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Time for monotony

With the humdrum tasks out of the way (waiting at ports at odd hours, changing ships, calling at odd Spanish islands: that sort of thing) it was done to the normal job of sitting on a boat at sea. I never go out of my way to come up with a routine, but at sea It just seems to kind of happen.

Though the food is all inclusive, it is not actually all that amazing. Whilst i'm sure that the fancy sit down/dress up food is pretty good – on the couple of occasions that I went, it was good, no doubt – the buffet stuff (which, as somebody with no dress up clothes who has to eat, spent many hours at) is more hit and miss. The eggs at breakfast seem average at best, the bacon has been cold, crispy and streaky, and sausages tend to be a single very small one: Omelettes have also been less than impressive, and the coffee, as previously mentioned, has been absolutely atrocious.

As such, i've tended to generally ignore breakfast. I'll lounge around and go for an early lunch at 11.30 or so: a toastie/sandwich for brunch, followed a couple of hours later by lunch, often from the Asian buffet. An odd if slightly intriguing issue is that all the food portions are quite small. For an all inclusive ship, generally used by (mostly fat, if watching them disembark at Barcelona is in any way typical) Americans, the portions are tiny. Which means pretty much every mealtime, I end up eating two meals. That makes me sound like a fat b*stard, but i've been eating less than normal even with two meals at every meal.

During the afternoon, i wander the ship, stopping every now and again to talk to somebody or watch something, or find a spot to sit and read or work: sunbathing or sitting on the sun deck rapidly became unattractive due to the nature of the cruise – Though it can have it's moments, being surrounded by lots of old, fat, naked German people is not always highest on my list of priorities. I'll have a fajita as a late afternoon snack, sometimes with a few beers. Dinner will either be booked and taken with some South African-Portuguese i've become friends with, or casually in the lido. I'll then generally watch a film or DVD from the ships library before wandering out for the evening. Though there is lots of laid on entertainment, a large chunk of it is obviously orientated to an elderly German audience (and some of the names are/were big in German entertainment) and I have generally foregone it. I'll instead sit in the casino, talking to the ever rotating staff – mostly Eastern European or Filipino – with some others, or wandering into the Sports bar (which has no sports) or Piano bar (where there is, at least, a Piano and player). At the end of the evening, when the Germans are in bed or occupied elsewhere, i'll go on deck – favourite spot is the stern on Deck 3 – and watch the night slide by. Stars in the sky, whispy clouds and relatively cool temperature can make it great.

I've now also got used to the other passengers, and their composition. When I was young, I used to occasionally read or watch of tragedies, which listed nationalities of those on board – a plane, for example would crash killing 100, of whom 80 might be from one country, and 15 from 1 or 2 others, leaving 4 or 5 oddballs from often unlikely and far away parts of the world. As a 10-12year old, I would always have a strange morbid wonder why these sole nationals were there, and what their story was. Now, if, such a tragedy would occur (and obviously if you are reading this, it hasn't, because it wouldn't have been uploaded), I would be the oddball. Out of the 1920 capacity, there are barely passengers 800 on board. Of those, roughly 70 are not German, and as far as I am aware virtually all of whom are South Africans. According to the cruise director, anyway, I am the only Brit. I also lower the average age of the passengers substantially. Of the 800, I would conservatively guess that 750 are at least old enough to be my parents, and probably 730 or so, grandparents. 4 younger German girls i'd come across in Barcelona left at Tenerife, leaving me in the youngest 10 passengers on board.

Basically, there are 4 children with their parents (one of the kids, Fabio, and his parents are ¾ of the aforementioned Portuguese-South African group), 2 German lads who have won a competition to the World Cup, and another ethnically Portuguese guy, Jose, plus myself, and a large German guy with his blonde accomplice who look exactly like you imagine a blinged up drugs baron and his porn star partner would look. Everybody else is significantly older.

Thus I now get a week at sea, with a load of old-age naked sun-bathing foreigners for company. What could be better?

Posted by Gelli 18:30 Tagged boating

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