Navigator of the Seas

April 10, 2010 A 14-night, Transatlantic cruise to Europe, a working cruise with plenty of play time, an experience of a lifetime that we hope to repeat next year... We want to share our experience with you and hope you enjoy the posts.

We left a grey day at Ports of Miami ...

... for the big open blue. Here's the view from stateroom 7274:

Nine "at sea" days. If you think that might be boring ... the ocean is vast and ever-changing. It amazes me. It's hard to realize how big it really is until it's all you see for seven straight days and again for two days more. Amazing...

We had a calm sea the entire time and just enough beam sea to gently rock us to sleep at night.

Inside stateroom 7274:

And outside. My half of the balcony. ;) I loooved the balcony.

Sixteen writers spent most waking hours in the Boardroom on Level 2, just above the waterline.

Every "at sea" day went like this:

9am-Noon - Writing workshop with Cynthia Whitcomb

Lunch

1:00-5:00    -  Write on own (no talking), technically 2-5pm, but we needed every spare minute

5:05-5:20    -  Scramble to get ready for dinner

5:30-7:30    -  Lovely, amusing, inspiring dinners with our group and a little shop talk

7:30-8:00    -  Dress down, cram, grab a tea

8:00-10:00  - Writing salon: readings, critiques, problem solving

10:00-           -  Cocktails at the Champagne Bar, sometimes a brainstorm/problem solving session

?                      -  Fall into bed and lose another hour to the time zone monster

Repeat.

We made it to the gym the first five mornings, but after losing an hour at night, seven (AGH!) times, we cared less about gaining elsewhere. Our room attendant, Al, a giant in size and energy who was always, "As cool as a piña colada," or "As cool as the ocean breeze," said, "You're going to need a vacation after your vacation."

Pictured (L to R): Lloyd, Beryl, Richard, Joan, Joanie, Penny, and Jackie.

***NEWSFLASH*** I met Lloyd seven years ago and this was the first time I saw him wear a necktie. Doesn't he look dapper in his tie? I better send a pic to our Moms ...

One of three formal nights at Swan Lake Dining Room:

Pictured (L to R): Billy, Lorraine, Maryka, Molly, Chris, Cynthia, Jessie, Bernadette and Lloyd #2.

We were on our own for lunches and enjoyed the gourmet salad bar at Nutcracker restaurant, otherwise we preferred the speed of Windjammer, a huge buffet open for every meal. I especially enjoyed the ethnic dishes. Overall, the food was very good, the desserts were good enough to double up on after dinner, and the coffee was strong enough to fuel a Prevost.

We had little time to explore the ship, but here are a couple views:

The casino:

We have a lot more to share with you. Stay tuned!

Love,

-P

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