15 Oct I Left My Zimmer Frame at Home!
After thirty-six hours from home to hotel, travelling east over the International Date Line, including three airports besides the one from which we left, I’m lucky to know my name, let alone where I am. And we were fortunate to have had a spare seat in our row of three for the long haul leg of fourteen hours. However much ‘sleep’ we managed to get, and I prefer to consider it a series of rest times rather than actual lengthy periods of good shuteye, we basically wasted the one day we had in Fort Lauderdale by falling asleep after brunch and a walk along the wonderful beach in front of our hotel, only waking in time to shower and go out for dinner. And not long after that we went back to bed!
We have now set sail on our 11 day cruise of the South Caribbean, and I think this is going to be an interesting cruise. From my early observations, I’ll tell you why.
My P-i-C and I are here to celebrate an auspicious occasion … my 60th year on this wonderful planet. I was starting to feel I was getting older; now I feel like a ‘spring chicken’ because I’m almost the youngest on board! Overhearing conversations, and witnessing many of the guests greeting each other, and the crew members, like long-lost friends, it appears they have been on this journey before, and some annually. They’re likely to continue to do it until they leave for heavenly pastures. And that’s what I’m worried about … that some may take their last breath on this voyage. At yesterday’s compulsory Evacuation Drill I did a quick scan of the 1000 or so people in the theatre where we assembled. I’d estimate that the average age would have to be well over 70 years, with only about 5% younger than 40. I’m placing myself in the next 20% of the population being 40 to 70 years young. You can do the math; the other 75% are slowly, or should that be more quickly, using up their quotas of the number of breaths allowed. It was chaos trying to leave the theatre once the drill was finished as those on gophers and zimmerframes, of which there were an amazing number, blocked the corridor while they waited for the lifts. Those of us who were able to take the stairs had to try and squeeze around them. Can you imagine what it would be like if there was a real emergency? My wicked thought, at that frustrating time, was that at least we’d be able to get on to a lifeboat.
At the comedy show last night the emcee asked if anyone was celebrating anniversaries. Quite a few couples were, ranging from 50 to 69 years. That means the people would have to be, at the youngest, 68 years old (going on 18 being the minimum age to marry). See what I mean? Half the guests here could be my parents … and that’s a scary thought.
The one thing this ship is missing, and I believe it could be an opportunity for a business enterprise, would be a funeral company. I’m actually surprised that one of the questions on the lengthy questionnaire we had to complete at the time of booking wasn’t your preference of undertaker! They have desks for everything else: shore excursions, future cruises, and the like, so someone to write up your funeral plan wouldn’t be out of place here. Imagine having a burial at sea; not many people could boast they had over 2000 people at their funeral! If the captain has the authority to perform weddings, I’m sure he (or she) could just as easily rustle up a few appropriate words for the occasion. I mean, don’t many consider marriage a form of death?
This is only day 2 of the cruise, so I will be watching with interest to see if there are any ‘incidents’. For the sake of those onboard, I hope not. I’m not sure if the family of a deceased cruiser would be able to get a refund from the insurance company should someone ‘expire’ during the cruise. And I’d certainly hate to be shortchanged. This cruise cost us a dollar or two, and I aim to get my money’s worth. Being put on ice somewhere in the bowels of the ship (and I do believe ships of this size have to have a morgue), is not my idea of having a good time. Not when there is such an array of food on offer, and for about 18 hours of the day. There are other great services as well and I aim to try as many and as much as I can, even the gym! And that, in my present stage of fitness, could just be my demise!
Sail on, Captain. There are places to see and activities to attend. I only have time for fun and frivolity; though if one had to leave this world at this time, there would certainly be worse places to draw one’s last breath.