POSTING BOB'S ARTICLE THAT WILL APPEAR IN THE GRAPEVINE NEWSPAPER OF OUR CRUISE
By Bob Gilbert
After thirty-four years of marriage, my wife Linda and I finally took our first cruise. Our nine day trip took us to five ports of call in New England and Canada.
Having taken a cruise, I can now see why they are so popular, particularly for people in our age group, as it is the most painless way to travel. There is no driving involved, as transportation to all destinations is provided; you have to unpack only once, so you don’t have to “live out of a suitcase”; and there is no scrambling to find a good meal, as three gourmet meals per day are provided (and more if you want them).
Prior to going on this trip, Linda expressed one concern to me – that she might be bored on days at sea. I can certainly understand her concern. I mean how do you entertain yourself when all you have is a 1,250 seat theater with nightly headline shows, a casino, a movie theater, a gym, spa, and outdoor walking track, two swimming pools, three hot tubs, and an ice skating rink. And if that’s not enough, there is a shopping strip, six live musical performances per day, and eight bars. Lots of potential for boredom there!
One thing I really enjoyed about the cruise was meeting people from so many interesting and diverse places. We had a great time socializing with a couple from Manchester, England, and we also met nice people from Oklahoma, Georgia, Brooklyn, and from some exotic place called “New Jersey”.
I should also mention the ports of call. Our favorite was Bar Harbor, Maine, where we strolled along a beautiful one-mile path on the rocky coastline and later toured the Victorian homes that were used as summer retreats by wealthy industrialists and bankers years ago.
It was also interesting to see Boston for the first time. We saw the location of the Boston Tea Party, where the Patriots dumped tea that today would be worth 1.7 million dollars into the harbor rather than pay tax on it. This set the stage for the Revolutionary War.
I was quite impressed with the ship itself. The ship’s diesel engines generate a total of 108,000 horsepower (not your father’s Oldsmobile), and the ship’s fuel tank holds one million gallons of fuel. As one person joked, filling that tank is a little more involved than pulling into a Shell station.
Concerning the source of water for drinking, bathing, etc., the ship is capable of producing up to 600,000 gallons of fresh water per day by distilling sea water. And on the other end, waste water is treated, filtered, sanitized, and discharged back into the ocean.
To give you an idea as to the enormity of feeding up to 3600 guests and 1200 staff members on board, the food preparers use 10,000 eggs per day (for omelets, baking, etc.).
I enjoyed the entertainment on board. I particularly liked one comedian who told a joke about his experience of staying at a very cheap motel. He told how a woman knocked on the door and said “I’m the maid and I’m here to clean up”. He let her in, and she went straight to the bathroom, took a shower, and left. (I guess you had to be there.)
We also got a taste of New England humor. We were told that the four seasons in Maine are – almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.
We saw two movies while on board. “The Little Fockers” was entertaining, and “Secretariat” was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.
And to those who reassured us in advance that the boat was so big that we would not feel the motion, I would have to disagree with that. Although we did not experience seasickness, I definitely felt the swaying of the boat, particularly when walking. But thanks for the encouragement anyway!
Overall, we had a great time. And I am glad to report that while I ate a lot more than I usually do, with emphasis on desserts and double portions of mashed potatoes, I gained no weight during the trip. I guess that relaxing and having fun burns a lot more calories than I thought.
I find that one benefit of traveling is that you get a break from your everyday monotonous routines. Interestingly, by the last day of the cruise, I discovered that I had developed a bunch of new monotonous routines, and I was glad to get home to my old ones!
HERE ARE SOME PHOTOGRAPHS THAT I TOOK . THOUGHT THAT THEY WOULD BE INTERESTING TO ACCOMPANY BOB'S ARTICLE. FULL PHOTO PORTFOLIO IS ON FACEBOOK AT: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2403810062871.2141167.1479711411
|LEAVIING PORT LIBERTY VIEW OF MANHATTAN SKYLINE|
SOME OF THE SITES WE SAW ON THE CRUISE
|SHORE WALK, BAR HARBOR,MAINE|
|SHOPPING AREA ON SHIP|
|PEGGY'S COVE, HALIFAX, CANADA|
|EARLY MORNING SUNRISE FROM BALCONY OF OUR ROOM|