Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day 3

It seems like we've been on this ship much longer than we have. I'm starting to relax and meditate on the endless ocean. The ocean is not too turbulent here, forty miles or so from the Baja California coast. The air temperature is about 73 degrees, and the ship captain tells us the water is even warmer, in case anyone jumps in (but, he added, please don't).

I'm sitting now on our balcony, it's soothing. This morning I went to the cafeteria style dining area (called the Terraces) for a breakfast of berries and yogurt. Then, Larry and I went to the gym and exercised for about an hour. I'm still listening to my audio books (Louise Penny, the Long Way Home) while I exercise.

We ate lunch again at the Terraces, which I don't like so much, because you have to elbow your way through other cruisers to get at the good stuff. Then you have to search out a table, and somehow stake your claim. We tried using an unfolded table napkin to mark our territory, but somebody else came along and grabbed the table. Hmmm. 650 people is still an awful lot of people.

This afternoon, there's tea time again, with a string quartet! The string quartet is not very good, but not so bad to drive me away from the scones and strawberry tartlets.  I talked to the cellist, and found out that they were all from Poland. She has an agent who offered her the gig on the Regatta. They play a lot of popular stuff, and it's not always in tune, but I like it anyway. Tonight we will dine with Blanche and Sol at the Polo Grill, one the special restaurants on the Regatta.

We're going to anchor off Cabo San Lucas tomorrow around noon, and Larry and I will go on one of the excursions, a tour of the art district.  Tour the galleries, buy the art!

So this afternoon, my plan is to read on the balcony, and maybe go soak in one of the hot tubs. It's truly not easy to do nothing at all--requires a lot of planning : )

Looking at blue ...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day 2

Last night we had a fine, multi-course dinner in the Grand Dining Hall, or whatever it's called. I had a duck pate appetizer, salad, veal, chocolate tart. Yum, yum. There is a huge variety of choices on the menu, I don't know how they can cook all of that. After dinner, we went to the variety show and sat through introductions of the staff, which includes one person who is in charge of shopping. He leads seminars on diamonds and gemstones and shopping opportunities at each port of call. Spend, spend, spend! Other activities are bridge, needlepoint, trivia games. Yikes.

The introductions were followed by a mean-spirited and open opportunity racist comedian, who mainly joked about all the foreigners and obnoxious children on his last cruise. But, honestly, I laughed and laughed. Then there was a fifteen minute song and dance number with four young people (high school students?) backed up by the accomplished ship's band.

This morning we ate breakfast at an intimate table for two next to the window, looking out on the endless ocean.

Today has been very slow and lazy. I listened to two lectures, one about the history, geography and politics of California, the other about a sailing ship called the "Pilgrim" used for living history demonstrations. I also used the treadmill for half an hour, and walked a bit around the track.
We also met up with a group of people who post on the website cruisecritic. We sat around, but didn't criticize cruises.

A nice dinner with two of the cruise critics and Blanche and Sol. I ordered all the healthy choices and refused dessert, so I'm feeling smug. The song and dance acts this evening were fun, with all the great old tunes from Cole Porter and other great song writers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Precruise, August 26

The cruise leaves on Friday.  How exciting it is!  And a little bit alarming, too.  Because I am not sure of what to expect on this long boat ride.  We are traveling on the Regatta, one of the ships of the Oceania cruise company.  It is, I am told, a medium-sized ship, with only 650 guests or so, and probably half again as many crew and staff.  We are traveling with Aunt Blanche and Uncle Sol, two veteran cruisers who have in fact been on this very ship before.  They assure us that it is not fussy, and that we do not need to wear formal dress to dinner.  

The ship travels from San Francisco down the coast of California and Baja, stopping at Cabo San Lucas for a day and Puerto Chiapas.  Then, on to Costa Rica, through the Panama Canal and a stop in Cartagena, Columbia.  Finally, we cruise up the Atlantic coast, stopping in Norfolk, Virginia and on to New York City.  All of this in about 18 days, which means a lot of days at sea. 

I am looking forward to the transit through the Panama Canal, having just finished a book about the amazing engineering feat it was, begun by the French, and carried out by the intrepid Americans, battling yellow fever, malaria, and landslides all the way.  I trust that the mosquitos have been totally obliterated by now. 

My intention in starting this blog is to write something every day about the cruise experience that I can share with my friends and family, and to learn something about the blogging process,  including the posting of pictures.  I was greatly inspired by the delightful blog "Wertzlersinfrance" which I found out about through the greatest of coincidences, but have been reading with pleasure.

So far, I have been stressing about seasickness (is it likely?  should I take medication beforehand or just wait and see what happens?  will I suffer horrible side effects?) and more importantly, what to wear.  I have purchased a few surely totally unnecessary garments in the hopes of being more fashionable on this cruise (a fruitless quest).

Let's see if I can post this!

Best to any readers of my blog,


All we know so far...