End of Day 1 – On the Ship and Day 2 at Sea

Hi,

Yesterday I left off with a woman barfing at my feet.  I thought about taking a picture of her to post, but decided that was a bit insensitive.  And gross.  She was very tidy and as quiet as possible, and I’m sure, horribly embarrassed.  She bolted off the bus, as soon as the door was open.  On that happy note, we carefully left the bus and walked up to our ship, the Celebrity Infinity.

Actually, we walked up to the giant registration building, where 2,000 people were eager to not stand in another line.  But stand we did, and considering the numbers of people, it went surprisingly fast.

Not fast enough, however, for it to escape Emma’s eyes that there were no young people to be seen.  There was enough gray hair to coat Mt Hood, and senior myopic old folks would be convinced it was enough snow to ski.  Emma was laughing at first, but when the reality of living the senior experience for two weeks hit her, she got a bit panicky. 

“Grandma!  I can’t find a single soul under 30!” she cried. 

“Nonsense, there has to be people under 30,” I replied, scanning the multiple lines of cruisers.

“You find one – just one!”

Obediently, I studied the crowd.  After a few minutes, I saw a young woman wearing a white shirt and blue shorts.  “There you go!”

“She works here.”

I pretended to be busy checking the forms we needed to present, hoping desperately a stray teen would appear.  Emma loves us, but I wouldn’t want to spend all my vacation with me, either.

At last, all documents were presented, including the all-valuable credit card, and we went aboard.  Vacation at last!  

Typical cruise revenue ruse is to have a photographer ready to capture those moments at every possible location.  Of course, typical tourists that we are, we forced Emma to have a group shot taken.   As you can see from her face, the reality of traveling with your grandparents on a ship filled with blue hair…..

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It’s off to the ship!  This is the first time we haven’t had a balcony.  When I booked the cruise, they were all sold out, and the best I could do was a room with a window.  Or that is porthole to you land creatures wanting the proper vernacular.

The room is much smaller than the veranda rooms.  Oh dear!  And we have a third person.  The picture on the website showed a couch that turns into a bed, in addition to the regular double bed.  Let’s just say it is a chair that turns into a bed.  A comfy chair; it sits tightly between the bed and the window.  But it is a room on a lovely cruise ship, and we all love each other, right?  And we can take turns sitting on it!  Who wants to sit in a room, anyway?  We are cruisers and live life on board to the max!

We had surrendered our luggage back at the airport, and were assured they would deliver it to our room.  While we were waiting, we took a stroll around the ship.  Emma was anxious to see it, and I was beside myself with excitement to show it all to her.  I was also hoping to see some young people that she could hang out with.  There is a kids center on the ship, and I wanted to show it to her.  On prior cruises, I had noticed that there were teen events, even dances in the evening.  I have been telling her about all the fun with other kids, but after the public viewing of cruisers at the check-in site – I’m not so sure.  Muttering a bit of a prayer under my breath, we took off to check out the ship.  George wanted to stay in the room, but Emma’s excitement was contagious, and he wanted to show her the ship, as well.

A cruise ship is pretty darned dazzling, which is one reason I love it.  We work hard every day, and to be treated like a queen for two entire weeks?  Who cares if it a totally unreal environment and people are paid to be nice to me!  I’m living in a fantasy life, and it is hard to wipe the luxuriating grin of indulgence off my face.  To a 14 year old who hasn’t travelled, it is even more special.

Emma is at the age of feigned coolness – it is a family felony to look over enthusiastic – about anything.  But here she is, grabbing my arm and shaking her head in wonder.  Smiling, taking photos, looking so happy that my heart aches.  Life is good, and we are so happy to give this to her.

We embarked at Santiago, Chile, but apparently the ship actually started in Buenos Aires, so some of the passengers have already been on the ship for two weeks.  There were a ton of people up on the top deck, sunbathing.  Oh my, with the average age of the cruisers being well past Medicare age, the amount of sun-burned wrinkles sagging and bagging in their swimwear brought us up short.  Emma looked stunned, and a bit horrified.  I had hoped there would be some kids swimming in the pool, but there wasn’t a single unwrinkled carcass in the water.  Some of the poolside sunbathers looked like they might have died some time ago, and their bodies were mummifying in the sun.  I had to take a double look at one man sleeping in a lounge chair, I really thought he might have died.

Probably because I was tired from the flight, but it all suddenly struck me funny and I got the giggles.  George and Emma couldn’t figure out what was so funny, but the sight of this guy asleep just set me off.  I took his picture, giggling like crazy, and Emma and George decided to walk away and pretend not to know me.  One of the highlights of the cruise for me is to see the ancient mummies found in the Andes.  They are older than the Egyptian mummies, and I am really looking forward it.  But guess what!  I haven’t been on the ship an hour, and I found my first mummy!

 

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George decided to go back to the room before he was branded as belonging to the giggling grandma, and Emma and I went to the Kid’s Center.  An enthusiastic, and extremely handsome, young Kid’s Center guy showed us around.  Emma silently mouthed to me “He’s HOT!” but that was the only excitement to be found.  There weren’t any kids, and it turns out there are only 8 teens on the entire ship.  Poor Emma, she took it pretty well, but I know she is keenly disappointed.  This may be a long two weeks for her.  The game room that I talked up turned out to be about six video games, and two of them weren’t working.  They were mostly set up for the 10 and under crowd, and there were a lot of crayons laying around.  so much for the Kid’s Center!

