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Monday, November 10, 2003

1:30 pm. We lost an hour last night. The Pacific Time Zone must end at the California shoreline, because we were instructed to set our clocks ahead an hour before we went to bed.

Even so, I was up a little after 8:00 am. That's early for me any time, but especially when I'm on vacation. I was out searching for coffee when I ran into John and Suzanne and a few others gazing out at the ocean from the open area near the pool on deck 9. They were planning to go to the shopping lecture, so I grabbed a cup of coffee (it's pretty much everywhere) and joined them.

We didn't last very long at the lecture, though. We got some warnings about shopping at the ports, and we were also told which stores were recommended (and guaranteed) by the cruise line. But it was mostly a pitch for jewelry, and I don't have much use for that. I don't wear jewelry and I rarely buy it for anyone else. I barely even believe in it, for that matter.

There were seven or eight of us, and we sneaked out of the lecture after about twenty minutes of droning. I'm surprised (and proud) that we lasted that long. John was the first one to leave, of course, because he doesn't suffer fools gladly, and then Tammy and David thought of someplace they had to be, and then the rest of us crept away. But there was still a lot of daylight left.

I don't eat breakfast, but I did go to the buffet and have some melon and a couple of sweet rolls. Later I put off having lunch as long as I could, since we don't have dinner until the dining room's second seating at 8:30 pm, but I did eat (again at the buffet) around 1:00 pm.

Both times I sat alone, looking out at the front of the ship as it plowed through the ocean. It was very pleasant, and it's also nice to know that no one keeps to anyone else's schedule. Groups of us can plan to do things together, or we might run into one another here or there, but there aren't any rules about that (or hurt feelings, I presume).

I spent most of the morning by myself, in fact. I wandered the ship, up and down the stairs, fore and aft, getting used to the layout (I still don't have it, though). For a while I sat on the pool deck and read my book, and every so often I'd wander down to our cabin.

I usually didn't stay there more than a few minutes, though. There are just too many interesting things everywhere else on the ship. And, as the cruise director noted to us yesterday, you can eat fourteen meals a day if you time it right (and if you're hungry enough). There's never a time when I couldn't find something to eat or drink (especially drink). For those of us not interested in the disco or the rock wall, that's a great temptation.

And why not? I'm on vacation, and I might never have a chance like this again.

3:30 pm. When I came down to the stateroom two hours ago, it was just to write a few lines then grab my book and go find a place to read some more. But the bed had been made up by our cabin steward Wayne, and the sun was streaming in across the water and through the window, and it was all just too inviting. So I guess sleeping is going to be a big part of my vacation after all.

11:55 pm. It was formal night for dinner, and also for the captain's reception just before dinner. I have to tell you, we looked good, all of us. This was the first time I've worn a tie in ages. It was also the first time I've worn the new sport coat I bought for the wedding (which is two months from today, as I reminded Tammy and David). I didn't wear my wedding tie, though. I wore the other one.

Since I hadn't had any boat drinks all day, and since it was free, I had a rum punch at the captain's reception. Not to self: no more rum punch. It was okay as long as I was sitting down. As soon as I stood up, I was sitting down again. Walking was a talent I had to relearn. But I had wine with dinner anyway.

After dinner we gathered once again in the Masquerade Theater for the Boogie Wonderland show. It was total disco-mania, with a little rhythm and blues thrown in, and it was put on by a group of young performers hired by the cruise line. Among other things they did, yes, an ABBA medley.

It was fun and energetic and entertaining, and I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been sitting between a woman I barely know and a woman I didn't know at all. I didn't really feel like waving my arms and dancing on the chair all that much.

Plus, I was still hot even after I took off the jacket and tie. I've been so hot ever since Disneyland that I'm beginning to wonder if I didn't pick something up there. If I did, I've exposed several hundred more people here in the close confines of the ship.

10 November 2003

Tammy and David on formal night (in my cabin).

But no, I'm really okay, and happy to be here. At least I'm in better shape than Tammy, the poor dear. She seems to get morning sickness every night, exactly at the time we're being served dinner. She's being brave and bearing up nicely, though.

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