It is early in the morning, the girls are asleep while most of the ship seems to be stirring.
Not surprisingly, I was the only person in the fitness room for the first 30 minutes. The guy who then came in is doing a Malta-Malta cruise. Looking our at breakfast, I can see people headed away from the ship with their suitcases wheeling behind.
One of the positives about the cruise; if you are capable of handling your luggage yourself, you are allowed to haul it away at the end unlike other cruise lines that insist you drop suitcases out in the corridor to be hauled off the ship for you and reclaimed in a large arrivals hall. The girls and I will head out about 0900 and make our way slowly to the airport.
The ship is new, only two years old and doesn’t have a bit of worn or musty feeling. Even the low rent rooms are cheerful with nice beds, decent lighting and bathrooms with tiled showers.
At first blush, the idea of being able to go and do whatever you want seems great. I am sure that if you are traveling with young children it would be really key. Even the opportunity to eat all meals in the Garden Café didn’t stop most from hauling unruly children into the formal dining rooms. The shows were good, the musicians, singers and dancers all terrific.
Balance this with the overwhelming hucksterism. Somehow, if you have to buy raffle tickets, I don’t think you are winning a “free” trip to anywhere. Being cynical, I think they easily took in more than the value of what they were proposing to give away. Always things to buy, seminars on those things to buy, and charges for just about everything. Constant interruptions from the overhead speaker about something else on which you could spend your money.
Even on Friday night where the ship had provided three loaves of challah and a bottle of Maneschevitz for a Shabbat Service, it was hard to hear each other over the sales pitch. Interesting collection of attendees: Conneticut now living in Jersusalem cruising with his wife, Russian immigrant to New York, older couple from Tunisia now living in France along with their son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, another French couple and me. No count of a minyan according to the guys…. but then I don’t think they would have been happy with the prayer books discovered in the closet at the end. Reform is not them.
Over all, I had a good time. Traveling with the two girls was fun. I took photos, knit and did not do much for work….