I am really sorry to have inflicted these memories on you all, but no one else will listen to me. Evidently, no one really wants to hear of your own grand adventure. The other day I broke down and said more than ten words about the trip and was met with silence on the phone. I said, "Hello, are you there?" I heard my oldest friend in the world scramble to pick up the phone, which, bored to tears, she evidently had placed on the counter. I can forgive her because we've known each other since our parents met right after the flood.
Besides, I do exactly the same to her when she begins to tell me about her grandchildren.
So, here we are at the third part of the tale - the cruise home from Italy aboard the Celebrity cruise ship the Constellation. We had a great state room, mainly because we lied and said we needed handicapped access - that gave us about ten extra feet in the room, plus we had a balcony, which would have been terribly romantic if we weren't already sick as dogs.
For the first few days we just stayed in the room, sneezing, coughing, ordering room service. It was pretty nice, actually. We were warm, finally, and it wasn't raining - of course, the rain had stopped in Italy and it was sunny and beautiful. When we finally did start to venture out we tried to stay away from other passengers to keep from infecting anyone, and the cruise line had a crew member posted every five feet with hand sanitizer - they take this stuff very serious. Infections can steamroll through a ship and we were all stuck together for the next fifteen days.
We missed the first port, Florence. I was so sick I didn't care. I just wanted cough syrup and hot coffee. Now I'm thinking - when will I ever return there? I don't want to fly again, that experience was horrible. The planes are packing more and more passengers in there and first class to Europe is not ever going to happen unless we win lotto. So, we missed Florence. And 'The David' with the removable fig leaf.
Next port was Cartagena, Spain.
A beautiful city...and raining, of course.
Next was Agadir, Morocco
Immediately off the bus we were all surrounded by scary looking men who wanted us to believe they were taxi drivers. Ha! We lowered our eyes and walked swiftly away. Then a guy caught up with Rich and I, said he was a cook with another cruise ship and on his way to a very special place to buy exotic spices and he badgered us to go with him. We never ran so fast in our lives, ended up in a poor area with a Suk (?) they call it, a shopping district.
Found out later that there was a beautiful Suk about two miles away, and there was a five star resort area a few blocks in the other direction. Who knew? Why the cruise line shuttle bus dumped us here is a mystery - unless it was our punishment for not purchasing a more expensive tour. We'll never know.
God, I hated Agadir. I was upset at first that Casablanca had been taken off the itinerary and replaced with this - then I heard Casablanca is NOT like the movie. It's like this.
Next port was Gran Caneria in the Canary Islands.
We both liked Gran Caneria - they were having a festival and a run with their dogs. The streets were crowed with people and canines. The trouble with going to exotic places with palm trees and flowers all over is that we live in Florida. That's pretty much the same as where we live already.
That was it for the ports - now we had the seven days on the Atlantic to sail home and every night they added an hour as we passed through the time zones. It seemed endless, never have I been so bored in my life. Besides that, the food was awful. Maybe it was the colds, but it was not the feeding frenzy I had hoped for. Best thing about the cruise was our captain - Captain Tasos something or other. A very charming young man, his first captaincy, his first crossing as a captain and he was only 32.
And so we bid fond farewell to our transatlantic adventure. I hated the food, I hated the people on the boat and I still have the cough. But you know what, we're going across again in July 2014 on the Queen Mary and returning by sea as well.
I never learn.