As promised, yet with minor delays.
We arrived at the ship before noon on Thursday and spent some time finding our way to the right place. The Navigator is an elegant all suites ship, with nearly as many service personnel as there are guests. Which means, of course, that not a moment goes by without someone making sure there is nothing you need—or nothing you might want. Everything from a decaf espresso/latte/ machine, to a juicer that does any kind of vegetable you may want liquefied. It is David’s job to give five lectures and our job to be as social as possible with as many guests as we can corral, at a meal, drinks, or activities.
This, as you can imagine, is no heavy lifting for the Burnetts. It is often said that we are nothing if not social. Or maybe it is said that we are nothing but social – either way this is a perfect way to spend some time. The first day was a day at sea – with the waters calm and the sun shining, David gave his first presentation. OK so it was not easy with the sun shining through every window in the venue he was assigned, but he made it work. The audience loved his stories and his humor and asked a great many questions, including “Can you show me how to work my camera.” Because he is generous with his time and talent, I believe he agreed to not only help with cameras but make sure there was scenery to shoot. If you know how David shoots (non-stop) anything he sees can be a picture. As he says, “the best camera to use is the one you have with you.”
When we throw a "block party," we throw a Block Party!
One of the big surprises for us was the number of WWII vets that are on board. Some people would think of this particular group as a little elderly, but because of David’s heroes from the passion for anything WWII, he sees it as an opportunity to get to know these warriors from another time. Cruising is something most of these passengers do on a regular basis. They like this smaller more intimate ship even though the pool is small, the fitness facilities include only a few critical machines, and the casino is limited. But nothing ever seems crowded – so we think it must be a lot better than having to deal with monster facilities on a monster ship, and 8000 people. Also, 130 of the passengers are from Great Britain. It’s a mighty interesting group of experienced travelers. Oh, and there is a 12 year old, who being the only child on the ship, seems to wander around looking for some kind of youthful entertainment. But the staff is kind and attentive, and short of manufacturing another child, they seem to do the best they can.
Activities (other than the casino, eating and drinking) range from fitness classes to lecturers to bingo. And alas, there is plenty of time alone together. We have never spent this much time together in a confined space. We did go to Italy for a month but had, Doug and Joyce and Jordan with us. So this is a whole new kind of adventure. If we make it past the Panama Canal and dock in Costa Rica without having killed each other, we figure we’ll be just fine.
In the meantime, it’s another one of those holidays (Mother’s Day) invented to sell greeting cards. Someone in Kansas City must have known someone on Capital Hill because Hallmark does just fine the three or ten times a year when we celebrate some holiday that marks an occasion in which everyone must participate. My mother always said, “every day is mother’s day”. I couldn’t imagine why but if she thought so – we went with it. No, that’s not exactly true, I get why. If you try to be a good mother and are rewarded with happy children, it is something to celebrate every day.
Back to sailing the seven seas. Yesterday we went snorkeling in Grand Cayman. It was fine. Not like I remember it from 30 years ago, when the coral was as colorful as the parrot fish, but there were nice fish and an adorable ship wreck. David didn’t take any spectacular underwater pictures because he forgot his underwater camera and admits he was too cheap to buy another. Tomorrow we dock in Costa Rica. The big decision was whether to go on a tour or try and find our own way. We decided to go it alone. If we get kidnapped make sure they offer the villains a great deal of money so we finally assess our worth. David is doing another lecture and book signing on Tuesday and there is a good possibility that we will be able to share the “Gefilte Fish Chronicles” with the other guests.
David wants all potential robbers to know, 1. we have nothing of value and 2. the house and apartment are being looked after by people with guns. Hopefully, you will enjoy the pictures and David will share his thoughts as well. Tonight we host a block party in the hallway of our suite…. A woman’s work is never done. We’re just sayin’… Iris