Tuesday, April 23, 2013
One of the many benefits of cruising with this line is that they reward you for being on the ship when it does something more or less significant.
The reward, mind you, is not particularly lucrative. In fact it is nothing more than a pre-printed sheet of light brown paper with your name filled in announcing that, in yesterday's case, we had crossed the equator and the international date line. I wouldn't necessarily consider it suitable for framing, but obsessive scrapbookers would find a page for it I am sure.
Since LK and I have crossed the equator and the international date line many dozens of times, this feat wasn't particularly exciting to us. Nowhere near as nice as the sheet of paper we got last year telling us we had crossed the Arctic Circle. Or the year before allowing us to prove to one and all that we indeed had gone through the Panama Canal.
Nonetheless I'm not complaining. For one thing, I am pretty sure that many aboard this ship - either through age, alcohol, or a complete inability to understand the PA announcements of our Greek capatain - may not have known we were crossing the equator yesterday. It would have been hard to miss the dateline, since we had two Saturdays aboard last weekend, which is a fairly unique way to have a four-day weekend.
These aren't the only mementoes they give. On an earlier cruise I won a trophy for beating the captain and some crewmen in a poker game. I've since seen duplicates given on other ships to winners of blackjack and slot machine tournaments. The trophies are about 3-inches high and made of genuine metal alloy on a plastic base. I am pretty sure someone at cruise line headquarters cleaned out the warehouse of one of those dollar stores that went bankrupt. But the casino hosts keep insisting it is the thought that counts, which I had learned was what the recipient was supposed to claim, not the giver.
And then there's the verbal accolades. On our wine cruise last November, I was told by more than a few staff members that I was surely the top person when it came to getting best value for their Unlimited Drinks Package purchase. I may not have worn it as a badge of honor, but I was just a little proud to be recognized as a leader in my field.
In the meantime, we are still two days from land. The long time at sea is having the curious effect of turning all of us into super-mellow, mushy-brained lazy folks as we all seem to have embraced having nothing to do with a passion. But of course, there is plenty to do - trivia quizzes, history lectures, casino games, fitness classes, cocktail hour, art appreciation seminars. There's so much to do I've only done every other one. I'll leave you to figure out which ones.
Hawaii in two days, then more ocean on the way to North America. We're slowly getting there.