Day 57, Grand Asia 2018
Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, At Sea:
Put a few hundred strangers together on a ship for a couple of months, and you are sure to get rumors flying around. This cruise is no exception; I would even say there seem to be more than usual on the Amsterdam lately.
As a former newspaper reporter and editor, I am hesitant to “report” on anything I can’t confirm, and of course that includes gossip and all of the rumors. But I’ll make one exception to show just how rife the rumors are and how twisted they get.
After our stop in Darwin, I heard that a passenger had been put off the ship because of theft involving a cell phone and some craft supplies among other things. Then I heard that she had convinced the ship’s security to let her stay until Sydney, from which it would be easier to get home. And that she would be confined to her cabin.
Lately I have heard that she has been seen out and about, that she might not have to leave at all (her choice) and that she’s been gone since Darwin anyway. It is a bit like the child’s game of telephone.
All I know is that I have always been comfortable leaving my phone or laptop at the Lido table while getting more coffee or something to eat. The thought of having a thief among us is disconcerting. (I should add that when I left my breakfast table for a few minutes while we were anchored in Mooloolaba, I did take my tender ticket with me – it was a low number and would have been too tempting for some, I thought.)
Of course the ship’s staff doesn’t have anything to say about this or other rumors. We probably will never know the truth. Just like back at home.
Tomorrow we will be in Sydney, the end of the middle segment of the cruise. About 100 passengers will disembark and others will join us. So today Mary, the watercolor instructor, had a show of our work. Everyone contributed his or her best work, and it was displayed for two hours around the clock tower on the third deck atrium.
I was impressed to see so much good work, particularly because many of the participants had not tried watercolor before. I was reminded that I had never painted until last year’s cruise. It was fun to see different interpretations of the same project.
I try to keep up with adding watercolor to my journal sketches. A few days ago I was finally caught up, but now I still need to finish my Mooloolaba pages, and we’ll be in Sydney for two days tomorrow, so I will be further behind.
After days of smooth seas, we encountered swells today. Every few minutes we hit one at an odd angle and jerk to one side or the other. It’s the first time I have felt the need to keep a hand on the grab bar in the shower while washing my hair with the other hand.
The day was a bit bittersweet as I kept running into new friends who are getting off in Sydney. Some are from Australia and used this cruise as the long way home from the states. Others didn’t have the full 82 days for the entire cruise. One couple is getting off to join a Royal Caribbean ship for an Australia circumnavigation. During the evening you saw their luggage sitting in the hallway, waiting to be taken away for offloading in the morning.
I know from experience that some of these friendships will continue over social media, and others that seem so close now will peter out. It’s the nature of being together on a small ship for several weeks. Once at home you fall back into your routine and your social life, and the cruise memories fade. Nonetheless, we all exchange our contact information and promise to stay in touch.
I’ve taken to printing personal cards to bring on the cruise – in part to spread the word about this blog but also to make it easier to exchange contact numbers and email. More and more passengers are doing the same. I’ll go home with a stack of them.