Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cruise, Day 12: At Sea

On our last full day at sea, introductions are in order! Our tablemates were as follows:

Jim aqnd Deloris are from Wichita, KS, and have been married for 46 years! She's 66 and he's 67. Notice the difference in skin color! That's because Jim is 1/4 Blackfoot Native American and was a roofer by trade, which obviously toned him even more. They own 93 rental properties that Jim maintains and for which Deloris keeps the books...and they have stories to tell! They are absolutely adorable! Deloris it a total hoot and gave us a good laugh every night. And that's in spite of the fact that she's endured much pain in her life, including the suicide and death shortly after birth of 2 of their 4 children. I learned a lot from both of them!

John and Krystyna are from Perth, Australia, and have been married 39 years. We had only 4 nights with them but felt like they were with us every night as far as getting to know them. They have 2 grown children, a girl and a boy (like me), the daughter who now lives in London. John is 10 days younger than I, turning 61 on the 23rd, has been retired for 5 years (he was the head of Human Resources at a bank) and, sadly, has Parkinson's. Krystina just turned 60 in February and has been a stay-at-home mom since their children were born.

We had the good fortune of meeting Mike and Mark our very first night and bumped into them every day either on the ship (mostly at the art auctions!) or on shore excursions. They're from Fallbrook, CA, an hour north of San Diego (where both my kids were born), and have been together for 27 years. Mike (on the left) just turned 61; Mark is 56. Lots of hugs (always!) between the gay guys and gals :)

Grace, on the left, was our room attendant, and is from the Philippines. She's married and has a 10-year-old daughter who lives with her mom back home. Denise and David, on the right, were our waiters. Denise is a single mom from Trinidad and has 2 sons at home living with her mother, one 11 and the other 14 months. David is from Jamaica and has twins (a girl and a boy) who were born 15 weeks ago whom he's never seen! Ship employees work for 6 months before they get a 6-8-week leave. His leave is in July, at which time he'll meet his twins for the first time. What a life for these precious, endearing people who see this as an opportune time to make money for their families!

Now we're packed, ready for our debarkation at 7a tomorrow. We'll take the van back to London, some 50 miles away, but won't leave for Hannover till 8:30p. A long day. Won't get back to the apartment till after 11p. And then Donica leaves for Basel, Switzerland early the next morning, Thursday! Ah yes! How quickly vacation is over.

And I'll be catching up on all my blogger friends. YOU! I've missed you. 12 days is a good cruise number because it's time to settle back into our routine without feeling like it wasn't long enough. It was just a perfect, fabulous time away. Now we're ready to re-enter the real world. Here we come!


  1. I love the way you treasure each person you meet. I have always believed that everyone has something very special to share, and you obviously bring out that special something in everyone!

  2. What a wonderful idea to let us meet your new friends! Those portraits are warmful. It shows the great time you had with all of them!

  3. You had the good fortune of meeting wonderful people who are passengers and ship employees, didn’t you? Their smiles are all FABULOUS! :)
    When you return to Hannover, take a good rest. Thank you for the report of your WONDERFUL CRUISE!!


  4. Awww, what a lovely bunch (or should I say bouqet - since they are all so beautiful and unique within themselves?) of new friends!

    We've missed YOU, you can bet on that. :-) I'm counting on you having a safe trip back to Hannover.

  5. That was lovely. These people all look so nice. You must have had a wonderful time.

    Welcome back! Time does go by so quickly, doesn't it? And the dip into the real world: Really - especially for Donica with an early flight the next morning.

  6. You did such a nice job showing us these beautiful faces of your new friends. I agree with Rachel and the others that you have a marvelous way treasuring people. Thanks for sharing your riches.

  7. Oh the intros were so neat! And wow, what a group of people you have met! Incredible. I hope I can say something like that when I'm older... 93 places, geeze that's incredible!!!

  8. Thanks to all of you for your kind comments. Your trip with me has meant more than I can say!

  9. (I read and then forget to comment.) It really is great to meet your fellow adventurers.

    By the smiles I'd say everyone had a great time and/or enjoyed being photographed by you :)

  10. DW, we all totally enjoyed each other, so the smiles are indicative, I'm sure, of that. But I like the idea that they enjoyed being photographed by me :)