Not Cruisers


cruise, coast, Italy

Coast of Italy seen from the cruise ship

We must confess that although this cruise ship is far superior than the ship we took to Alaska two years ago, we remain firmly, and resolutely, not cruisers. There is little appeal in being crammed in a supersized boat with 4500 passengers from 71 countries where the objective is simply to sell you something—all day long. We find it too commercial, noisy (“It`s bingo time!), with too many lame shows in the evening. Gone are the days when this was an elite form of travel with top flight entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett sang and there were lineups for top Broadway acts.

It now is cheap jewelry, watches, and knockoffs lining the promenade level and the likes of Saturday Night Fever and Dancing on Ice were the top ticket items.

I dread the “This is Tuesday so it must be Rome” approach to travelling where you are herded into buses and sent to the tourist “factory” to witness the “authentic” production of the local specialty. We choose instead to sneak off the ship, find the nearest taxi and head to the first street we found on Google maps.

Little Monkey made of towels



One bright spot was Christopher, our “personal valet.”  Christopher greeted us every morning with a huge smile and warm hello and seem genuinely interested in what we had planned for the day. If we needed anything, he was only too pleased to assist us.

In the evening when we returned from dinner near midnight, we were delighted to find a little surprise on our bed or cocktail table.  Christopher would wrap and twist our towels into a mischievious monkey, donning our sunglasses or reading glasses. One night searched the cabin for something of great value, only to look up and see our little monkey, smiling at us wearing my necklace.


Despite our displeasure with this style of travelling, it certainly was lovely to bask in the sun on your balcony at cocktail hour sipping our contraband wine…


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