It is a real rude entry back into reality when you have just spent eight days on a cruise ship in the Western Caribbean! Coming back to freezing temperatures and snow showers today is not easy to take. Our weather on the cruise was absolutely perfect. It was 80 degrees every day with pure sun. We boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale, Monday, Jan. 3. It is amazing how they maneuver those huge ships in such tiny spaces. There were at least five huge cruise ships in Port Everglades. Our ship, The Navigator of the Seas, was berthed directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, and our cabin was on the starboard side, so we got to watch all the freighters go by in a very tight space. By 6pm we were underway and the excitement began.
Since we all had the 6pm seating for dinner, our cruise started with dinner. We all were so excited to be on board. Every evening there was excellent entertainment after dinner, with either the singers and dancers or the ice show which was really quite exciting. How on earth do they do an ice show on a cruise ship? Amazing. The dining experience was entertainment in its own right every evening. We really had a blast.
I started every day at about 5:30am. Just couldn't get out of my sleep pattern. So I would go down and get coffee and then go up to the top deck and take the sea air in and wait for the sun to rise. Then I would attend a stretch class and afterwards, I would meet Larry and we walked the track. He did three miles. I was impressed. Walking on the top deck of a ship is a favorite for me. I was born to be at sea. During the entire cruise, we kept reminding one another that we really were looking forward to taking our sailboat down to the islands once we retire. We have a wait ahead of us.
The rehearsals on board are always interesting. I am not a fan of electronic pianos and that is what I have when I am on a ship. And we don't have many rehearsals to prepare for our concert, so it is a push. But we are all there to have fun and relax, so nobody gets crazy. We just make it work.
Our cruise last year took us out of Baltimore, cold and windy Baltimore, and then we had three "at sea" days. That allows us to do some really good rehearsing. Then we had three days of ports with some rehearsing, and then three days "at sea" back to Baltimore. So lots of rehearsal time. But, if you go out of Baltimore, it's cold.
Going out of Lauderdale was delightfully tropical. But, we only had one "at sea" day before we started going into ports. So it is a trade off. But oh those warm temps! And the lovely sun! It was fabulous. We had five rehearsals and we worked hard. And we gave a great performance! And we had a really good time doing it!
ne of the excursions Larry and I took was out to a sand bar on Grand Cayman to swim with the stingrays. Absolutely wonderful! They are such gentlecreatures. We often see them in the Chesapeake Bay and I really wanted to be up close to them. We loved the experience. And we snorkeled in Cozumel. Saw some very pretty fish and coral. I could get used to that way of life, but only for about three months out of the year. Maybe we should have an Encore Chorale in the Caribbean? Any takers???