Sea Days and Gratitude

This 46-day cruise has about 16 Sea Days, during which the ship never docks.  That’s many more than most people are willing to pay for.  We signed up for all 46 days, unaware that most of our fellow passengers were signing up for only a segment: the NYC to Reykjavik, or the Reykjavik to France.  Very few signed up for the final segment, France to NYC with its five sea days. (Insert two funny stories: we knew we would receive a welcoming bottle of wine upon embarkation. Given my GI problems, wine is no-no for now. We finally took pity on our cabin steward who insisted we take it and stashed it in the cabin refrigerator. Little did we know that we would be offered a second bottle in Reykjavik and will be offered a third in France!  Similarly, our room came with complimentary laundry service, after which we spent a sea day or two in the ship’s laundromat; the cabin steward was aghast: “No, you get laundry service for each segment.” Oops. Clearly, we are novices at living the life of the elite.)

What do passengers do on sea days? Pretty much what they do at home!  There are lectures, bridge games, bingo and casino games, puzzles, a pool, fitness center, library, and art loft for those who wish them.  The real difference between life at a CCRC and a cruise ship is that at our CCRC, we have created an expectation of community engagement, so we have committees to plan and execute all of the above—adding to our bonding and social life.  (I am told that those who cruised the 180-day around the world cruise earlier this year bonded tightly; they were the first post-COVID cruise, and were rerouted 80 times as ports opened and closed, and as many fell victim to COVID.)

Bob spends hours reading the news and taking/sorting his pictures. If he’s not running around the ship pursuing pictures of offshore windmills, geese or sunsets, he is sorting pictures or reading on his computer.  For me, I read, write, and ponder the life of an 80-year old, which is coming soon and is all new to me.  I have just completed a book I can highly recommend: Gabrielle Zevin’s Young Jane Young,  and am well into Ruth Ozeki’s The Book of Form and Emptiness.  To put it simply, this is what we desired: lots of places and sunsets for Bob to photograph, and lots of down time for me. Tonight, we are grateful: a fabulous meal, a chamber quartet in the lobby, the sunset over Stockholm and a guest comedian as the evening finale.

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Betty Warner

Married female, mother of two, grandmother of five. Living in a senior living community, where dinner, house maintenance, and continuing care are part of the contract. Residents in this community are actively engaged in our lifestyle here; I currently help produce Zoom programs, and help edit our webpage. Physically "healthy for your age" despite shortness of breath, two knee replacements, a cardiac murmur, various skin issues and an incipient back problem.

2 thoughts on “Sea Days and Gratitude”

  1. We are in Stockholm for two days, and Bob has gone ashore both days on excursions. The excursion I had planned was cancelled, and I simply listened to my body, wrapped up in a comforter and read for two days….sad to miss another round at Stockholm but very comfortable to stay quiet. Regards to Jim. We think of you often…


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