Sunday morning. Sophie wants to know what we've got planned.
A good grooming is the first order of the day.
Her brother has his fringe trimmed. A PON that can see is a happy PON.
The newspaper forecasts a drought. Angus has to look up to see what 'nappes phreatiques' are. Lower on the front page there's an article about heavy snowfalls in the Pyrenees . Crazy weather
We went on a cruise once. From Vancouver to Alaska. The travel agent was reassuring '' It’s a very international clientele.The food and wine will be wonderful and the two of you will have a private table ''.
The cruise was populated by two thousand guests of a large liquor company and a coterie of off duty Delta airline stewards... and us. We were the only non-Americans on the ship. There was also rumoured to be a French diplomat and his wife on board. It seemed that after their first dinner at sea with some of the 'we're here to party' airline stewards they developed a nervous ailment, locked themselves in their cabin and survived the next two weeks on room service. We never saw them so they may only have been a figment of shipboard gossip. Our dining companions ( the private table turned out to be a table of twelve ) were a group of Chicago night club owners and their wives/nieces. A cheerful crowd whose martini fueled behavior bordered on the ebullient. They called all the Filipino waiters ‘’Miguel“ in a friendly if politically incorrect way. The Norwegian ships officers would be greeted as 'Sven'. As in '' Hi Sven. Shouldn't you be up on the bridge driving this thing ? There's icebergs about ".
One of the mid-Western gentlemen suffered from narcolepsy which displayed itself suddenly and frequently. This was initially alarming. ''Don’t worry about Hank. He’s got some shrapnel in his head. He doesn’t know he’s doing it '' said his niece. The source of the shrapnel remained a subject that 'The Font' deemed best not to inquire into. In Hanks lucid moments Angus learnt some of the more arcane and possibly not quite legal details of running a profitable inner city night club.
The wives/nieces spent much of their day jewellery shopping. Purchases would be shown off over soup with the beguiling and innocent mantra '' I know it was expensive but it’s all tax deductible ''. Our co-diners also had a penchant for choosing exotic deserts with names like Hawaiian Kahlua Bombe Surprise. Invariably these would come adorned with sparklers and be carried across the restaurant by a trail of waiters holding the spitting and smoking concoctions on platters high above their heads . Other tables would stop and look at us as if to say '' Boy ! That's a fun group ". Or possibly, like Angus, they were thinking something else.
We have not been on a cruise since although 'The Font' has recently raised the topic of crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary. This suggestion has been met by Angus with a noncommittal silence.
This article from Popular Mechanics ( of all places ) is what jogged my memory about ocean voyaging :
Your Vancouver to Alaska experience has just reinforced all my prejudices about the world of cruise ships...
I avoid any water where I can't touch bottom while keeping my head in the air. But Gail has hit the nail on the head. You've just described the package-tour nightmare, which, truth be told, could unfold in a resort as well as on a ship. But on a ship, you're really hostage.
Do Not Do It! They're worse now than they ever were. We see people from the ships walking around Wellington during the cruiseboat season and honestly many of them look like they're waiting for their coffins. And the stories of D &V bugs tearing through the entire ship are horrific!
Your cruise sounds awful, but the one described in PM sounds truly alarming. I'd be willing to bet that every one of those passengers voted for Trump.
This reminds me of the time my husband and I flew from Paris to Athens and got on a cruise ship. We shared our table with a couple from Italy. I made the mistake of talking about how wonderful French food is. The Italian husband glared at me and said, "It was the Italians who taught the French how to cook!".
Ooops. Amazing how sensitive people can be !
The helicopter trip to see the scientists on the glacier, the sea plane trip to the wilderness to spot bears, the zodiac trip at dawn to see the otters were all marvellous - as was Alaska. We were the only people who ever got of the boat and went on the excursions. There again night club owners probably keep to an unPresbyterian routine.
Isn't the Queen Mary dog friendly? The "relief area" might be seen by Sophie as a wonderful buffet!
Would her urge to recycle be as strong in a force 8 gale ?
Never fancied cruising, but as with most things, one shouldn't really decry it until after one has tried it. So we've tried cruising and no, I still don't like it ! Not my "scene" at all, any more than package deal holidays are either. I'm just not that sociable, and I don't like crowds. Crossing the Atlantic on any ship, even the Queen Mary, is my idea of hell. Nowhere to go on excursions to break the monotony, you can't get off, and all you can see - is sea !
Had to smile at the thought of Sophie on the Queen Mary, viewing the "relief" area as a buffet ! One hopes that Bob would remain ever the gentleman, even in a force 8 gale !
This reinforces everything horrible I've ever heard about "cruising", even as your account made me laugh loudly. I have, however, fairly recently crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 and found it quite a pleasant respite from the world. A number of other passengers cited it as preferable to the groping involved at airports, the food was good, and It was like a mini-vacaton, with time to rest and read. YM, as they say in internet-land, MV.
Not being a 'cruise' person, I have done the Alaskan cruise and sat at an 'international' table with great people. The only odd person was one who viewed the whole experience through a camera lens. The Popular Mechanics cruise would have had me jumping ship!
Our Alaskan cruise was challenging. We went in May. If it was not raining, then it was sleeting or snowing. We braved the weather,went on the excursions, and wore every piece of clothing we carried with us in layers. At any given time we had no dry clothes, except for evening attire, to wear. Our room had wet clothing hanging on everything. The worst part was the squishing of every step in our wet shoes. It was not just us,it was everyone that got off the ship!
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