Monday, July 4, 2011

Day Ten -- Heading Home

Today I woke sometime before six, and by six I was down at the pursers desk ref a charge on my bill for discover scuba in st Thomas. They said I needed to talk to the tour desk at ten, and I opt to try to let R*** sort it out if she can. But otherwise, the morning has been wonderful. I went on deck and the swimming pool (and surrounding deck) were deserted, even of staff, so I had my first good long swim, many laps, many strokes, and followed that up by almost my first ever that I can remember visit to a Jacuzzi, with ambient temp of about 98. It is 76 degrees out now, but those bubbling jets fooled my old body into thinking it was in the thirties again.

Followed this up with a cup of coffee from the forward galley at the garden cafĂ© (lukewarm) and one from the aft galley, just right for drinking back in my cabin, which I am. Wearing my new Virgin Gorda gym shirt and will shower and dress shortly, with no particular agenda for the day. Packing won’t be much of a prob, and other than a visit to the tour lady for a price of south America and machu pichu trip and a crew talent show at 1430, have a wide open day at sea.

There were a few lovely shots of a moon with the globes, but I already HAVE em from the Sea, and am really beginning to think enuf is enuf. OK, I broke down and got one t shirt, but I passed on them from almost all of the places that we visited, and even let go of the refrig magnets as well, as I have so many they fall off when I open the frig. Wind 22 knots. Pool 83 deg. Jacuzzi temp about 97 deg moderate seas, high steady barometer. Took my shower and finally figured out that the left handle does strength and the right one is hot/cold. Works better when you don’t think they are respectively hot and cold.

Wrote letter to J**, the South African NCL rep aboard and asked for package for S America including air and Macu Pichu. Sat on my balcony and proof read trip so far, pasting parts into the trip diary and into scrap for posting on my blog. Comfy in my new gym shirt and shorts, but nobody has called (R*** or anyone else) so may take a bike ride awhile, or just stroll around the deck in the warm sun. I got noticeable color yesterday while stranded on my Robinson Cruso beach.

It is ten thirty now, and I am back on my balcony. This has happened since I last wrote. I went to the gym and rode for twenty minutes on the recumbent exercise bike, burning off about 80 calories. Then, having had one first already today (jacuzzi) I had a second, finding an empty treadmill with nobody waiting, and walked on it for ten minutes, at speeds ranging for 1.1 to 4.mph and with a little incline for part of the time. It occurs to me that such a device might be a good thing for me to use regularly.

Followed that by a walk around deck (probably 2.5mph I should think) and thence down to deck seven, and there I stuck a note under J’s door re a quote for a South America trip and Machu Pichu add on, and set myself up for a 3:30 appointment as well to talk to her. That is an hour after the crew show.

Then I saw R*** who told me she had taken care of the erroneous charge on my bill, and so I asked her for a cuppa in the same place where we had our first one, and we repaired to the same table and talked, and I had my first ever latte, which came in a huge square cup and was sort of lukewarm. Most pleasant visit and she told me about her visit to Machu Pichu, and about the Crown which is the vessel which makes the transit. I fell into conversation with another disgruntled cruiser who had paid $150 to upgrade to an outer room (deck five) and she was, I think, unsettled to hear of my gratis upgrade to a balcony, which I took great pains NOT to tell her how I did it.

So – three firsts in one day…Jacuzzi, treadmill and latte. Now I am off to look at designer watches half off and try my luck in the casino again…twenty dollar stake.

// And that turned out, for the second time to be a mistake, as I drew a pair of eights and had to hit it instead of split it against a six showing. So I lost my twenty real quick and then walked by the entrance to Impressions and saw the big piano empty and the room empty, and so I asked R*** for the key, and she made a quick call and sent me up to the 13th deck opposite the steak house. There, the Yamaha was unlocked but has a cracked sounding board for which I do not intend to take the blame. I drew a spattering of older people who stayed,, listened, made requests and left. I had only half brain freeze and was able to pull up some of my favorites from memory.