We checked out the espresso bar on Deck 5 and had a more adult moment over my Americano and her favorite caramel tooty-frooty coffee drink that was more sugar than coffee.  I thought I better show her the more adult luxury side of cruising life, since the teen world wasn’t going so well.  Then it was time to head back to our room and get ready for dinner.

There are multiple food choices on this ship.  The famous buffet, of course; but there is also the lovely main dining room and then some specialty restaurants (pay extra for these babies).  I like the main dinning room, because I can manipulate the healthy food choices easier.  George loves the specialty restaurants, and to make him happy, I had bought three dining experiences for us to use during the cruise.  For the special price of the newborn child of a king, we were allowed to dine the first night of a cruise at one.  George LOVES the Tuscan Grill, because there is nothing he loves better than spaghetti and meatballs.  Well, he also loves Thanksgiving, but they don’t serve that here.

Our luggage arrived and we hurried to change for dinner.  Except there was a problem.  I had purchased nice TSA locks for our luggage, which requires inputting a code number to unlock them.  I had programmed them at home and was feeling pretty good about it all.  Except there was a problem.  Not one lock would open.  Four locks, and not one would spring open.  Which meant we had no clothes. 

All three of us worked feverishly to figure out what the problem was.  Nothing worked, and I was about in tears.  We summoned the room attendant, Anthony, and asked if he had bolt cutters.  Of course not!  But he would summon the maintenance people.  Except they were at dinner and couldn’t come until 7 pm – when we were supposed to be at dinner ourselves.  And their shift ends at 8 pm.  But no problem, they could come in first thing in the morning.  One look at my face and he said he would make every effort to get them here right away.

How could I have messed up four locks?  Naturally, I had brought the directions for the locks with me.  They were safely located inside the luggage!  I was so frustrated and tired from traveling.  I sat down to try to unlock them one last time.  I had programmed the locks at 1:30 am before we left for the airport that morning.  I was really tired at the time, and figured I had made a mistake.  Which I had.  Something hit me and I tried putting the numbers in reverse of what I thought it should be.  I thought I had coded the locks 539, but I actually had used 935!  Voila – they opened.  Apparently, I did the lock upside down, which made the number backwards.  Five minutes before our reservation, we jammed on our clothes and headed out the door.  Frantically, I looked for Anthony, the room attendant.

Anthony came up to let me know he had convinced the maintenance guy to come right away.  Embarrassed, I told him I just figured it out, and apologized like crazy.  Gentleman that he is, he said he was happy for us.  But I bet he said a few choice words after we ran down the hall to the Tuscan Grill.

We had a wonderful meal, although the specialty restaurants prove to be more of a Weight Watchers challenge than the main dining room, or even the buffet.  I had watched my points and ended up with a lovely dinner of gnocchi, sautéed spinach and a sauvignon blanc wine that was to die for.  If I had passed on the complimentary after-dinner limoncello, I would have come in on points for the day.  I couldn’t locate the points for it, so tracked it as nine, and went into my weeklies.  Fortunately, we only have three of these type meals, so I told myself it would be fine.

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Unfortunately, George loved it so much that he surprised Emma and I today by purchasing five more of these specialty meals.  Oh joy.  I could feel the fat draining into my behind as he surprised us with the news.  This means we have to eat at one every other night.  Yay!…..

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Emma taking picture of her first sunset in South America

After our dinner, George was exhausted after the drug-induced travel techniques for his back, and went straight to bed soon after polishing off two giant meatballs and a platter of fresh pasta.  Party girls on the ship, Emma and I headed off to the first floor show of the cruise.  He was a comedian, and we thoroughly enjoyed it all.   Then we went back to the room and I watched Emma’s favorite YouTube heroes.  Not exactly my humor, but it was lovely to enjoy them with her.  I really don’t understand why this video girl would want to tattoo the word “Chipotle” on the underside of her lip, and I made Emma swear she would never do it.  I guess I’m just a generation short on this one.

Emma slept in this morning and George and I perused the ship, and attended a show on how we could spend thousands of dollars on excursions.  That’s okay, we are going to eat our excursions in the specialty restaurants.

Later in the afternoon, Emma and I were shopping the sales onboard, when a woman came up to Emma and asked if she could speak with her.  Turns out she is the mother of a 15 year old girl and 17 year old son.  We have been told there is a total of 8 teenagers on the ship, and like Emma, they hadn’t seen a fellow teen.  They weren’t with their mom, and she said they weren’t speaking to her, because she had sworn there would be tons of teens for them to hang with.  Emma hasn’t connected with them yet, but she was excited to hear there was someone without sagging skin on the ship.

Tonight we dine at Qsine, which is “Uniquely Unordinary.”  It is artistic cuisine with foods like sushi lollipops.  It should be a hoot!  And I’m sure it will all be low in points.  Right; I may change my name to Kathy Beluga Whale Butt…..  This may be a challenge.

I did walk and use the gym today, but something tells me I might need to head back after dinner!

Tomorrow is another sea day, and then we will arrive in Arica, Chili.  This is the place you always see on those Aliens Landed in Ancient Times and Left Giant Landing Pads in the Andes cable TV shows.  Maybe we will be teleported to a specialty restaurant in outer space!

Best regards,

Kathy

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