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Carol Perkins: The Cruise-Part III - Friendships are gifts

'Friendships are gifts. I have been blessed with many gifts and many journeys and as long as we can, we will continue our tradition. We don't care where we go just as long as we go together.' - CAROL PERKINS
Read Part II here: Carol Perkins: The Cruise Part II

By Carol Perkins

The first few days were at sea. I love those leisurely days with nothing to do but sit in the shade (that's me), read a book, or sleep. The first day I could not find a chair. Four thousand people were sitting in them. Finally I found one stuck under an eave, so I claimed it and settled in for the afternoon.

'Didn't come on a cruise to sit in the sun!,' one complained

Meanwhile, the other ladies were seeking chairs in the sun. They went to the very top deck (or they thought it was the top) and could find no place to sit except for straight back chairs around a table. One of the ladies was not happy so she struck out on her own to find a chair. "I didn't come on a cruise to SIT in the sun!" We didn't see her the rest of the day.

We gathered for dinner in the dining room. "Did you finally find a chair?" we asked. She leaned back, crossed her arms, and began. "I went all the way up to the crow's nest where an attendant charged me $10 to sit on that deck, so I paid the ten dollars and had my choice of chairs. I thought this must be an undisclosed area for the VIP's aboard, but in a few minutes through my sunglasses I saw two bare-chested women walk by. I then knew why I had to pay the ten dollars."

"Did you leave?"

"Heck no. I had a chair and I didn't care how naked they were." She didn't go back.

Connie was worn out from fighting people over chairs

The rest of the week consisted of stopping at ports, shopping for jewelry, walking in the sand, and eating. One of those stops was at a beach area for which I had no interest, so I stayed on board and had my pick of chairs. Around noon I went back to the room and Connie was in the bed-dead. "Are you all right?"

"No, I am worn out fighting people over chairs (same problem on the beach), trying to get a spot to put a towel, and dealing with pushy people." She needed to chill.

Dinner perked her up

She finally got up for dinner and perked up for the rest of the night. In the meantime, I crashed. After dinner all I wanted was to go back to the room and enjoy the balcony and the stars and sound of the ocean. This was the last night, so we were to put our luggage outside the door before midnight. I changed into my gown/housecoat and wheeled out the first piece and just when I got the second out, the door slammed behind me with the force of the wind from the deck and I was locked out in my gown.

A cabin person came along, vacuuming the floor. "Can you open my door? I'm locked out."

"I don't have a key, but I will take you to the emergency phone." Down the hall we went to the phone beside the elevator. I would never have been caught dead like this, but there I was. I called the front answer. I tried the emergency safety answer. This went on until I got tired of dialing and called the ship hospital. "I'm sorry, I can't help you. Try the front desk."

Idea of relaxation was replaced with frustration

For at least thirty minutes I stood in the hallway by the elevators, people coming and going, trying to get help and to cover myself as best I could. Finally, I decided to go back to the hallway and wait for help. I knocked on Judy's door and she had just arrived. I finally called room service who called housekeeping and within ten minutes someone came to unlock my door. The idea of relaxation was replaced with frustration.

The next day we left the ship early, took a shuttle to the airport where our flight was leaving until four, so we couldn't check out bags until two so we had a long wait and enough time to reflex on the adventure.

I loved the room service in the morning, coffee on the balcony, listening to the waves slam against the side of the ship, observing the stars that seemed much closer than at home, sleeping to the rhythm of the engine, listening to ABBA songs in one of the many areas of music, watching a WWII vet and his wife dance the way they did in the 40's, not having a schedule or a cell phone ringing or a computer beckoning to me - all this made leaving a little sad.

Friendships are gifts. I have been blessed with many gifts and many journeys and as long as we can, we will continue our tradition. We don't care where we go just as long as we go together.

Carol Perkins, the writer of this popular CM Column, is an author, owner and operator of Main Street Screenprinting, 601 S. Main Street, Edmonton, KY, Phones 270-432-3152 and 270-670-4913 and is co-host of Susan (Susan Shirley Chambers) & Carol (Carol Sullivan Perkins) on 99.1 The Hoss, regularly live at 10amCT, each Tuesday.

This story was posted on 2015-04-26 07:18:04
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