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Published: March 25th 2022
Tuesday – Friday March 25, 2022
We’ve been on board Riviera for a week now, and at sea six of the seven days. In that time a lot has happened, and nothing much has happened!
I’ll start with some rather sad news, so I can end on a high. Yesterday during noon announcements, the Captain said there’s a medical emergency on board and we shall have to divert to Funchal ASAP. Can you imaging being in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with a medical emergency? NOPE. No thank you. So, we shall dock at Funchal around 9pm, where emergency medical team will be on hand, and depart around 10pm and be under way to Lisbon. I’m certain the passenger did NOT sign up for this. Hope they have travel insurance and are covered by medical insurance. Just so very sad.
We have spent the majority of our days reading, people watching, listening to the string quartet (they’re quite good) and of course eating. Last night we dined at Jacques and were literally overcome with food. We made the mistake of NOT sharing our protein which meant we left quite a lot on our plates. I know my mother is somewhere scolding me!! The side of beef showed up on each of our plates and we both knew we’d made a gross error. No more. These portions are Flinstone sized. So we barely touched our dinner which was perfectly cooked green beans, dauphinoise potatoes and a sirloin steak the size of Rhode Island. We washed what we could down with the last of our Antinori wine. We shall endeavor to do better next time.
When not dining in one of the specialty restaurants, we’ve been to the Grand Dining room which is just fine. We’ve learned that fish isn’t necessarily the best dish to order on board, we think it’s been frozen and frozen fish just doesn’t have the best texture…and eating fish is hard enough as it is for me. Yet another lesson learned.
We went to the Oceania Club event on Wednesday evening and learned we are two of 18 people who have had 10 cruises under our belts. Unsure how many days that is, but one couple on board have had somewhere in the thousands of days at sea. THOUSANDS. They have been invited on the inaugural cruise of Vista. We hate them. So here we are at the Silver level enjoying a few more perks. YAY. At this event we learned that there are 903 passengers on board for the crossing, most of whom disembark in Lisbon, where we take on 500 passengers – only a few of us are on board from Miami to Rome.
The seas have been a little deceptive. One day 3 foot waves while another 10 feet in height. Today….10 feet, and I’m having a tough time writing. I’ll do my best to power through. I tried going lower on the ship, but the public spaces were just way too warm…and busy…and I got too dizzy so back to the room where I can strip off some clothing and try to cool down. Our room is a little cooler than the public spaces since we can regulate our room temperature.
Today we have rain, high winds and even higher waves which makes for a BUMPY ride. We had a rather bumpy night as well. The grey skies and rain along with the wind and wave action has pretty much limited our activities for today. In the room we shall stay.
We have traversed through 4 time zones and thousands of nautical miles over the last week and up until today have had excellent weather, excluding the thunderstorm, of course. At least prior to the storm and shortly after the weather was wonderful. So today stands out as the weak link.
The people watching has been ideal for a voyeur like me. I make up stories in my head (never share them with anyone) and think about their lives. One woman has captured our attention in particular. She’s on our deck. She is somewhere in her advanced years and doing her darndest to turn back time. NOW….I’m all for presenting oneself in the best of light. I’m all in on plastic surgery etc – I have no issues whatsoever in that regard. HOWEVER…there are in fact limits, and she has exceeded each and every one. As example her lips resemble inflated bicycle tires, her face is frozen in an extreme look of surprise and her hands betray all the work she’s done to look amazing. Christopher and I agree that she resembles the Muppet Jan (long stringy blonde hair, bug lips….you know the rest). My guess is she went to her doctor for a consult, he must have young children who watch the Muppets and he put two and tow together and voila….Jan. To complete the picture, she indeed has a high-pitched voice.
While at the party Wednesday evening, a couple seated next to us commented on my shirt. Actually, when I have worn this shirt, I have been stopped, complemented and asked about it (floral print on navy ground…it is really nice if I do say so myself). ANYWAY, he started the conversation. Quite a character, and quite worse for the drink. Poor Christopher was cornered by this gentleman for a good while before we excused ourselves to go to dinner.
One afternoon while on the pool deck both Christopher and I were trying to concentrate on our reading when a couple of men two chairs down from us became engaged in conversation. The conversation eventually got around to money and portfolio amounts etc. Well….one guy mentioned that “once he sells his 100-thousand shares of Amazon, he’ll be sitting pretty” – The level of braggadocio just became too much and eventually turned into a pissing contest about whose….ahem…”portfolio” was larger. We chose to move, the path of least resistance. Christopher even used his noise canceling earbuds – because it just got too much. The Amazon guy looks a little like a turtle, not Mitch McConnel level of turtle, but close. Very close.
One evening while listening to the quartet, a woman across from us came over for a visit. I’m beginning to think we are magnets attracting a unique mix of individuals….anyway – she wanted to chat. She has two gay children out of five – she “figured us out” and we just got to talking. I had empathy for her – alone (husband passed, boyfriend recently passed) and on a cruise with her brother and his wife. It can’t be easy – particularly when the wife says she “talks to too many strangers” – B (our conversationalist’s name begins with a B) a woman of a “certain age” has lived a life and has some interesting stories to share. We just love chatting with her and listening to her stories. I also think it was important for her to let us know that she things “gay is OK”.
Speaking of gay….a LOT of gay men and women on the ship. Some we’ve sailed with in the past. We recognize a couple from Holland, a couple from France, and a couple from England. Now, the French duo we have referred to as the “creepy French guys” because well….they seem creepy. The Dutch couple seem nice, travelling with one of their parents and generally cordial. HOWEVER,…the taller of the duo MAY have his membership card revoked. He violated the sacred code of sox; wearing almost knee high sox with shorts, AND sandals. Now, the sox are appropriately fashionable (colorful, artsy, etc) the fact that the sox are somewhat artsy has spared him…THIS TIME. Continued infractions may result in further action up to and including revocation of said card. I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them.
There’s a German couple cute as can be. He must be over 7-feet tall. His feet hang off the edge of the chaise. When he walks the halls of the ship, he scrunches down so he doesn’t hit his head and ducks through each doorway. I wonder how he showers. I almost hit my head, and I’m only 5’10”.
Tomorrow morning, we must rise early for our Rapid PCR test. Everyone on board MUST get a test. The crew are tested regularly had have been under harsh restrictions since August. They have not been able to leave the ship, even for a day. So, most of the crew and staff have been on board since August, wearing their masks daily, tested weekly and we bitch about wearing a mask. Honestly, some people just have to find SOMETHING about which to complain. No matter how trivial. We’ve had it easy compared to some. Someone somewhere is having a rougher go of life than we – and yet we moan and groan. The pandemic has changed so much of our lives and we either grin and bear it, or fight like hell. I’m going to grin and bear it. I like to pick my battles. I’m lucky, in oh SO MANY ways, I’m lucky.
So, on that note this entry comes to its conclusion. Be thankful for what you have. Be Happy – the choice (and this time it IS a choice) is yours to make. If you chose to be miserable, do so…but quietly. Please?!
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