Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Boarding the Solstice



October 26, 2012

Five tired diners arrived at dinner last night.  We had packed, taken an early bus, transfer from the boat to the airport, flown from Venice to Barcelona, caught another transfer from the airport to the ship, done our fire drill and were eating our three course meal, but so tired we could hardly hold our menus up.  Greg was not the only one who closed his eyes while still sitting up at the dining table.  The waiter actually had to wake Wyona up to serve her dessert.  “Are you alright?” he questioned. Those who didn’t sleep during dinner, drifted off to sleep during the show in the Solstice Theatre.  Moiya said, “Even though my eyes are asleep, in my head, I can hear this beautiful music far away.” 

An a cappela quartet from Sweden, The Ringmasters, are so fantastic, that listening to them would be enough to make one want to book this cruise.  As an added bonus they have splendid dance moves appropriate to the barber shop sounds they make while they sing.  My prediction is that it won’t be long until there will be an old-timers on-ship groupie set following them from venue to venue where they sing.

Getting out of the bus to enter the cruise terminal was the hardest moment of the cruise so far for Moiya.  Wyona had hurt her right arm rotator cuff again when the stewardess asked us to put our arm rests in place during the take off.  One of those moments for her, when there is a sharp cry of pain and Greg and I are sitting on either side of her, keep our faces straight ahead as though we haven’t heard her and then we move our eyes over enough to see if tears are coming down her face.  

Moiya said it was the last step down from the bus that was difficult for her – the worst so far.  We had already seen that the mean age of the cruisers we are with is older on this boat than the last boat.  If all the cruisers were all line up and the word go was said, still the five of us would be out in front of the rest.  This is not to dis them, for Moiya and I went up for the 7 am stretching class this morning and there is another set of cruisers, some of them already up and on the those tread mills, or using the weight machines, which only means that those who were doing that, are already so far ahead of the 5 of us, we wouldn’t have seen them take off at the start line.

I did a free stretching class, then a free pilates class, and then 45 minutes on the tread mill, to see if I can get myself in the condition of the better cruisers in the next 28 days.

We were handed a single sheet of paper as we checked in, one telling us that for 5 days, we will be in the Gulf of Aden, a place know for modern day piracy.  Tomorrow is a drill to put piracy safety drill procedures in place.  The code word is Operation Heaven.  Moiya and I were laughing this morning.  Don’t do the drill and it may be your first step on your way to heaven – so though we laugh, our windows will be closed at night as they direct, and we are going to learn how to leave our outside cabins and find safety in the corridors should we hear the code word spoken – so now we learn we have paid more for a balcony, a less safe space.  Where is an inside cabin when you need one?  I guess we will be out making friends with the inside cabin people across the way. 

The Captain tells us not to worry.  They have more security staff than other ships being targeted.  Now that should make me feel safe?  Well, no safer than Moiya felt when she heard Wyona say she is taking the Egyptian excursions from the boat because the bus will have a suited man with a gun to protect us.  I don’t know how the suit is going to help.  Moiya said that having a man with a gun on an excursion makes her wonder why she is taking it at all. I just think, oh boy, growing old is a lot of fun that I hadn’t imagined it would be. 

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