Wanderung 24

Spring Fling

From March to May 2011

Sunday April 10: At Sea


I spent the whole day writing like crazy, trying to catch up on all the days of the journal we had neglected to write along the way. This was complicated by our room steward throwing out all our old daily schedules of events and even some of the maps of Funchal, etc. Arrrrgh!!

But we both took time out for the morning arts and crafts session, which was painting a picture frame. My plan was to put a picture of the Atlantica into the frame, so I painted the frame to simulate ocean waves at the bottom and a sky with clouds and birds on top. Once again, Debbie, bless her artistic soul, had suggestions about how to paint the clouds (flat on the bottom, fluffy on top) and the waves (overpainting with arcing green and blue brush strokes).

After we returned home, I printed one of our best pictures of the Atlantica and inserted it into the frame, where it now sits on our computer. A picture of the final product is included below so that the Gentle Reader can judge for him- or herself if it all worked out!


In the morning we sailed past Sardinia. But the Mediterranean was smooth and we enjoyed our balcony.

Since we spent yesterday mainly juggling pictures, today was spent doing some serious writing. Trying to think back to Funchal and Malaga was not easy, but we both managed. I had carefully kept all the ship's daily reports, called "Today", together in a stack so that I would have a reminder of what we did on which sea day. But when I started to look for them, they were all gone. It seems we had spilled some tea on them and our ever-efficient steward threw them out. So now I had to depend on my memory!!!

We interrupted our morning writing to paint nice wooden picture frames - as I mentioned before, Costa really does have the best arts and crafts and all that for free! The regular group from our table was in attendance (including Bill) so we had lots of fun. Bob again got amibitious, trying for a seascape to put a picture of the ship into, whereas I stuck to simple flowers.


Monika went to the afternoon arts and crafts session on napkin folding, and she and Debbie even demonstrated some of their newly-learned skills that evening at dinner. I, on the other hand, became so engrossed in telling the tales of the past few days that I never even looked up until Monika yelled at me that it was time to get up and get dressed for diner! We donned our formal gear for the Captain's farewell reception before dinner as that is fun and typically comes with complimentary drinks.


After lunch it was back to writing. Afternoon arts and crafts was napkin folding and Bob opted to stay and write. After the session, Debbie, Sandy, and I stayed to chat with Jimena and found out a little about her. She comes from Argentina near the Chilean border and is the only one of her family to leave the town and indeed the country. Before going to sea, she had already spent 3 years in Miami, and ultimately she wants to come back to America.


As usual, entertainment was provided by a pianist and singer before the Captain arrived, and some brave couples even danced on the stage but we were in the balcony and therefore just watched.

For dinner I tried a new tack of just getting a baked potato for the main course and then splitting Monika's entre with her. It worked out perfectly and helped both of us avoid over-eating, which is otherwise the bane of being on a cruise ship. Some people are probably blessed with more willpower than I am, but I do like to eat and having an abundance of tasty food always at hand is rather more temptation than I can resist.

As we caught up with our tablemates, we learned that Ruth had lost her best pair of reading glasses overboard while she was peering at something with a pair of binoculars, and Bill was suffering from some kind of sinus infection. Debbie was just recovering from the severe case of laryngitis that had struck her right after her performance at Roman Night, and Chris had by now fully recovered from a severe ear infection he had incurred after skin diving on Antigua, I believe it was. Bill and Sandy had both tripped and fallen during our day in Malaga (construction of that new terminal left a lot of tricky footing and improvised sidewalks, etc.), but those bruises were also fading. Tom, Ari, and Truus did not seem to have had any problems although they all had received a bit of sunburn by my observations!

In contrast, none of us had experienced seasickness because, as Ari pointed out, our Atlantic crossing had been a remarkably calm one. But given the litany of minor ailments from the folks at our table, the wise traveler should probably prepare for a variety of minor problems on any lengthy cruise. Personally, I would include on that "take with" list a set of foam earplugs for the evening performances in which the music is overamplified, which has occurred on almost every cruise ship we have sailed on.


Tonight was the last formal night. We first had cocktails in the theater. Then a nice dinner that ended with a champagne toast to all the chefs and waiters. And, of course, there was Baked Alaska brought in by the assistant waiters, with sparklers to simulate flaming.



Since the folks at our table looked so spiffed-up, we all took pictures of each other to serve as a reminder of a very pleasant trans-Atlantic crossing. Nicer people than we had at our table would be hard to imagine!


Our whole table was there in their Sunday Best, so, of course, we had to take a nice picture of every couple.


The evening performance that night was a show billed as a "Cirque de Soleil" style show and in part it was exactly that. A Russian husband and wife acrobatic team pulled off a series of very difficult routines. The wife did a suspended ring and "silks" routine that did remind me of Cirque de Soleil, and she was also the primary contortionist of the pair.

The husband was more the powerplant and did the lifts, throws, and so forth, but he was also the comedian and interspersed the acrobatic routines with some pretty cheesy but funny magic tricks and comedic bits, no doubt to give them both a chance to rest and regroup for the next acrobatic sequence. And that, plus a bid of bedtime reading, was it for the day.


The sun was setting in brilliant colors of red before we went to the theater for the evening show. The evening show was billed as Aero-Magic. It was a husband and wife team. She was impossibly flexible and he was, of course, tremendously strong and flung her around or carried her while she was in these rather impossible positions with feet over head, etc. In between the aerobic acts, he did some magic tricks of the rather silly but fun kind. Volume was quite acceptable. So we had a lot of fun.


Copyright 2011 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt
Prolog Map of Transatlantic Cruise Map of Drive in Ireland Epilog

March 2011
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
April 2011
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
May 2011
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Return to the Wanderungs Homepage.
Sign the Guestbook or Read the Guestbook.
Comments about this site? Email the Webmaster.
Contact Bob and Monika at bob_monika@hotmail.com.