"" Writer's Wanderings: On A Slow Boat To Aruba

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

On A Slow Boat To Aruba

The morning dawned with blue skies and another chance to view the lovely coast of Costa Rica from our ship in Puerto Rico. With last evening's announcement we did not expect departure for Curacao until noon but this is a mystery cruise filled with surprises. 

Shortly after we began our morning walk around the deck, the captain came on the loud speakers to make an announcement. Yes, we would still be ending our cruise in Aruba but now we would not be stopping in Curacao on the way. My heart sank. I love Curacao, its streets full of colorful houses. The port is so pretty and quiet. Instead, we were leaving Puerto Limon as soon as the paperwork was done and the lines were released.

Bob had wanted to go to the Rap With The Rabbi that he loves to attend but we knew this was probably the last opportunity to watch the ship leave a port and listen to the traditional "What A Wonderful World" sung by Louis Armstrong. It is iconic to Crystal. On our World Cruise 2015, when people were still allowed to visit the bridge, we were shown the CD and its special place. 

It took a while but finally, the lines were cleared and we began to drift away to the tune of the beloved song of Crystal cruisers. I felt a bit nostalgic and sad. I'm not so deeply in love with the cruise line like so many are (very much like how the Brits love Cunard) but it does hold so many fond memories. Then I realized I would be celebrating my birthday in this port in another month when we cruise again. Comforting.

The captain had said we would have three sea days. Well, he should have said four since this day basically is a sea day even though we left a port in the morning. He also said we would take our time and slowly make our way to Aruba. Fuel saving? Stretching the time? Whatever the answer, I don't remember going this slow on a ship. At least it seems slow. The seas are fairly calm and we are doing around 10K. It reminds me of being on our sailboat back in the day when there was just enough wind to fill the sail and move the boat. It is very peaceful. Hopefully the rest of the way will be the same.

Bob is juggling Paddle Tennis with Golf Clinics this afternoon. Does this mean a new hobby/sport in the future? Stay tuned.

There is an enrichment lecturer, Laurie Wickwire, on board who has been particularly interesting. I'm not big into jewelry but her talks about Faberge, the DeBeers and other related topics are enjoyable. Wow, the diamond trade was  especially good. She mentioned how a great marketing campaign and the careful manipulation of the diamond supply by the DeBeer company has kept prices where they are over decades.

At breakfast, the wait staff was joking about what good news the Captain might give them at their morning briefing. The joke was he would tell them that he was going to have a BBQ for them. After the 10 o'clock meeting, we could tell that the spirits of the crew had been lifted. There was a bit of singing and a lot of smiles and laughter. Throughout the day we learned that the crew was told they would be taken care of with their pay for the past month and also that they would probably be asked to stay on or return (we weren't sure which). The bottom line was a rumor that someone was seriously looking to acquire the cruise line and of course if they did, the staff and crew would be essential. We can only hope for all concerned that it comes to fruition. 

At dinner our waiter said there was good news and bad news. Good the company will take care of them. Bad, no BBQ. And with a hearty laugh he was off to get our dinner.

Our entertainer for the evening was Lou Gazzara, one of the youngest finalists on American Idol to make the live television production in season two. He's had quite a career in Vegas since then and was an outstanding performer making the evening quite enjoyable. He ranged from popular music to golden oldies and even a little opera. Very versatile voice.

An email from our TA confirmed that indeed there were rumors of the cruise line being acquired by someone but obviously the negotiations were still ongoing. The saga continues.

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