adventures abroad, travel

December 16: At Sea

Even though the pathlight is covered, I wake up just after 5am, afraid it might be later and that Lester will be knocking shortly. Nope. Maybe I can get back to sleep for a bi—

At 7:15 the alarm startles me. So… success.

Then l’m up, getting dressed and taking my French lesson for the day. How often on this trip did I wish I’d been focusing on Spanish for the last year? OFTEN. Oh well, too late now.

Lester is punctual and I confirm I will see him tomorrow morning, but not thereafter. There’s no stateroom breakfast on what must be their Hell Day (my words, of course, never his) – when the ship turns over from one cruise to the next and everyone is scrambling to get one group off and everything guest-ready for the next cruise.

They are expecting a median age drop of 20 years next cruise, due to so many young families sailing over Christmas to the Caribbean. Most schools are still in session or just wrapping up for winter break. So there are currently about 7 children on the ship now. I’ve seen two, and both just today. Next cruise there will be over 400 kids.

Right after breakfast I sunscreen up slightly so I can do my morning mile. It’s already over 80 degrees (F), over 70% humidity, and extremely bright out there. I do my mile but no more. There’s always the evening.

This is a good day to wrap up some odds and ends. Seeing Lester reminds me to stop at the front desk and ask for envelopes so I can tip the guys. Tips are already sort of baked in either prepaid or as a daily charge to help cover both the seen and unseen, so it’s no longer necessary and certainly not needed to tip as much as it used to be, but I still like to give a little something those I’ve interacted with a lot. I’ve also been collecting pics of their name tags as reference for the extensive customer survey. So I’ll be able to mention my cabin steward Edsel by name, as well as Lester of course, and my evening waitstaff, Daniel and Maiti (sounds like Mighty).

I lose last nights winnings – just a couple of dollars – at the casino, passing the time. I think I’ll go to the pool today. And a book in the shade while breathing sea air is a nice day by any measure.

We get a brief sun shower in the afternoon, which breaks the heat for a bit. I enjoy the pool / hot tub after it stops.

In all it’s a very easy day.

It’s also our last formal night on board. At this point, though, everyone is more subdued in their dress. We are 14 days in, and people have worn their dressiest dress clothes already. The restaurant has pulled out their fanciest meals to tempt people in, and no doubt they’ll come, but honestly the wait staff is the most sharply dressed of the bunch.

Still, it’s a nice meal and a good evening. I’m happy enough to curl up with my book, since tomorrow evening will be mostly just reserved for final packing.

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