Monday, December 9, 2019

Travel Blogging VII

At Sea, between Athens and Sicily (written yesterday): Our month-long cruise is actually two shorter cruises linked together. The first was Venice to Rome, basically an eastern Mediterranean cruise. The second is Rome to Ft. Lauderdale, and is properly thought by insiders as a “repo” or repositioning cruise.

Repositioning cruises tend to happen in spring and fall - as this one - when a ship is moving from one climate zone to another. A classic example is ships moving to and from the Alaska cruise route, which is only active when it’s not freezing. Or moving to and from the Caribbean which tends to be less active in summer (too hot, muggy). Repo cruises tend to be priced more competitively (cheaply) on a per-day basis.

Our first ‘leg’ was jam-packed with port visits, there were only two “sea days” or days with no port visit. The other DrC refers to it as a “beginners’ cruise” because new cruisers can’t imagine how to pass the days between ports.

The second leg has a few port visits and a number of sea days crossing the Atlantic. People who have cruised a lot tend to like sea days and sometimes find port visits tedious, in part because the ports are places they’ve visited before.

So what do we do on sea days? Read, crochet, surf the web, eat, sleep in, catch a show, lounge in the pool/hot tub. In short, live for a few days the idle life of the idle rich who have everything done for them by smiling minions.

Speaking of minions, the other DrC chatted up a bartender from India who just joined the ship and is on his first contract as an employee. Learning this, she asked how he was liking it so far. His reply, “It is a dream come true.” I’ll bet he was smiling when he said it.

Like the idle rich, the cruise passenger doesn’t have to make constant decisions about whether something is affordable, it is mostly prepaid and thus “baked in the cake.” Mostly, so long as one stays aboard and doesn’t go crazy in the shops, casino or bar.