The designer watches, btw, all had expansion bands and nobody to size them for me, so instead of saving hundred, I saved eighty.//Flashing light invites me to go up and see Don in 11626 which has lounge chairs on the balconys and almost an extra room…quite nice, but more than I need. I showed them and then just him some of the pix from the last two cruises, and he even seemed to want to see bears and Kuwait, but I didn’t stay long, but went to the crew talent show.

Instead it was so jammed that I sat in the very very back and heard three ok vocals against the non stop muttering of a pink old dowager next to me. I finally said to her, quite loudly. “Are you going to talk throughout the entire concert?” She looked like she had been slapped, mission accomplished. But then they began the PC version of Old Man River, and I had just read it on line anyhow, so went to the art auction and did not see the bear picture going. Some pix went for $40 and some for six or seven thousand. Je ne compred pas.
Next stop was J***, from Durban, and our exchange was rather brief but pleasant.

The 14 day cruise from Valparaiso to Montevideo is $5200 and there is space available in February. It is the Norwegian Crown and leaves the end of February. Adding in Machu Pichu and airfare to Chile and from Argentina brings total cost up to around ten thousand, but look what mileage I got out of the supersonic jet fighter [electric lightning] ride for about the same price. It is a big temptation to leave her a deposit tomorrow.

In fact, I wrote to C*** and told him his fairness and generosity had turned out to be a good business decision, as I am probably going to go for a cruise at quadruple the cost. My supper was all cashmere and again, I said no to bread, wine, appetizer and salad and desert, opting instead of filet mignon, onion soup and a baked potato. Top notch. Solitary table by the window. Watched joggers going by as I ate my steak.

Went next to the internet cafe where I checked on LI wx ( 33 low 49 high), but no precip in fx for tomorrow or Thursday, when we get home. Wrote to CV as said, and quick look at my blog before time ran out. If a special presents itself tomorrow, I may buy some, but as it is, I can go a full day without internet….I think.
The show dollywood is scheduled to begin in less than a half hour, and I intend to remain dressed up and go to it

// And I did. On our first day aboard, I sat in the very first seat in the first row. Tonight I sat in the very last row, second floor, in the corner. It was a lot of dancing, with smoke and loud music. The theatre was fairly full a full 15 minutes before the show was to begin. It was fine, but not my thing, and after about 40 minutes, I was in the casino where I played three hands only, winning all of them, and feeling better as I left. I went to the desk to ask about express debarkation, and while they do not have what the Sea did, they said it is fine by them if I want to carry my suitcase off myself so I don’t have to search for it on the pier. So I began packing.

I got a real nice smile from C*** as I passed LeBistro and a wan wave from poor A*** who is still feeling punk. Cannot deny however, that during the performance in the theatre I was feeling pretty raw and borderline teary, thinking of my dead parents, far away children, Xmases past and empty house present.

Don’t know if I have specifically mentioned it, but there are a substantial number of very handicapped people on board, in wheelchairs and seemingly palsied as well. Blind people.

Funny, but while I was watching the bollywood in the theatre, I found myself wishing that I could watch a good spy movie on tv instead, and that is JUST what came on tv tonight.

At Sea Lat 24 25 Lon 67 00 oat 76 deg

1 comment:

BenB said...

Personally, I ALWAYS split if I have 2 of any thing 7 or up when pitted against a dealer 6. The odds are good that the dealer is going to bust.
You mentioned you had your first Latte, you didn't mention whether you actually liked it or not?!! I used to drink those things all the time, but the $3, $4 and up price for them was getting to be too much, so I stopped drinking them altogether and haven't had one in years, the last that I can remember. I mostly opt for the free coffee at work and occasionally buying coffee at McDonald's (it is quite amazing how many McDonald's have ample enough parking to fit a semi in there without blocking everyone from driving in and out).
I am taking it you never get sea-sick on these cruises?