Big Boat, Tiny Room

When you spend 7 days at sea, you’ll end up with a lot to talk about. When you’re on a cruise ship, there’s always a lot to do. Except for an overnight storm and a few rain drops in Cozumel, the sun was blazing pretty much every single day. Several people asked whether I had the chance to work on my tan. I don’t have pictures, but I picked up a couple shades. I’m just glad that I wasn’t on the cruise line where a former employee is accused of waiting for people to board ships, then going to burgle their homes.

Dancing Queen

There’s usually dancing onboard. On occasion, it takes place on a dance floor. If you’re particularly high-spirited, it can occur on the top level of the ship, overlooking the Lido deck. This is my friend June. She started out life as a Johnson, so I’m never really surprised at anything she does.  She’s also a veteran TV producer and got me a great deal on my house – so dance girl, dance!

Tender-rider

Two of the ports of call had shallow enough harbors that we had to ride Ship’s tenders to shore. Those are the small boats that carry people or supplies to larger ships. “Tending” to their needs, if you will. So, you file off the great big boat onto a little teeny boat that takes you to shore. You get a great view of the ship you’re leaving and of the shore you’re approaching.

Smile!

Obviously, nearly everyone on a ship has a camera, so the pictures are taken early and often. The nice thing about digital cameras and cell phones is there’s no waiting for the film to be developed (that’s something we had to do in the old days, kids). So you take pictures of the things you see,whether they’re close or far, action you think might be interesting, or of other people taking pictures…

Ooh, pretty...

There’s a dichotomy about traveling through the Caribbean. The beaches are beautiful, the water is the bluest of blues. If you can tune out the other tourists, it’s tranquil and relaxing. In a lot of places, the standard of living is a LOT lower than ours. Many times, you have to travel through areas of grinding poverty to get to the nice stuff.

What Are You Looking At?

There’s also the wildlife. There’s a huge turtle breeding sanctuary on Grand Cayman Island. There are hundreds of them, from eggs that haven’t hatched yet to adults that are over a hundred years old. Of course, while many of the mature turtles are kept for breeding purposes, many others are released into the wild. The money spent by tourists is used for the upkeep and research. They also serve a nice bowl of turtle soup, which they tell us, is the favorite dish on the island. Wait — they’re going to serve those cute little turtles for dinner? Yep.

All Dressed Up

Speaking of dinner, there’s a lot of food on board. While there was no “Captain’s Table,” there were two “elegant” nights, where everyone was encouraged to dress up. If you didn’t bring your own tuxedo, there’s a shop onboard that would rent one. Frankly, while I didn’t mind wearing a jacket, a tie was a little much for me. Anything to get out of the incredibly small cabin.

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About Doug Johnson

I spent 25 years in the news business, working in print, radio and television. After a steady rise to the middle, I made the leap to the private sector, which chewed and then tried spitting me out after 2 years. I zigged (instead of zagging) into a position in television production.
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