Cruise recap - days 1 through 3
Ah, yes... life is now grand. :)
Monday morning, 10 am'ish... Like time matters on a ship.
The overnight flight to get to Miami was smooth, the luggage arrived with no issues, and we got checked into the ship on Friday. Our room is great! Aft with a balcony, 9th floor. You truly can sit on the balcony and watch the world go by. And the beds are an upgrade from last time with memory foam toppers. I've slept more in the last three days than I've slept in the last three weeks. :)
Saturday was a day at sea in full relaxation mode. Read, napped, read, napped, ate, read, napped... The evening show was called Band On The Run, a retro stage show covering those hot tunes of the 70's. Funny that I can't remember to take out the trash, but I knew almost all the words to the songs. I also sat in on a digital photo lecture, with one of the most obnoxious lecturers I've ever listened to. In his seventies, sounded half-tanked, off-color "jokes", and material that could have been covered in 5 minutes instead of 45. He's supposed to do two other lectures on the last days at sea, covering digital editing. No *way* am I subjecting myself to that (more on Mr. Obnoxious in a bit).
Yesterday was the stop in Samana, and a tour of the highlights as well as a beach stop. Now, to be fair, they *did* say the roads would be "rough". That was an understatement. We were in safari type vehicles, on "main" roads, and seldom got above 20 mph because of all the ruts and ditches. And when we *really* went off-road, it was even worse. Two hours or so out, another two getting back, and every bone in your body was moved to places they've never been before...
We saw a place called the Devil's Mouth, a rock formation where the sea shoots up through blowholes. Quite stunning, as you could walk right up to the edge. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the rock formations are very sharp, as I took a tumble and sliced up my knee and leg pretty well. Yes, pictures will be forthcoming when I get back to locations that have better internet connectivity than a 56kb satellite uplink. The beach was spectacular, and that will be a memorable stretch of sand and waves.
Oh, and Mr. Obnoxious? He decided to take the same tour, and unfortunately was in the same safari truck. He was acting like he was the tour guide, complete with stupid, off-color, AND offensive jokes. Imagine the nerdy kid in school who keeps repeating the same stuff until someone acknowledges him, and he thinks he's the funniest person there... Never have I felt the need to comment to management about someone's behavior, but this will be a first. It was bad enough to listen to him at a lecture. To be subjected to him as a fellow tourist who thinks he is special because he works for the ship is just too much. By the end of the trip, everyone was trying to make sure they didn't talk with him or sit next to him.... Other than that, it was a unique trip. :)
We're in Tortola today, and my wife is going out exploring with the other couple we know on the ship. My knee is rather stiff from yesterday, so I'm going to take it easy and rest up for the other ports (Barbados, Antigua, and other locations). I'd love to spend more time on the net, but it's 250 minutes for $100, so it's compose offline, upload, check for emergency emails, and then get off. :) Yes, I'm going cold-turkey (almost)....
Last observation... If you think your life is tough, and that the world events are completely overwhelming, consider a visit to a place like Samana. It's not built-up much, and the poverty level is staggering. Houses that would be declared "uninhabitable" in the States, housing large extended families. People sitting around as there's not much else to do. Goats, chickens, dogs, horses wandering around (no offense meant there, Francie!) Gas stations are roadside shelves with green wine bottles filled with gas. Stores are as big as your kitchen, and that's all you have to choose from. While the tour guide said people are happy the cruise ship stops here now, I couldn't help but think that there was resentment as trucks full of white tourists drove by, brought there by a cruise that costs more than they earn in a year, and we'll be back on board that night eating lobster.
I'm pretty sure that losing 50% in the stock market is irrelevant to them...