Sunday, August 5, 2012

A cruise too long?

I really admire Steve for being able to keep up his blog every single day of the cruise. As my friends know, I only post about every port day. Or so. My excuse is that the sea days are so boring relaxing that there isn’t much to write about. Somehow Steve makes it seem interesting. Every day!  Good on you, Steve!

Tomorrow we get to LaLaLand and have to run the gauntlet of the USA CBP (Customs and Border Patrol). Again. Of all the countries we’ve visited, the US and India stand out for their draconian visitor policies. India gets double black stars for its pre-cruise rigamarol plus the getting-off-the-ship rigamarol. The US only gets a single black star for its getting-off-the-ship rigamarol. I’m trying to think of a way to make this sound funny, but I can’t. I try to imagine what all the Aussies think of the time it takes to disembark compared to all the other countries we’ve visited; I’m guessing their thoughts aren’t pretty! In New York it took us about an hour and a half; we’ll see what it is in Los Angeles. Compare that to the other countries who board the ship early and check on the passports so the immigration procedure is essentially invisible to us, the passengers, as we are able to wake up in the morning and just walk off into Barcelona or Instanbul or Alexandria or wherever.

Several of our friends are getting off the ship (temporarily) in LA and flying to Hawaii in order to spend a few days there instead of on the ship for four days. I guess more than just Randy and me are getting a bit stir-crazy! We have five ports left after LA and 17 sea days before we get back to Sydney. That’s a LOT of sea days with not much inbetween!

One of our other friends, Christine, broke her leg just turning around in her stateroom; she has a cast from the ship’s hospital but the ship’s doctor has told her she MUST go to a hospital in LA and be seen by a specialist. I don’t know how they can make her do that (the ship’s doc said she thinks Christine will need surgery and that’s why they are making her go to a hospital stateside) but apparently they are. The good news is that Christine and her husband we scheduled to get off in LA; the bad news is that this was a neat American vacation for them both before they got on in NY and after they were to get off in LA. We had another two extremely sick people taken off the ship in Cabo San Lucas (unscheduled stop). The passengers are dropping like flies! I think we’re up to at least eight or ten that have been taken off in one way or another. Probably more.

We have a lecturer on board, Gary Shahan, who is so good that we haven’t missed a single one of his lectures. He is a retired teacher of social studies—I never really knew what social studies was/is, but from the breadth of his lectures, I’m beginning to understand. He has talked on: Earthquakes, tsunamis, Route 66, Columbus, the Panama Canal history (and he narrated while we were transiting the canal), and he has 16—SIXTEEN!—more lectures for most of the sea days and we won’t miss a single one of those lectures. He’s so interesting that I don’t care what the topic is, we’re going to listen/watch him. Dave The Cruise Director (I think of him that way, not just Dave) has put out a call for any passengers who want to talk/lecture/show-and-tell/demonstrate about anything at all so maybe the sea days will be interesting after all.

I may have mentioned before that we have a pre-dinner cocktail group that meets in the Rendez-Vous (that’s how the ship spells it so don’t send the grammar police after me!) Bar for an hour before dinner. Our group will be somewhat smaller as two couples and a single guy are doing the LAX-HNL trip. Tonight there will be pre-pre-dinner cocktails as the Cool Cruisers get together at 1700, then we’ll do our normal thing at 1845. Do you get the idea that we spend a lot of time in the bar?

Our daughter Kathy has a horse she has been showing, Red, White, ‘n Blu (did I spell that right, Kathy?) and this past weekend he got Reserve Champion in halter, and Kathy got two blue ribbons (firsts, in case you have been living under the sea for the past few decades) riding him. We’re really, really happy for her (and her horse, of course). These photos are from last year's show.
Kathy's horse, Blu

Kathy and Blu

Kathy and Blu

Kathy and Blu

Kathy and her husband Ken and Blu

For a change, Pam and Blu

Kathy and Blu at the show stable

So much for the exciting life of a ‘round-the-world-cruiser while on board.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Randy and Pam. Just so you feel a bit better, try getting off a ship in China in 2011. Looong time in Vista Lounge. Just ask Cheryl and Peter. We have cruised to New York and San Francisco and disembarked with no great delays. Enjoy the Pacific. Lorraine H.