So I have been very bad at updating the blog ~ and once again, I find myself needing to write a months worth of activities! Let’s go with the highlights and lowlights…Lowlight:
First week on my own was a bit rough. Trying to get my feet under me, I found that I had a limited amount of patience ~ and that amount was not very big. The first few weeks I struggled with my assistant. There were some ‘late arrivals’ that did not go over well with me, particularly since it seemed to start happening once George left. The other was coming to the understanding that I was going to need to mentor him from the ground up. I am glad to say that things have gotten better, but there we a couple tough days…
Fish #2 ~ kicked the can. After the seemingly miraculous rescue of the hemorrhaged fish, I thought I was going to be in the clear. With only one replacement this wouldn’t be too difficult to manage. Alas, the second ‘belly up roomie’ came as a result of the ‘ick’. Now not being in the know when it comes to goldfish, everyone else was very happy to dispense advise… Go get drops they said. While seemingly logical advise, I had to scratch my head and wonder ~ where on the 37 square miles that makes up St. Maarten am I going to find a pet store that carries ‘anti-ick’ drops? While I pick on St. Maarten, I think just about every port we visit could fit in this category ~ Grenada? Margarita Island? I mean really…. So fish #2 ~ official cause of death…. Ick.
Fish #3: Well it seems that I am going through them at rapid rate… Kind of like toilet paper, but hey what can you do? With the Ick infestation in the tank, I decided to save the remaining lot, I would need to disinfect the tank. Now all of this seems very logical and could only lead to good things. Well I pulled out my connections, managed to get myself some bleach to disinfect the tank and we were in business. Beth, refused to assist but felt that in a supervisory capacity she could be of great service. As the tank was in the bottom of the shower, bathing in a bleach/water solution, I decided that all of the rocks, plants, etc would also need to be disinfected. Setting them aside, this was going to be Phase 2. Scrubbing the tank I felt that the remnants of the ‘ick’ could not have possibly survived that cleaning and prepared the tank for new water. I filled it, added the chemical and took it back to it’s home on the desk. The reintroduction of the fish was not as well received, as I would have liked. One of the fish proceeded to swim like a maniac around the tank like he had just lost his mind. Again with 3 more bottles of water, I scooped the suspect fish out into his own tank… I’m sorry to say that this one didn’t make it. So the official capacity of the cabin is now 3 – Carrie and 2 Koy. George doesn’t know yet. However the rest of the officers are enjoying giving me a hard time about it.
Embarkation on Christmas Eve AND New Years Eve? Well I don’t need to say any more about that ~ the guy who wrote the schedule should be shot. Leaving out of San Juan also means that embark goes until 10:30pm… Yes, I was in the mood to celebrate after a 14hr day!
Cold and Flu Season is not restricted to those who live in colder climates. I have spent every day of ’06 battling the flu. After spending every day last week in bed when I was not in the office, I can tell you the 2 hrs of sunshine on the beach, while hacking up a lung, was much appreciated.
But enough of that….Highlights:
Beth came to visit! Having been a former Royal employee, Beth is no stranger to the whole cruising in a cabin bit. The Murphy bed above mine worked out really well as she came, vegged out and we had a chance to catch up a wee bit. Not to mention stir up the staff as Beth read cards for folks and I learned things that nobody would have ever told me in a million years!! The fall had been very tough, so I was glad she was able to come out, relax and unwind a bit before she decided to take a whirlwind adventure… She has convinced me that I need to see Asia ~ somewhere I have really had no desire to travel. So it looks like that will be one of the destinations late this spring once I finish this contract.
Dad and Krista came to visit. Knowing I would be spending the holidays on the ship, I had asked that they come for the holidays back in the summer. There was some discussion when I was home on my vacation and I am very glad that they decided to. We managed to spend a fair bit of the week together, eating somewhere on the ship most nights, or out in the Italian place in Aruba with the wandering cats. I also managed to put in fewer hours that week, taking advantage of a Tour in Dominica as well as the Beach in Aruba. We did manage to see a fair bit given that the cruise had 3 sea days out of 7. Next cruise may be Alaska with Akis in the summer, but Krista has already advised if it ain’t warm, she ain’t going…
I have progressed to Lesson 8 on my Greek CDs. While Akis still thinks they are ‘malakia’, I like to think that I am making an effort. Albeit, it is progressing at a rather slow pace, and the general thought is I will be a grandmother by the time I will be able to converse with someone… But hey, the effort is there ~ the next batch of 30 lessons should be arriving shortly! Look out ~ Athens, me and my bad Greek will be there in 5 months!
In taking on George’s role, I have had a tremendous amount of support from folks both here on the ship and the folks shoreside. It has been a good experience and while I snubbed my nose at the implications to my resume, I realize that new experiences are never bad. They help us to grow, and I think I have done some of that here.
Well I only have 2 more weeks before I pack my bags here and head over to the Mercury and check out Mexico. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Beth appear at the pier… (yes, this is an invitation…) I also have my ladies who we talked about having them come down to the Caribbean with me and I just never managed to get my stuff together, something I will need to check out and see how interested they are in Mexico…