Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sailing, Sailing, Over the Ocean Blue....

I'm writing this Friday evening with the hopes of having an internet connection tomorrow when we get to Portland, Maine.

Thursday went better than we really expected it to.  Wholly Genes, the software company that is sponsoring the genealogy conference had a couple of buses come to the hotel to pick up all the folks staying there who were attending.  Once our luggage was put on the bus we didn't even see it again until it arrived at our room aboard the ship later that day.

The ride from the hotel to the port was smooth and easy...
We boarded Royal Caribbean's "Grandeur of the Seas" ...
Our room is just above one of those red lifeboats that you see about in the middle of the photo.
We saw no signs of the Longshoreman's Strike...  don't know if it was settled or what.

While waiting for our luggage to be delivered to our room, we had a quick lunch and then wandered around the ship, getting our bearings....
Since this will be our home for the next week, it's always good to sort out where everything is.  This is the smallest cruise ship we've traveled on, but it still takes a while to remember the details.  Heck, I have trouble remembering which is port and which is starboard....  righty tighty - lefty loosey?  No..  that's the answer to another big puzzle in life.

We always have to check out everything, and even though we aren't likely to spend time in the casino, the decor and general ambience is fun to see...
Here's Bill..  standing on a glass floor...  Underneath is lots of buried treasure...  including a few skeletons and other pirate swag.

Later we took a walk around the decks.  It takes 4 laps around to walk 1 mile.  There are lifeboats... which are also the "tenders"...  boats that take passengers in to shore if the  ship has to anchor out in the bay.  Then we saw these "barrels".
Bill explained to me that they are life rafts.  I just couldn't imagine crawling into one of these things and bobbing around in the water until the Coast Guard came and rescued me.  All I could think of was going over a barrel at Niagara Falls!
Then Bill told me that they hold 130 people.
I was sure he was joking...  when he saw that I just wasn't getting it, he explained that these barrels hold an inflatable life raft that when it pops out of that barrel it inflates to become a full-size boat.  Okay...  so I'm not a sailor....  give me a canoe any day!

Today we had really rough seas...  I have a real problem with motion sickness.... even on a good day.  I wear wrist bands with pressure points....  eat ginger flavored stuff... drink peppermint tea....  even bought battery-operated wrist bands that are supposed to relieve nausea.  Usually on the "big ships" I manage to do okay.  Today the sea was so bad there were people weaving around in the dining room...   lurching this way and that...  so bad that the waiters were carrying trays so soups and drinks weren't spilled.  When we came back from lunch I saw this....
Attached to every staircase post were...  yep!  Barf Bags!
I think my pressure bands did okay because while I made a joke about grabbing every one of them, so far, I've been okay.  Well...  maybe sleeping most of the day helped some too.

This cruise has two "formal" nights.  Nights that you dress up for dinner.  It's kind of fun...  just part of  a special vacation for most folks.  Some guys wear tuxedos and some ladies wear long formals, but we've been doing these cruises for nearly 10 years now and it seems to me that folks are less "FORMAL", and more "dressy".  Usually on formal nights there's a lot of glitter and glitz all over the ship.
Tonight was no exception.  Those "chandelier-like" cages were suspended from the ceiling (and I'll tell you... that ceiling is about 10 stories high!)...  and a beautiful woman was sitting on a bench in that contraption.  Her prince charming was down below.  Meanwhile a woman was singing near the grand piano way down on the main floor.
Of course the lighting, the colors, the music...  all made for a very impressive show.
After that performance, the Captain of the ship came forward and you could have your photo taken with him.   On the dance floor couples were dancing the "old fashion" way...  ballroom dancing.  Really kind of fun to watch.

Bill and I aren't dancers, but we do like a nice evening out....
I asked a young woman passing by to take our photo...
I'm guessing she doesn't do this very often  (or maybe I'm just picky) but I had to laugh when I saw what came out.  I know... we are what we are, but I didn't check the background or shadows...  Oh well...  there's another formal night before the cruise is over...  maybe I'll get a better picture then.

Tomorrow we'll be in Portland, Maine.  Hopefully I'll be able to catch up on blogging there.
"The End"

That's All For Today!


  1. Looks like you are off to a good start. Have fun.

  2. It's always a "crap shoot" when asking strangers to take your photo. I don't do it very often (have visions of them running off with my camera) but on a ship....
    Anyway, you have to do the composing for them. If I'm ever asked, I usually take a number of pics, and then tell them they can just delete any that they don't like. It's digital after all. Not like we're wasting film
    I like that idea that they take away your luggage and it ends up in your room. So much easier. Only had that experience once about twenty years ago on a trip to Vegas. Best deal ever. Stayed at the Flamingo Hilton. Transportation to and from the airport, and the whole cost was the equivalent of just the flight. I guess they were counting on us gambling a little? Fat chance.
    Enjoy your time aboard.

  3. Well, think positively, you do have a picture of you and Bill. It's lots better than having nothing to prove you were there! And, your' photography is so wonderful; most others' abilities pall .....
    Have a wonderful time; cruising is a very sane way to travel and, for me, the good experiences on cruises lead right in to RV travel. I tell my "kids" [pets], "It's the same house, just a different yard!"

  4. What an adventure, and what a handsome couple you make! Enjoy!!!

  5. you are making cruising look fun! I've never been, but perhaps one of these years ;-)

  6. Howdy Sharon & Bill,
    WOW, Sharon, you're a 'knockout' with clothes on !!!! hee heee heeee Bill, you can tell you're a Westerner with the Dress coat on, looks gooood !!!! I'm glad all of your precautions 'worked', Sharon... What'd you do with ALL of the barf-bags??? UP & DOWN, UP & DOWN !!!!!!!!

    Hope the seas calm so y'all can have a HAPPY DAY !!!!!

  7. You make a very handsome couple in your finery! Your title reminded me of an old laundry detergent commercial. "Sailing, sailing over the ocean blue, when you put _______ in your wash ..." I can't remember the product--maybe Breeze detergent?

  8. Dramamine is the only thing that saved me on the one cruise I went on. I would have been grabbing the bags too.

  9. That ship is NOT SMALL! By golly it's huge. You look like you're having fun.

  10. What fun....I have never been on a cruise and probably never will...our pups can't go! Anyhow....i sure will enjoy riding along with you!
    You both look great!

  11. Sounds like a cool vacation to me! Keep the blogs coming, I enjoy going along with you!

  12. Sharon, you two sure make travel look easy whether in an RV or on a cruise. I was also thinking that it doesn't look like a small ship. We have never been on a cruise (yet).

  13. Royal Caribbean used to be one of my clients. Loved getting to go on cruises (all work... of course). I love being on the sea, but as you've proven here, no matter what anyone tells you, it's NOT like being on land. You DO feel the movement. Love that dress-up photo!

  14. When on the ferry on the Inland Passage in Alaska, port is left, I remembered it has 4 letters in both words, starbrd much longer and is right, more letters :) rudimentary but it works :)