Dear Cruise Diary — Day 5, April 25, 2013

Dear Cruise Diary

Day 5 – At Sea in the Atlantic Ocean

April 25, 2013


I’m not sure I would have woken in time for the 7 am stretching class had I not set my alarm last night. I managed to get a quick cup of coffee and a few bites of fruit before the class. The Windjammer buffet has cut pineapple and melon every morning, sometimes accompanied by strawberries, and I make a mental note that I should buy fruit and cut it up in advance at home, because I really do enjoy it.

After stretching I head back to the Windjammer for what is becoming my standard breakfast: small bagel and lox. I may not need those fish oil capsules I’ve brought with me! I’m not too interested in the rest of the buffet – scrambled eggs or made-to-order omelet, oatmeal, sausage and limp bacon, waffles, breakfast potatoes, pastries and cold cereal. After reading yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (downloaded to my iPad yesterday in port), I decide to see how long it will take to download today’s issue using the rather slow ship Internet. The answer was seven minutes – or $2.10 at my package rate of 30-cents-a-minute. Not sure that I will do this every day, but I might try again earlier one day to see if it is faster when more people are sleeping.

Today’s first priority is work. One client needs a script for a two-day business meeting, complete with guest and speaker introductions and transitions between segments. Fortunately, I had researched and downloaded all the speaker bios yesterday using free wifi in Nassau, so I could finish the assignment offline in a few hours and then just log in to send it.

We once again “sprang ahead” on the clock at 11:30 am, and I decided to try lunch in the dining room rather than from the buffet. I generally like eating in the dining room, as they seat you with different people and the food seems better. The Mariner dining room has a nice salad bar at lunch – you point out to the chef what you want and he assembles and tosses it.

Back to work after lunch to write and submit an editorial column due the next day (which ended up being a good thing because the ship’s Internet was down the next morning), and before I knew it most of the day had passed. I hadn’t put in any laps on the jogging track and it looked like rain, so instead I headed to the fitness center and a bicycle. I arbitrarily decided that I would equate whatever time I biked to the distance I would have traveled in the same time walking, in order to meet my goal of walking 26 miles during this 15-day segment of my cruise.

To prepare for so many sea days, not only did I come loaded with work, but also with a lot of projects (e.g., culling and organizing my digital photos), ebooks to read and some movies and TV shows I downloaded on my laptop and iPad before I left home. I hadn’t touched any of that yet on my five days on the ship, so while I biked I watched the first episode of Top of the Lake, a new series on the Sundance channel starring Elisabeth Moss, who is better known for playing Peggy on Mad Men. It certainly made the hour pass faster and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

I didn’t think to bring my swimsuit and change in the fitness center, so it was back down to the stateroom to change and then back up for a soak in the hot tub. At least it will add four flights to my total for the day (which ended up being 20).

At dinner I joined a table for eight – two couples, both husbands of which worked for airlines (US Air and Continental); a couple of older women traveling together and a single American woman who lives in Germany. We had a good time sharing travel stories. Instead of the fruit plate for dessert, I asked for a bowl of berries. The waiter acted like it would be a hardship but I got them and it was the best dessert yet!

Ron the guitar player had packed the Wig and Gavel. There wasn’t a seat to be had so I just headed for the stateroom and read a while before going to sleep. The clock moves ahead yet again tomorrow, so I don’t want to stay up too late lest I really get off my schedule.

Tomorrow: Day 6 – At Sea in the Atlantic Ocean