The Cruise Groove

NB – I’m writing this from Honolulu on Tuesday, the 30th of September. Will update and add in Maui – two days from now. But here’s a bit of an addition. Thanks for your patience in getting comments posted. We don’t have daily e-access at the moment.

Long Beach was our first shore day after three days on the water. We headed straight for an Internet café before wandering around Shoreline Village (see photos). Then it was back to the ship for lunch and then off again to tour the Queen Mary (more photos). We are now two days out of Los Angeles, heading across the Pacific toward the first of three Hawaiian stops.

Queen Mary to the right; our ship behind the palms - seen from Long Beach
Queen Mary to the right; our ship behind the palms - seen from Long Beach
Shoreline Village, charming spot near where we anchored in Long Beach
Shoreline Village, charming spot near where we anchored in Long Beach

The customer relations staff are familiar with us. They have scrubbed our stateroom, changed our mattress (which didn’t know smoke was supposed to stop at the linens), and repaired the thermostat. We are, at last, completely comfortable in our inside cabin. Without daylight to awaken us, we sleep until we are ready to start the day.

To check the weather, we turn on the TV and watch the view from the bridge. That’s also our daily dose of country and western music. Skies have been cloudy, the seas calm. I no longer wear the wrist bands, but I continue the ginger as a preventive measure.

Robin joins two Australians and a New Zealander for a daily round of table tennis while I head out to walk laps around the deck. Today I pulled out my iPod and listened to Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes talk about dreams. That kept me going for sixteen laps, or just over four miles.

We both had energy assessments this morning, with Dr. Ginger Akuna, the resident acupuncturist. Nearly everyone reading this is someone who knows us. You know we are both healthy. Neither of us takes any kind of medicine.  We eat a high-quality diet and stay active. So how is it some of our meridian readings were alarmingly out of balance, excessively high and excessively low?

Robin’s going to schedule a balancing treatment. I’ll risk the imbalance and skip the costly cleansing, though we both agree that health is the sine qua non of any life.

Robin finds it easier than I to slip into the groove of ship life. I still feel as if I need to have something to show for the day, perhaps a few pages of work on the book or an article written or some weighty tome read.

Much of each day is spent in long conversations over meals. We’ve chosen the open seating so we meet new people every day. With over a thousand passengers on board, we will only meet a handful of them in the weeks we are together. Most are retired. Many have taken ten or more cruises.

Everyone knows the stories of people who live onboard. I figured these were urban legends, but now we’ve met people who have talked with these ship residents. They are people who eschew the sterility and boredom of assisted living complexes for the better food, more attentive service, and ever-changing company of ship life.


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