Dear Cruise Diary — Day 3, April 23, 2013

Dear Cruise Diary

Day 3 – Sea Day

April 23, 2013


After another good night of sleep, I woke about 6:30 – just in time to dress, grab a cup of coffee and a little fruit and head to stretching at 7 a.m. The class was packed, so I made a mental note to get there a bit earlier next time. We added some abs exercises – I was sure I would be feeling it. But I also felt pretty virtuous for making it two days in a row. It doesn’t take much….

Breakfast again was lox and bagel with a little scrambled egg on the side in the Windjammer. In lieu of a paper, I read the first chapter of The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brenna Manning – a book I had been saving on Kindle for the cruise. Reviews claim it gives a refreshing view of God’s grace. It is not a book to race through. I thought a chapter a day might be ideal.

I had thought I would put in my walking time in the late afternoon, but discovered yesterday that it seemed windier and the sun was low, so today I started around 9 a.m. Thank goodness I brought my little clicker (designed to track knitting stitches) to track laps completed. Five laps make a mile, and I put in 15, with the last half-lap at a cool-down pace. I planned to stop at 10 laps but got a second wind. I would need to keep up this pace on the sea days in order to complete 130 laps (marathon distance) by Barcelona.

After showering and dressing for the day, I headed to the Café Promenade and my first Starbucks latte of the trip. A front table opened up, so I settled down to check email and do some quick web research. I noticed a long line developing. People were queuing for tickets to the upcoming ice show. Yes, the Mariner has a small ice rink. I’ve long been a fan of figure skating and have attended at least two U.S. championships, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend an hour in line, so passed on that opportunity. After conserving my expensive Internet minutes (logging in once to download email, then logging off, writing replies offline, and then logging in again to send), I headed down the Royal Promenade to hear the highly touted string trio.

As I suspected, I ran into Larry and Meg who had recommended the string trio. They were listening from a table outside the Wig and Gavel Pub, so I joined them and their friends Rosemary and John to listen a while and then go to the Windjammer for a late lunch. Again, a salad for me. I hope I don’t get tired of it for lunch.

Because we are heading east, every day or two we cross another time zone. Unlike ships on my other Atlantic crossings that “leap forward” overnight, the Mariner moves the clocks forward at 11:30 am. So suddenly it is 12:30 pm. This has the effect of shortening the crews’ workday rather than their sleep, our waiter said last night. It will be interesting to see if I do go to bed at the new time and don’t keep sleeping an hour later each morning.

My priorities for the afternoon were to update the blog and write at least one article for a client. Of course, I started first on the blog, working at a table in the shade by the pools on Deck 11. The wind soon drove me back to the cabin to finish the client work.

All the stairs, the stretching and ab exercises and the walking have my body wondering what in the world has happened. A few minutes in one of the hot tubs were delightful and soothing.

After cleaning up for dinner, I stopped into the Schooner Bar for the advertised singles gathering. No surprise that it was almost a dozen women and just two men. By the time we had introduced ourselves and just started to chat, the cruise staff pumped up the music to start a Michael Jackson song trivia contest. Poor planning, I say, to drown out all possibility of conversation just a few minutes after starting a gathering.

I joined fellow solo cruiser Pat (Tampa) for dinner, where we had an enjoyable time with Hoyt (Bella Vista, AR) and Ron (San Antonio).

There were many choices of activities after dinner –karaoke, piano bar, trivia and other games, small orchestra and dancing, a movie in the theater and another under the stars. I opted to stop at the Wig and Gavel pub to sip a Baileys while listening to Ned Gray on the guitar. I enjoyed the familiar music – a set of Jimmy Buffett songs, some Eagles and other mostly 70s music. Ned encouraged singing along. My two flights up to the stateroom made for a total of only 15 flights today (must do better!). Alas, I wasn’t particularly tired, so I stayed up a little late in the cabin. So much for quickly adapting to the new time zone….

Tomorrow: Day 4 – Nassau, Bahamas