps ahead of Greg and Wyona, instead of offering me that sanitizing cloth that everyone has to rub on their hands before they go in to the dining room, the one the woman was holding one in her hand, instead of putting it in mine, she held it behind her back and she asked me, “How could I help you today?” 

Now I had dressed up for the occasion (was smart casual) and my name was on that invitation. I had on my new cameo, the one I have been practising wearing, the one I wanted one ever since I was a child.  Older women would wear ones in the late 1940’s, ones that I would admire and in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, even 50’s, I would go by Birks and looking longing at samples in the windows, wondering when my time (enough $$$) would come to get one. 

When I was with Mary in Pompeii, I bought one and have taken to the practise of wearing it, since I have so many decades that I missed wearing one in and must make up for it to get the cost per wearing down.  Even that piece of jewellery was ready and on for the Captain’s specialty lunch.

“I am here for the Captain’s lunch,” I explained.  “My invitation is with them,” I answered pointing to Wyona and Greg.  The sanitizing cloth came immediately to my hand, along with a lovely welcome, though the invitation was securitized as they passed it to the gatekeeper on their side of the isle.
We were seated and soon another couple joined us in the MacBeth dining room.   

“How many cruises have you been on,” said Wyona and when they answered this was their first one, the rest of us handled the news with aplomb, not missing a beat but as Greg said, how did they get in --and asking them how they were enjoying it, would they take another and where were they from, what shows they had enjoyed onboard ... to which the answer was they were from Lutton and after the shows, the bars are so full they can’t find a place to get a drink. That is about it for how much conversation they offered. Greg worked hard for the rest of the meal, keeping the dialogue going, but he couldn’t get any information from them ... about the man’s work, their family, what else they liked to do. 

We had seen someone turned away from the dining room the night before, miffed and loudly arguing with the person who had denied them entrance, but every Cruise Compass reminds people of appropriate attire: bare feet, shorts, tank tops and t-shirts are not permitted in the dining room.  This couple, however, made it passed the gatekeepers and the couple were wearing shorts and t-shirts and without a captain’s invitation, unlike me, dressed to the nines and still stopped. 

Events like these take a lot of time for the three of us try to figure out how that just happened.  Did they make it through because they were so old no one stopped them? Perhaps they are so deaf they didn’t hear someone telling them to stop which is Greg’s guess.  A good guess given they only nodded and smiled at him all dinner when he tried to get conversation going?   

Or did they accidently take their place in this dining room, since it is their usual assigned one for evening sitting and they just missed knowing which meal they were going to and came to lunch instead of supper?   

Who knows, but the whole incident makes the three of us burst out laughing when we talk about it.

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