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Carol Perkins: Sailing on the Caribbean, Part I

It was designed for rest, which is what the Perkinses of Edmonton, KY, did. But it was not without its interesting moments - and some interesting comments from Guy Perkins, who, refusing to let some woman in a spa beat on him with a stick, announces that that will be the day Carol will know he's lost his mind
Next earlier column: Carol Perkins: The Significance of June Posted June 29, 2014

By Carol Perkins

A few weeks ago Guy and I sailed to the Caribbean on the Cardinal Dream. Passengers numbered over 3500 plus 1300 crewmembers, making the others in the fleet look like toy boats. Even with so many people aboard, I never had the feeling of being cramped, especially where I was, which was mostly on the upper deck under an eave in the shade with the ocean breeze lulling me to sleep in between chapters of my book. The goal for this trip was the rest and that is what we did. Like all my trips, however, this one was not without some interesting moments.

Spent night before cruise in New Orleans

We drove to New Orleans and spent the night on the outskirts to be ready to board by one the next day. Wanting to locate the port early so as not to be late (Guy's idea), we found the entrance to the terminal to be lined around the block with vehicles waiting to get into the parking garage. This was two hours before boarding time. "We better get in this line," Guy said. So we edged along with the traffic and soon we paying the $100 to park the car for a week and circling in the parking garage. Tourist unloaded their luggage and beach bags and cartons of soft drinks and water. Wal-Mart had come to New Orleans.

As we approached the terminal the lines began to stretch as far as we could see. "Looks like somebody could figure how a better system of checking people in," Guy insisted to other men around us who were as impatient as he.

Guy was impatient

"How much faster can they unload 3500 people in one morning and load 3500 more people?" I gave him the chill out look.

Once on board, the first place most cruisers head is to the buffets, which are numerous and varied in their choices. The rooms are seldom ready for a few hours so people eat. Desserts have their own buffet line, but by the end of the week the cheesecake taste just the same as it did the first night and the varied doesn't seemed as varied as it once was. In other words, the pigs have moved away from the troth. Guy smiled for the next hour and had forgotten all about the slow lines as he loaded his plate. I had trouble passing by the frozen yogurt machine.

Guy wasn't impressed with the spa experience

I always like the spa area, so when the salon ladies passed out free tour information and a chance to win a prize for those who took the tour, I led Guy to deck 12 so both of us could enter a contest to win a $500 spa package. (We didn't win.) Before we could enter, however, we had to be shown samples of the massages as we sat in chairs lined against the wall. One was the plain Swedish.

The lady rubbed my shoulders, which I loved, while another rubbed Guy's shoulders, which made him squirm. Then the hot rock demonstration was next. I loved the warmth of the rocks against my arms, while Guy complained about how hot they were. The next one was the Bamboo massage. The lady brought out a bamboo stick that was about a foot long and began to slap it against Guy's arm. "Ouch" he said as she was rending one smack after another. She couldn't speak English so she smiled. I could barely hold myself back from a belly laugh.

Guy had had enough

"Let's get out of here," he whispered.

"Without the tour?"

"You tour all you want; I'm outta here."

Guy tells how it will be known he's lost his mind

I later took advantage of the spa package and saw many men in the salon in their white robes waiting for their turn. When I told Guy what he missed, he said, "The day I let some woman beat on me with a stick is the day you know I've lost my mind."

The first day at sea was a lazy one as we pulled out of port and watched the Louisiana boundary fade in the distance. Our first stop would be Key West. (Part 2 next week). - CAROL PERKINS

This story was posted on 2014-07-06 06:20:16
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