Have you ever noticed how hard it is to change the habits of a lifetime? We've been inveterate bargain hunters for nigh onto 50 years, and it is uncommonly difficult for us to pass up a good deal. So when we found a cheap cruise from Baltimore to Bermuda on Norwegian Cruise Line, we immediately called Lois to check if she wanted to accompany us on the NCL "Majesty" for a week and split the costs three ways. By traveling with us, Lois could avoid the dreaded "single supplement" that cruise lines typically charge solo passengers, which can effectively double the price! It also, of course, made the cruise cheaper for us, so it seemed like a win-win solution from our point of view. In any case, Lois took us up on our offer and we all booked the cruise starting on June 28th.
The advantage of booking a cruise from Baltimore was that it is just a hop, skip, and jump away from our home on Interstate 95, and that meant we could drive to the embarkation point. More importantly, we didn't have to bother with the increasingly unpleasant experience of air travel, making connections from the airport, and all that rot. Regular readers of these Wanderungs know that for some reason I typically have more trouble with security than most folks. In fact, during a recent visit to the National Gallery of Art, I was accosted by security three times in the span of one hour, which was something of a record even for me! [For the morbidly curious among you: I hung a lost shirt on a clothes hangar that turned out to be a protected piece of modern art, I carried a water bottle containing water into the main building, and, last but not least, while taking pictures of 30-40 paintings (which IS allowed) I accidentally took one of a painting that had "do not take pictures" in the fine print on the title plaque hidden beneath it.]
Similary, the Homeland Security screening staff at airports always takes one look at me and gives me the "Full Monty", so to speak. I've even been stuck in one of those new "air puff" machines, which I rather enjoyed as it rather felt like an air massage. I was tempted to start singing like I do in the shower, but I just knew that having fun during a security screening would cause some unpleasant sequellae like having a strip search. From a pragmatic point of view, I can understand the staff having absolutely no sense of humor and "zero tolerance" is, correctly, their absolute goal, but emotionally I miss the Good Old Days when air travel was a wonderful, exciting adventure. Fortunately, sea travel still is a wonderful, exciting adventure, at least for us, and we three set off for Baltimore in high spirits.Copyright 2008 by Robert W. Holt and Elsbeth Monika Holt