"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."
~Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD)
Following a horrendous sickness (yet again) over Christmas and into the New Year, we embarked on a much-needed (and deserved, in my opinion) vacation, a cruise on Princess Cruises to Hawaii. Mom, Stephen, Shep, and Stephen's brother and wife (Jeff and Linda) and mother and father (Virginia and Karl).
We departed from Long Beach, California so we went down to visit Grandpa first and also Shep and I visited my Dad and Nancy. They drove us to the ship on Wednesday morning, January 2nd. Never having been on a cruise before, I didn't know what to expect. But Nancy just kept telling me how big the ship would be and she was right. When we arrived at the port, I couldn't believe how huge it was.
Prior to boarding, we left our luggage with a purser, who would load the luggage on one of the lower decks and get it to our room for us. As we were walking the corridors toward our entrance, I actually saw my red bag being loaded, a real fluke, since there were thousands of pieces of luggage!
If you've ever been on a cruise, then you know that the first thing that happens once everyone is on board is the emergency call reporting to your muster station. This means that you grab your life jacket, follow the route to your assigned muster station and then go through the drill and instructions in case of an emergency.
They point out all the lifeboats on the side of the ship, which are closest to your station. These boats, though dwarfed by the size of the ship itself, can actually hold nearly 100 people each, I think.
After our muster station drill, we were off to sea.
The next few days we were at sea, and I was adjusting to a room with no windows (inside cabin) and feeling slightly seasick. It didn't help my mood that Mom ended up getting the sickness that I was getting over and spent the next week (out of two) in bed. I know it's not my fault that she got sick, but it kind of was and I had a hard time getting over it because I knew how sick she felt. I had been there. And it was awful. But she tells me I can't dwell on that part of the trip, so months later, as I write this, I'm still trying to get over it.
Being at sea was an adjustment for a number of reasons. I did feel a bit queasy, which was remedied fairly quickly with a few doses of meclizine, thanks to Dr. (Uncle) Jeffrey. But I also had to get used to the idea of not doing anything. When you work day in and day out, sometimes it's hard to truly relax on a vacation. I ended up walking the ship quite a bit, watching movies on the upper deck at night in their "Movies Under the Stars" upper deck "theater," playing cards, reading,watching movies in my room with Shep, etc. Eating was also a big part of the entertainment.
They have big buffets at breakfast and lunch, with lots of fresh fruit, and just about everything you might want. Dinner was a sit-down affair with a waiter, and waiter's assistant. They were extremely attentive and encouraged us to order as much as we wanted, even if it was just to be able to taste a dish. Kind of decadent, if you ask me. But it was fun. I had a shrimp cocktail nearly every night.
Stay tuned for our first stop at Hilo, after four days at sea, on the big island (Hawaii).
(Written July 24, 2013)