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Published: March 8th 2018
I bet you’ve been checking the obituaries looking for my name since I have being absent for so long. I’m alive! I’m alive! Our daughter, Kim, called us today to make sure we hadn’t been stuffed and left in a suitcase somewhere. Nope....just caught the rotten flu (yes,I had a flu shot) then acute bronchitis and still not quite 100% myself but much better than I was nearing the end of our cruise on Thursday, Feb.22nd. That’s when I positioned myself and Lulu onto my death bed. Cory got sick once we were home but struggled and fought and recovered from his ailments so much faster than me. He’s a strong man! The horrible senerio with me will come later in these blogs. First, we want to share our annual cruise with all of you. We’ll start with the good, go to the bad and end with the ugly.
I know you were hoping to go along with us this time. Just as well, you might have caught what I did. Some of you had already called in sick so we were able to get a return on your tickets. I hope you are all feeling better if you had
this dastardly disease. You have my sincere empathy!
Okay....let’s get cruising. We shared our fun 10-day cruise time with Sandy & Sam and their friends, Bev & Ed. They met each other on one of their many cruises. Our cruise ship was the Caribbean Princess (Princess Cruise Line). It was a beautiful ship and we had a lovely balcony room on the 14th floor. All our 3 rooms opened unto each other out on our balconies. Hey, neighbor! It provided the perfect vantage point to watch as our ship passed through the 3 locks of the newly built Panama Canal. We only went on the Caribbean side which opened into Gatun Lake. Turned around and came back through. Sam & Sandy had traveled through the original Panama Canal four times but this was their first time going through the newly opened Canal and locks. In the old canal, they said the locks opened and closed like huge barn doors; separating in the middle, electric devices attached to the lock walls called mules attached and moved the ships into and out of the locks. Now, in the new Canal, the huge steel gates slide open and close, tugboats move the
ships through the locks. There are 3 large water retaining areas at each lock. These reclaim the water used in the locks saving 60% of the water used. This did not exist with the old canal.
Okay.....I’m getting ahead of ourselves. Let me get back to boarding day, Friday, February 16th. Cory drove us four to Port Everglades in Ft.Lauderdale via the Florida Turnpike. Miraculously, we hooked up with Bev & Ed just outside the entrance to the boarding area. They had taken Rt.27 from Haines City to get here. Great timing. No problems with our boarding so we raced to the buffet for an eat and greet. Busy, Busy, Busy! It took us a couple laps around to find a table to accommodate the 6 of us. Up to our rooms, our room attendant, Rommel, stated that one of our suitcases that had already been delivered was wet on the outside. It had been noted such down at the dock. Hmmmmm - what could have happened? We opened our smaller suitcase and immediately saw the culprit. I had wrapped a bottle of wine in my nightgown and it was smashed to smithereens. The wine was absorbed by my
nightgown, bra and every pair of underpants that Cory brought. It smelled like a wino’s dingy knapsack. Geeeze. Rats! Not so much about the loss of the wine but the mess with our clothes. Would Cory have to go Commando the entire cruise? Would I have to sleep naked every night? This is not our routine! Rommel said he would contact his boss for suggestions. Shortly, his boss called the Laundry Master arrived. He acted like a strict military man...very direct. The only thing he would do was to send our saturated garbs to the laundry and clean them for free. Better than nothing. Only problem, they wouldn’t be returned until late the next evening. Well, Cory could wear my underwear but what about me? Rommel came to our room delivering 2 bulky, soft, fluffy bathrobes for us. That was nice but don’t try sleeping in one! It was like having a lumpy sleeping bag strapped around you.....extremely uncomfortable. But we made it through this crisis. One of the very, very best part of this cruise was our bed! It was the most comfortable bed ever. One time, Cory and I went to Seattle and stayed at a Wyndham hotel
that advertised “the heavenly bed”. It was like sleeping on a cloud and had 17 pillows. I never wanted to leave it. It was soooooo, so nice! And now, this bed in our cruise room was so much like it....no 17 pillows but the mattress and 4 huge pillows were pure scrumptious luxury. I made the mistake that would come back to haunt me by stating I just wanted to stay in this bed throughout the cruise. I got the info about this delightfully squishy mattress and hopefully can purchase one of them for our home bed.....plus free shipping. Our time on board this embarkment day was spent checking everything out. It was a big ship...one that takes a week just to figure out where to go for what. One employee told me: food is in the back, entertainment is in the front. Easy enough but I could never figure the front from the back. But from the looks of myself, I think I must have stayed in the back the majority of the time.
Our 2nd day brought us to their “private island” called Princess Cays. We took a tender to get onshore. It couldn’t accommodate Sam’s scooter
so he and Ed stayed on the ship. Sandy, Bev, Cory and I became the adventurous ones. The ship is well organized in getting everyone off the ship in a ship-shape manner.....as long as you follow their directions. We found one lady wandering around, confused about the directions, so we told her just to join our group until she got to where she wanted to be. Thus, Carol, became our new friend. We would run into her on numerous times throughout the cruise. Princess Cays was a small, sandy beach Island with beautiful, blue water. We walked most the length of the island. Calypso music played at different locations. Vendors were trying to sell their wares. Pushy as usual. The cruise line had prepared a barbecue for all of its passengers who had ventured onto the island. Amazing the amount of food, staff and work it takes to do this for its several thousand customers. Unbelievable! After eating, we decided to head back to the big boat.
It was still lunchtime when we arrived. Sam & Ed we’re ready to eat so why not? We joined them. It’s real bad when you each two meals at one time frame....one
meal is more than sufficient but you do what you have to or want to on a cruise. And we did. We finished off our day by watching a couple movies in their theater. First we saw Victoria and Abdul....good movie. Later that evening, Cory and I went and saw The Shape of Water. A good movie but kind of different.....and now it has won Best Picture at the Oscars! When we returned to our room, we were pleased to see that our wine soaked clothes had been cleaned and returned. They even ironed my Walmart nightgown....Geeze.
Enough for now.....I’ve done all I can for this round. Exhausted! Much more to go so just stay tuned. Remember, when there are many photos, you have to scroll WAY down the pages to see them all. See you all again soon...just stay strong and well and happy. We are so glad to be back with you again. You have been missed!
Tot: 3.009s; Tpl: 0.062s; cc: 7; qc: 54; dbt: 0.0569s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
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