LIFE ON BOARD

Monday February 19,  2018 is an idyllic day.  The sun, and part cloud, and the seas are like glass.  There is little or no wind and it is a sea day.  Not all of our sea days have been this wonderful.  Many have been rocking and rolling, but thank God, so far, I do not seem to be prone to sea sickness.

As many of you know I did not have a veranda until literally days before I left Toronto, and I LOVE my veranda.  It’s a little more spacious than most because it is right at the front of the ship. These past few sea days have been so calm and windless, that I have been sitting out in the sun and reading.  The other time I enjoy my veranda is in the middle of the night when the ‘ba-zillions’ of stars are so close it seems you can touch them.  Right now the big dipper is right off our bow.  And the air is warm and humid.  The temperature earlier today was 89 and the humidity was 85 and we are cruising the Indian Ocean.

 

We are now in segment three of our journey and at the beginning of every segment, I get a bottle of champagne.  You can’t drink a bottle on your own, so I have been having a little cocktail parties, where friends come in and they bring their own glass

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Pat, Bob, Terry & Bob on veranda at another cocktail get together

                                                                  

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Sandy, Paula & Sherry – cocktail hour

       

 

 

                   

 

 

and bottle of champagne if they have one, and I provide nibblies.  It’s lots of fun and something “The Clangers” started several cruises back.  The Clangers are my cruising buddies, whom I miss very much on this cruise, and it is strange to think we are all out here somewhere enjoying cruises, but on different oceans right now.

Sometimes I have breakfast in my room, always when I have a tour booked, and I use it as a wakeup call.  Other days we have the choice of being served in the Grand Dining room or go to the cafeteria-like Terrace Grill where you help yourself.  if I just don’t feel like a big breakfast, I head down to Barista’s for a tea and croissant or up to Waves for fruit and cereal.

I have been working out three days a week – Monday, Wednesday & Friday in the Fitness Centre.  I decided when I got on, to apply my ship board credits to a trainer and I have been faithful other than on tour days.  I am lifting weights, toning and working out on the machines, and I love my trainer “Sho” from India.

 

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Mahjong

The days tend to blur into one another, but on any given day we have art classes, play mahjong, learn whist, take bridge lessons, attend cooking demos.  Shop.  Participate in photo lectures and contests.  You can quilt, embroider take dancing lessons or enjoy English afternoon tea.  Play my favourites – Trivia, Brainteasers and Name that Tune.

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Cooking demo with Chefs Farid & Jean-Luc  

We have had an assortment of excellent lecturers on board. Talking about the culture and history, birds, fish and animals of the areas where we have been cruising.  Evenings we have Showtime also with a variety of performers from opera singers, to flautists, to magicians and ventriloquists, plus crew & guest nights, and broadway-type productions.  Or you can just sit and linger over dinner with a nice glass of wine or cup of tea.

We have crossed the equator and have  had the initiation where you kiss the fish and get ice water dumped over you.  Lots of fun?? I think! and the cold water actually felt good on a very hot day.  I am now officially a Shellback and have the certificate to prove it.  And the photos.

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The amazing thing for me is how quickly the time has flown by.  We reached our 45 day mark last week, so we are more than a quarter of the way through this adventure and it seems like only yesterday we boarded in Miami.  For those of you who said “six months on a cruise ship??”  So far it has been heaven and certainly not boring.

We are back on Pirate watch for the next week or so, with drills and some restrictions.  And we also are on high alert for AG – acute gastroenteritis.

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Pirate Drill

  Apparently some guests were sick when they boarded in Cape Town and they said nothing for over a week before seeing the doctor!  Now many others are affected because of this.  So,  the library is closed.  The mahjong games and jig saw puzzles in the card room are locked up.  Art class is still happening, but we have to disinfect the pencils and paintbrushes whenever we use them.  Bridge lessons use a new deck of cards each time and the pens and pencils they hand out in Trivia are disinfected before they are used again.  I mentioned previously that there is a plastic covering over all of the elevator buttons and menus no longer come with the nice leather holders – just a sheet of paper which is discarded after use.  There are no snacks on the tables at Happy Hour.  You cannot serve yourself anywhere.  The croissants are behind the counter in Baristas.  The salt & pepper, cutlery and place settings are only brought to you once you sit down and then removed when you have finished.

