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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anchors aweigh

I know, very catchy title. But I use it because most people don't know how to spell "aweigh," nor do they know what it means. So I grab any chance I can to use obscure words correctly. Gnomon.

We've been on many cruises, but we never get tired of them, possibly because we always go someplace new. We don't go for food, entertainment or shopping (especially not shopping!) but to see a new thing. The only place on this cruise that we'd already seen was Civitavecchia, which is frankly not a tourist attraction, but you have to go through it to get to Rome. And Joyce had already been to Pisa, but who cares, right?

So this was our second voyage on the Windsurf. Last time we took it from Rome to Venice. It's been 11 years so they've added a spa, which means fewer people, which is fine with me. It only holds 320 people right now, all women, most of whom know how to behave very nicely. Now that we are older, our idea of misbehaving is not taking your meds and being a bitch. This is a lot easier to ignore than drunken screaming and fighting, and far easier to overlook than children running amok while their laissez-faire parents ignore the carnage they wreak.

So, here's the ship.

It's an MSY, or motorized sailing yacht, and is the largest such ship in the world. There are certainly tall ships with more canvas, but they have no motors to assist them.

Getting aboard a cruise ship is a special feeling unlike any other. It just reeks of possibilities for fun. It's a beginning, a new adventure, and you paid for it already, so that's over. Used to be, you were also isolated from news of the world. Not any more. CNN is running all day. I didn't watch it, but Joyce did occasionally. I feel the world can get along without me just fine, and vice versa.

Usually boarding a ship means standing in a lot of lines and being herded all over like cattle, but on a ship this small, there aren't as many lines. They gave us cold drinks and we walked right on. The three or four little lines were on the ship itself, in the lounges. Except for one hairy moment when Joyce lost her passport (actually I was holding it, having put my own away, but I sort of forgot, and she forgot she had given it to me) it all went smoothly. We got our ship ID, our room key, signed our lives away for shipboard charges, and signed up for our hot stone massages. Then we were free to wander and eat.

On deck of a docked cruise ship is probably the hottest place on earth, so why they hold the sail-away parties outside, I'll never understand, except at night. So we went to one of the inside food spots, a buffet, where we could see out, but not go out, until the ship was actually moving, and there was a breeze. This wasn't going to happen for four hours anyway, so we could eat, explore the inside of the ship, go to our cabin and all that sort of thing.

Here are our sail-away outfits.

And our cabin. The kids are having such fun, aren't they?

See the plain white door (hatch) on the left? That leads to the bath. It's enormous.

We met several very nice couples on this trip, and I hope they're reading this and will get in touch! We lost some e-mail addresses somehow, and have only managed to contact one pair. So if you're from Pennsylvania or Texas, you know who you are! Please leave a comment. Sorry to be such dorks.


  1. I can't enter a comment on my own account without jumping through hoops? Screw it.