“I am so sorry to be calling you so late but we have just received news…”. By this time, I was fully awake, even though the clock said only 1:00 AM on the last night of our cruise.
Fortunately, it wasn’t anything personal, but rather the Rome airport had suffered a serious fire and our flight might be in jeopardy, very likely delaying our departure. My thoughts vacillated between “great, more time toexplore and eat more pasta” to “damn, I only have one pair of clean undies left”. But we had booked an extra night at the airport hotel to avoid a tight connection between the ship and the flight, so we were okay; our flight left as scheduled.
|These were stationed all over the ship.|
The cruise was good and generally, I can’t think of much I didn’t like. Oh sure, the food could have been better and hotter, but if I had to cook 20,000 meals every day for people from 62 countries, I’d have some challenges too. There could have been more information available about sights we passed, and the Greek captain could have been easier to understand, but he gave us a ride that was smooth as silk in a ship that was the cleanest you will ever find, and the sights we saw more than made up for the lack of information. I even discovered I could go without internet for many days at a time, but I sure did miss the news and knowing what was going on around the world.
What really made this cruise were the people we met, primarily at meals (we always shared a table). There were people from Spain, India, New Zealand, Ireland, Malta, Brazil, Ukraine, Amsterdam, but most were from England, Australia, Canada and the US. Kathy and I had each just gone on one other cruise and we were newbies among cruising veterans. We were impressed when we met Terry and his wife Bonnie who have been on 30 cruises, but Xavier topped everyone – this was his 75th cruise and he is only 46! Did I mention he is from Monte Carlo and in the rough diamond trade?
In closing, there was really one experience that was as meaningful as any for me. We’d been randomly seated for dinner with Rae and Caroline so many times that we practically knew each other’s blood types by the end of the cruise, and became friends in the process. They are from the south of England, and we had fun sharing in the excitement with the birth of Princess Charlotte. As we disembarked and picked up our luggage on our way to the bus, we heard someone calling our names from quite a distance. We turned and found our new friends running to give us good bye hugs. It’s always the personal experiences, isn’t it?
(Please see other posts that include more information on specific sights. Posts on Turkey and Greece are still in the works, but will be forthcoming soon.)