I can’t say enough about how Oceania and the staff on Insignia are working extra hours and so hard to keep this virus from spreading further.  Staff are continually wiping down hand rails, door handles.  Even the public bathroom doors remain open so you don’t have to touch the handles.  I believe they have to have 48 hours without a new outbreak before they will start to relax all these precautions, and if it continues, the next step is plastic cutlery.  Staff has already been on plastic cutlery for awhile now.  So we are continually washing or disinfecting our hands.  My new best friend is the disinfectant dispenser.  Good thing we don’t know who the culprits are!  I think most of us would vote for walking the plank.  Really thoughtless, and when they filled out the questionnaire just before boarding, they must have lied on the health questions.

NOTE to future cruisers, if you do get on board sick or not feeling well, do not wait for a week to finally go to the doctor because it affects everyone on board.  A few days of confinement would have saved everyone a lot of trouble and prevented many people from becoming ill and being confined to their cabins.

So this is my life people, and I am enjoying every moment , even the present restrictions.  It’s funny because the first couple of weeks you think you have to do everything, every day and not miss out on anything.  But then it finally sinks in that you have a long time to participate and you slow down to a much nicer pace and take the time to have a nap in the afternoon, or spend time reading a book, or look out to sea for wild life, or just absorb the calming affects of being on the water.

By the way, we have seen dolphins several times, lots of flying fish, a whale once, (I didn’t see it) and a multitude of birds – boobies & frigates being the most common.

Sorry I am a little behind but I have been having problems with WordPress.  It keeps crashing on me while writing & downloading photos.  Not sure if it is our internet on board which can be spotty at times, or me, or WordPress.  But here is the latest.

11 thoughts on “LIFE ON BOARD

  1. Hi Pat
    How can people be so thoughtless? It sounds like the ship is doing everything possible to contain the outbreak but it is so hard.
    You continue to have a wonderful time and that is great to see. Continue on tranquil seas and see you when you return. Jacquie

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    1. Hi Jacquie – So nice to hear from you. Yes the ship has been amazing in keeping the numbers down and we have not had a new case in 72 hours now, so we can drop back a category, except I am not sure what that means. Maybe we can have our mahjong games back?? Apparently there is a whole set of steps one follows with each new case until I guess the whole ship gets quarantined at some point. Seas have been kind and the weather is lovely on the water. It is brutal in some of the ports though with the high temps and humidity. Will look forward to see you when I get back. Take care, Pat

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  2. LOVE keeping up with your adventures! Did your cruising buddies join you in Cape Town? The health risks are very crazy. Seems those people should be put shore until they are well. But then, the damage was done. So sad! Have a blast and stay well😘🍷

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  3. Hello our wee Patrizia. So glad you are having such a great time. You so deserve all the enjoyment. xxx. We have just arrived in New Orleans and passed through USA border control and immigration. Although we had to be up
    at 06.00 we were through by 08.00 and so have two full days here.
    We miss our wee Clanger but have managed to scrape by with a few wins
    at the quizzes. Having a lot of fun aboard.
    Our next stop is Key West and we will visit
    Jimmy Buffet and have a drink for you.
    Know what you mean about sickness aboard – very selfish. We are all okay apart from a bit coughing on board.
    Carry on cruising and enjoy every minute.
    Big hugs from Phil and Jim xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Phil & Jim – So good to hear from you and so glad you are enjoying your cruise also. Next stop for me is the Seychelles. We have one more sea day before we get there and I am hitting the beach. I understand the water and snorkelling etc is amazing there. We dock in Mahé. Take care and stay safe. Really do miss you guys and I am sure you would enjoy this ship. We have a great bunch of passengers on board. (Well except for the ones who came on with their germs!!) Lots of fun and of course we have Leslie Jon as our CD. I love him. Maybe better than Jimmy Buffet!! Lots of love! Pat

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  4. Oh Pat – Mark and I are enjoying your posts very much, and when I see you in my ‘inbox’ in the morning, I cannot wait to open your email/blog to read all about your life crusin’ the high seas. Be safe and thank you! Hugs, Maggie xo

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  5. Hi Mom, well your emails did not make the illness not sound so big…..but I hope it all passes soon. Glad to see you are being a wonderful hostess as usual and I am sure everyone is enjoying drinks on the veranda. Keep having fun Mom….Love from us all here.

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  6. Hey Pat, Love your blog. What a trip you are having….sounds wonderful. Too bad about that virus but it appears that everyone has weathered it through. Nasty folks not telling anyone when they became sick. Happy sailing with calm seas. Keep on blogging…..Lots of love and hugs, Gilles and Sylvia

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