Sailing Away From the Sunset

It’s hard to sail into the sunset when you are on the East Coast.  But today we sailed away from Fort Lauderdale and away from the sunset, at sunset.

Boarding was not as much as a problem as we anticipated given the warning we got on line that we would have to undergo special clearance by the ship’s medical officer.  At the pier the checkers asked to look at our Verify apps, Suzi and I flashed our “ready to fly” screen and we were waved on board. 

Holland America really needs to have more time for the turnaround.  The staff seems harried.  The biggest problem for me, other than I spent much of my first hours on board before sailing trying to get Alaska Airlines to answer their phone so I could try to locate our lost luggage, is that HAL told me that they cannot provide distilled water that I ordered and paid for, (and requested delivery of a gallon to my room on specific dates at 4 week intervals) for my CPAP machine.  The poor guy who was tasked to call me and tell me they couldn’t supply distilled water offered me a bucket of ice water instead.  I don’t think he quite understands the situation of a medical device needing distilled water but we enjoyed the ice water.  I figured that I could use tap water for the three days they told me it would take to get me distilled water.  An hour later someone arrived with distilled water.  Go figure. 

HAL tells me that they are working with Alaska to get my bag to me somewhere along the route.  HAL was able to talk to the Airline when I couldn’t.  In the meantime, they assured me that they will not throw me out of the Main Dining room on Formal nights for wearing Crocs and for not wearing a sport’s coat.  Suzi has some similar sartorial issues because of the missing suitcase.

Before we got on the ship, we made a run to the CVS pharmacy to pick up some over the counter meds (some of which were in the lost suitcase.)  I saw a woman wearing a hijab and an abaya.  The abaya is a long garment that runs to the ankles.  She had several of the buttons at the bottom of her abaya unbuttoned so that she could flash some leg at the bearded guy across the entrance to the store while she demurely and modestly tucked a loose strand of hair into her hajib.  Her girlfriend was also wearing a hijab, long sleeved blouse, and very tight jeans.  In other words, she looked just like some of the girls in my blogging class at Cairo University. 

The sail away party and dinner included a reunion with a lot of friends from our last, aborted, world cruise and it was fun to get together and compare notes.  We are happy that Andy Fletcher is on board.  He was the lecturer on quantum physics we met last cruise.  I was so impressed that I had him speak (by zoom) to our Unitarian fellowship during the pandemic.

But while the pandemic is not over, we are all vaccinated, tested and mostly masked, we are together and looking forward to a good four and a half months.

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