Wednesday, November 2, 2011
We’re back from our wonderful vacation, and as always, I’m glad to be home. True to my word, I wrote while I was away. I spent time working on my work in progress, and, I while I didn’t post Wednesday’s Words, I did write some, and here’s the first, written last Wednesday:
I’m writing this as our ship, The Norwegian Jewel, is docking in Nassau, in The Bahamas. The very first cruise we ever took, all the way back in 1993, was a three-day excursion from Port Canaveral to here and back. I do recall that as that first ship – the Oceanic of the Big Red Boat Line (renamed the Disney Line)—was due to dock, we had requested a wake-up call to ensure we could be on deck to watch this very exciting procedure.
There have been no wake-up calls on this cruise, so far. Of course, times really have changed and if I want to get up at a certain time, I’d just set the alarm on my cell phone.
I do know one thing, at this point, with absolute certainty: every cruise I go on from now on must be on ship where I can have a private balcony.
Our cabin is on deck 9, so we’re a ways up from the water. The balcony door is heavy, and stays open until you close it. Each night we’ve gone to sleep with that door wide open, the sound of the wind and the ocean a seductive lullaby.
I haven’t slept this well in years!
There can be no doubt that most of the people who boarded this vessel in New York City were in desperate need of a vacation. Swear to God, I’ve never seen so many unhappy or angry faces in my life.
And complaints? Holy cow, some people complain loud and long about everything and anything! The port terminal was too hot, the port terminal was too cold, there were too many people, there was too much waiting, the free coffee was too strong, the free coffee was too weak, they didn’t get a very good boarding number...
I live a very sheltered life, I know I do. But we went on vacation earlier this year to the New Jersey shore, and the people we met there were great, lots of smiles, everybody focused on having lots of fun. There’d been nary a frown to be seen.
We’re at the mid-way point of the cruise, and I can tell you for the most part, the faces seem a little bit happier now.
Soon, my beloved and I will have breakfast and then go ashore. Fortified with meds, I should be able to walk a bit of Nassau. Fortunately we have most of the day here, so there’ll be no rush. We can take our time, and do as we like. We may even take a taxi ride to see some of the island.
I’m not much for shopping, which, if you’ve read these essays over the years, you know. However, there are exceptions to this rule, vacation shopping being the biggest one. I can’t resist looking at the “souvenir” offerings whenever we travel. You can be certain I’ve already gone into a few of the shops here on board, and will likely do so again before our time at sea is done. I’m also looking forward to seeing all the glitz and glitter Nassau has to offer.
I even attended the shopping seminar the other day! Was I surprised that the talk focused on diamonds and emeralds and tanzanite? Nope. I’m sure there are people who come all the way down here to buy their jewellery as this is a tax-free, duty-free shopping destination for my American neighbours.
I’m not really in the market for precious gems. But I do like the sparkly and the shiny, and I’m certain I’ll be able to find something inexpensive that fits the bill.
My beloved has already given me a necklace he bought at our one and only shore excursion, which took place in Port Canaveral. I am now the proud owner of a buffalo horn necklace, from which dangles a prehistoric shark’s tooth. This exquisite piece was handcrafted by a gentleman, one of your noble veterans. The man sells his wares at the Lone Cabbage – where you can get air boat rides, deep fried gator tail, and in our case, a mini wild-life show—on the shores of the beautiful St. Johns River, not far out from Port Canaveral.
Yes, I know I’m spoiled. What can I say?