At Sea

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© irene waters 2017

Totally at sea, it was time to explore the boat. We made a conscious decision that we would not use the lifts and by running the stairs we would be justified in letting ourselves eat whatever we liked. This worked as we only put on 1 kg during the voyage. By the end of the first day our muscles had almost turned to jelly and we both were experiencing quite a bit of pain in those areas that we obviously seldom use.

We went downstairs first. On decks 5 to 7 were the main entertaining decks. The Piazza and shopping galleries, coffee shops, clubs and bars, promenade deck, lounges and libraries, theatres and dining rooms were to be found.

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© irene waters 2017

Here, over the cruise, we gathered for special events such as the champagne fountain. The crowds were always large for these events and finding chairs at times difficult but sometimes you got a better view standing on the sweeping staircases or the galleries above.

What assaulted us on the first day were all the venues selling items and packages. Again we had to consider drinks packages, coffee packages and internet packages. We decided against everything other than coffee. Next time we wouldn’t bother with coffee either. No offence but Americans don’t know what good coffee is (no offence) and I preferred the drip filtered coffee from deck 17 to the black esspresso. As I don’t drink alcohol was no problem for me at all and Roger drinks little. He would have a glass of wine or a beer at his evening meals, sometimes he didn’t bother and we didn’t find the cost expensive. A bottle of beer cost about $7.50 au. If you were to drink 6 a day then it was worth considering the drinks package. We had met someone at a party before boarding who told us that they felt, having the drinks package, that they had to make use of it. As a result they started drinking at breakfast time and put on vast amounts of weight. We did attend as many champagne events as we could where we could get a couple of free champagnes (I gave mine to Roger) and as these were able to be found on most days drinking was for us not a problem. For someone else however, having bought the drinks package and not realising it was for one person only bought drinks for his entire table. When he was confronted with this (he must have already been sozzled) he head butted the waiter. The captain used his at sea powers and detained him and put him and his wife off the boat (with a New Zealand police escort) at our first port of call in the Bay of Islands.

Leaving the middle of the ship we made our way up to decks 16 and 17 where the outdoor movies were being shown, the 24 hour smorgasbord dining was found, specialty restaurants, swimming pools, children’s areas, beauty salon and fitness centre, pizza, hamburger and other take away food outlets. Having got our bearings we made our way to our anniversary dinner. We had chosen anytime dining which meant we could choose to sit by ourselves or join a random table which gave us different table companions each meal. For this meal we ate alone, were serenaded by the waiters and had a special super delectable chocolate anniversary cake gifted to us. It made our day very special.

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© irene waters 2017

We then went and watched our only sunset. We somehow managed to get to the back of the boat but couldn’t find our way back in. The wind was blowing strongly, even Roger’s hair was standing on end.

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© irene waters 2017

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© irene waters 2017

We could see the teenage boys inside but we couldn’t get in. As it became dark and we were up amongst the communication equipment

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© irene waters 2017

finding a door that was locked I started to panic. Soon after we found our way in and made our way to trivia nights and other entertainment but that will be for another post.

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© irene waters 2017

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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10 Responses to At Sea

  1. Well, that certainly gave me a good bout of encouragement to try and get a cruise booked. I do keep getting enticing offers from the Princess Line. That head butting passenger is a bit concerning. Are there many passengers on board inclined to get drunk? A friend of ours took a short cruise to Melbourne and back, told us that many of the passengers were very large in size. She said that those ‘special’ offers often fill up with obese people and at times she felt a bit squeezed out.
    I have taken several return trips back to Europe on ships but that was a long time ago. I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t see anybody drunk or even slightly under the weather. I don’t know whether the same would be seen on Pacific cruises that a lot of younger people might go on that are perhaps a bit cheaper. We had very few 20 – 30 year olds on board and only a smattering of kids and teenagers. There were a lot of elderly and disabled people. I didn’t notice that there was an overabundance of hefty people but in reality, apart from the odd event and place, you could seemingly find areas easily where there was no-one. I think you would love doing a cruise Gerard. What we have noticed since we have been back is that if you are prepared to risk it and be flexible enough to go without a lot of notice you can get some very good deals. I don’t know whether you’d get well placed cabins however.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Charli Mills says:

    Happy Anniversary to you and Roger! What a cruise! One day, Irene, I want to take you to the Pacific Northwest and redeem your opinion of American coffee. 🙂 I can image the dross they boiled for you as it is served in cafes across America, and I’m a terrible coffee snob and usually avoid the bitter brew. Sounds like you had a lovely cake. Head butted? Well, he gave the rest of you a good story to go home with.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’d be terrified of being locked out and not able to find a way inside the ship. Doesn’t anyone check? Other than that, it sounds like you had a great time. Happy Anniversary to you two – what a romantic holiday you had.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I think you could quite easily slip over the side and no-one would really know. Perhaps your cabin steward would twig when the bedtime chocolates started mounting on the pillow but by then it would be too late. I have to say I was a little anxious and I didn’t venture back to that part of the ship until very late into the voyage. It was a whole new world that you had to learn to negotiate, just like our own normal worlds.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Annecdotist says:

    I love this line, Irene – by running the stairs we would be justified in letting ourselves eat whatever we liked – of course, I’m not sure about those people drinking since breakfast. Glad you had a wonderful time and happy anniversary.

    Liked by 1 person

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