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A Birthday Cruise part 4


Now the ports you visit on a cruise can be exciting, wondrous, and certainly adventurous depending on the shore excursions you select. However my delight is often the observation of the negotiating contest that often takes place between my wife and a local artist purveyor of those rare local crafts. Her driving thoughts are that they would make excellent stocking gifts for next Christmas. It’s never really clear who wins other than I am amazed at how much more has to go into the bags we packed when it’s time to get off the ship.


There has been considerable change in lifestyle aboard cruise ships in the recent years. I believe primarily to attract a wider constituency. One of those changes is to offer ‘any time dining’ as an alternative to ‘fixed dining at assigned tables at two different times that was prevalent for so many years. Though this negated the camaraderie that often developed with table mates during the cruise it provides the opportunity to meet and enjoy a larger scope of the constituency on board. Now in keeping with the thought that one could assume the role of whomever he wishes and no one would know the difference and considering our sometime wild imagination. We met and enjoyed the company of a most interesting cadre of people. There was that executive that claimed he developed the Central American production capability for HP and thus had resided in the cities we were visiting in Costa Rica and Guatemala. Though he was pleasant enough, from his accent and especially his wife’s we were sure they were really Russian spies. Then the couple from Scotland that claimed to have immigrated to New Zealand to be close to their grandchildren. You just knew they were really fleeing the high taxation in the UK and a possible charge of Tax evasion. You just have to put together the little innuendos of conversation to get the real story about people.

I'm sure that the people we have met have conjured up wild thoughts about ourselves and surely don't believe we are just ordinary Californians from Palos Verdes. They probably believe we are highly educated Scandinavians. Possibly paid by the Chinese to collect information on potential American life style demands that could be satisfied by manufactured products from China.


After dinner and a show its dance time. Again we were greeted by Duke Ellington’s ‘Satin Doll’ but tonight it gave us a touch of melancholy as it was our last night on board.

Cruising can be the best escape for an author. In addition to providing the opportunity to visit multiple places around the world that often become venues in future novels it grants opportunity for conversation with people from all walks of life. Truly inspirational for current and future writing.

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