Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Blog cruising, part 1

So we’re aboard the Miracle right now, going through some mild chop on our way down to St. Maarten. The chop isn’t severe, but as this is my first time on a boat in quite awhile, it’s taking me a bit to get used to. It’s a big damn boat. I’m sure it would be worse if the boat was smaller, but since it’s bloody huge, there’s just the occasional disoriented moment as the boat rocks back and forth.

This is our first cruise, so it’s a touch on the weird side for both of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice ship, the crew is doing a good job and once you get past the fact that it’s nearly impossible to not spend money on this thing, you’re fine.

I thought Disney was bad for the psychology involved in trying to get you to part with your money. But Carnival has obviously learned from the masters and improved upon them. The whole idea of giving you a card where you charge all of your expenses and you don’t have to pay them until the end of the cruise. It’s devious, I have to admit. I suspect more than one person has hit the end of the cruise, looked at their bill and had a small stroke. We’re trying our best to go spend into oblivion, but you do have to remind yourself to be careful.

Then again, there are clearly people here who are not hurting for money. At all. Even in the slightest.

The other thing is that today is Christmas. The only other day I can think of that was less like Christmas than today was back in ’96 when I was in South Korea. I had arrived two weeks before Christmas, and while there is a growing Christian population, most of the country isn’t. So aside from some ex-pat teachers gathering at our apartment for supper, it wasn’t much of a holiday.

We’re seeing the same thing here. There are a few people wearing hats. There’s a bit of Christmas music and whatnot. Last night saw a Christmas performance on the main stage, but dancers in red velvet mini-skirts, while hos of a sort, aren’t filling me with the spirit of the season. But the boat isn’t really decorated and you have to strain to know it’s anything other than just another day.

It’s nice and all and don’t get me wrong. I’ll take this over whatever the temperature in Iqaluit is right now. It’s just...strange. I also feel sad for the crew. Having to work away from their families on Christmas must suck.

Strangest moment so far...sitting in the lunch room with about six different buffets on the go when “Do they know its Christmas?” begins playing over the speakers. There’s something deeply wrong with hearing the lyric “Feed the world...” with about 2,000 people eating food on a luxury cruise.

Oh, and there is internet access. It’s just slow, very expensive and despite promises of wifi, we can’t access it from our room. This is actually being written in a Word document and cut and pasted into blogger. In other words, don’t expect daily updates on the blog.

We don’t have anything planned for St. Maarten yet...I think we just plan to poke around and do some twacking (window shopping for the non-Newfoundlanders). In St. Lucia we’ve booked a canopy tour, which should be fun. St. Kitt’s is up in the air. I think we might just sit on a beach. And in Tortola, we’re going sea kayaking.

Anyway, more updates and observations as I think of them Hope you’re al enjoying your holidays, where ever you happen to be.

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