Cruisin' on "The Magic"
I haven't written here for more than a week because I've been "Cruisin' on "The Disney Magic". What a Ship! What a Crew! It is hard to come back to reality after being treated "like royalty". Yes, the shipboard life agreed with us. Betty and I had a fabulous time from Sat. Aug. 13th until Sat. Aug. 2oth. This is a picture of their "life preservers" strapped to the railings mainly on deck 4. This is where you can walk/jog all the way around the ship. There is another white one near the "adult pool" called "Quiet Cove" that is more for display but functional. I'll try to put it in this blog later. I took 55 pictures before my camera's battery died. I forgot to bring the battery charger. How frustrating was that: having to buy a little "disposable" to finish the cruise.
This was a "Cruise of a Lifetime". We went with my son Trevor's family, our grandchildren, Stone and Layla; his wife Shireen's parents Larry and Peri and her brother's family Shane, Miriam and Shelby. There were eleven of us at one of four different dinning rooms every night for a gourmet dinner with pampered care. Our servers were Vlado from Croatia, Okim from Indonesia and Nursehn from Bulgaria(?). They were atuned to our every need. Yes, there were over 60 different foreign countries represented in the Magic's Crew. And that last night, at dinner, they had quite a production of that fact with "flag vests" and a "It's a Small World" presentation. This is one of the really neat things about the cruise: so many wonderful people to help you from all over the world. The ship's registry is in Nassau for that reason. They can hire from all over the world and pay them their country's rates. If they had been registered in say, Florida, U.S.A. they would have to hire and pay at our rates. The rumor was that our waiters only cash was our "gratuities". Otherwise they get "room and board". They go from restaurant to dinning hall daily/nightly working 12 to 14 hr. shifts. They rarely get a full day off and may not work more than 94 hours a week. It is a "way of life" they must enjoy. They seem happy and very gracious and polite at all times..."the Disney Way". They go to a special school for that.
This was the last "West Coast" cruise this year. It had ports of call at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. The weather was a bit overcast and cool starting out from San Pedro, Ca. but got warmer and more humid as we passed the Tropic of Cancer midway down the Baja. We had two "at sea" days before arriving in the harbor of Puerto V. It was hot, sticky and smelly. We elected to stay on the ship. We were still getting aclimated and we had the pools to ourselves almost. We just didn't have an over-riding urge to "shop and eat" there. The next port was Mazatlan. We decided to go with the "group of eleven" to a "very good" restaurant called "La Puntilla" which was "walking distance" from the docks. It was extremely "tropical" and we just had to get used to being hot and sticky. We had to weave our way through the ususal "shops" and vendors with their "wares" which were of minimal interest to us. The food was great. Betty and I had coconut shrimp. Delicious! I also had a "crab dish" which was good.
I had a beer and asked the strolling mariachis to play for us. Five dollars a song. For some crazy reason, I had to sing with them the songs and words that I knew from my years of teaching so many Hispanic students. I got rather loud, I'm embarrassed to say, but I was having fun...especially after the second beer. The waiters were laughing with/at us/me and put a big sombrero and sarape on me. Pictures were taken. I'll probably be teased now for a long time and it will be called "the Puerta Vallarta Incident" What really gave me a fright was that the plastic chair leg bent and collapsed with me and I went down on my "titanium hip". It didn't really hurt much at the time and I walked the distance back to the ship. But the next morning, when Betty I tried to walk our 6 laps on deck 10, I only made it two. I went down to the Vista Spa and asked for a massage appointment if they had any cancellations. They just happened to have a "well being hour" left. I told them why I wanted the massage ie. about "the incident".
The next day I had three calls from "Guest Services" "A Ship Security Officer" and even our Head Server, Nursehn found out. They wanted to make sure it hadn't happened on the ship with one of their chairs...no, I wasn't planning on suing them.
I had a wonderful massage. I couldn't have asked for a more ideal one. Imagine: a beautiful "Swedish Masseuse" giving you a "Swedish Massage" and "facial" Wow! Whatever she was selling I was buying. I loved her lilting Swedish accent as she talked of Swedish things/customs that I also know about. We talked about IKEA, Smorgasbords, sayings, traditions that I grew up with, where to travel in Sweden, etc. even her way of saying in Swedish, 7,777 (with an unpronouncible "seu..." that sound like blowing wind). She was so young and sweet and innocent. No wonder I didn't get out of there for less than $200. with all the products she was selling. I wished her well and told her about my wonderful "swedish wife" of 43 years. She was not blond and blue-eyed. She said her mother was Finnish and she had darker hair and eyes. Needless to say, I was completely "cured". Part II will be in the next Blog. Bob