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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.