I am writing this on Friday (4/21) while lounging on a deck chair in the promenade after a day just like the last three…breakfast, walking to jump start out much needed exercise program, lunch, reading (what some call napping) and then dressing for dinner. So relaxing not having emails and phone calls! Oh yeah and the drink program which was included in our cruise fare is nice too. We are trying cocktails I normally wouldn’t. The view from my chair is lovely, blue water as far as the eye can see, the lulling sound of waves against the ship and the ship’s wake…hmmm, maybe time for more napping!
But before I do, let’s recap sailaway and the big big surprise that will likely make this one of our most memorable cruises.
As you saw in the “aboard” post, we made it aboard uneventfully and met George & Doug and Barbara for lunch in the main dining room. Most folks head to the buffet but since not folks have apparently never seen food before, “look Mildred, they have tomatoes” which leads to half of the folks standing still in shock and unable to move generally blocking those of us who don’t stop all life to gaze upon an olive from getting our food. So we instead go to the fancy dining room for a proper lunch.
The four of us met Barbara five years ago when we all cruised on Gem from NYC to Quebec. We all enjoyed each other’s company and she and George have kept us connected through the Book of Face. When G&D issued their invitation to join them on this cruise, Barbara (who has issues with the sun) decided it was time to loose her island virginity and come along. After lunch we attended the mandatory muster drill (think airplane safety announcement but instead of learning how to fasten a seatbelt, you learn to put a foam blocky thing around your waist) and then headed to The Great Outdoors (large shady deck area on the back of the ship with a bar) where the cruise Critic group was having our first get to together.
We were all sipping and waiting for the ship to cast off and head down the Hudson for what is one of the best sailaways (Venice is better and sailing under the Golden Gate is pretty incredible too) when there was suddenly a commotion over there, and when we looked, there were two people holding cutouts if Mike and my face on popsicle sticks-whatbin the world????
They lowered the masks and it was Peggy and Lowell! We first met them 9 years ago (this week) on my 50th birthday cruise from Athens to Istanbul via Egypt). We knew we were going to be friends when Peggy said that her kids say all her best stories (and she has some doozies) begin with, “I was having a glass of wine and….”
Since that first cruise we have sailed with them on Sun where they met D&G and afterwards gifted Doug with his very own monogrammed stool-more on that later. We have visited each other’s homes for weekends and we typically talk every Saturday during Happy Hour.
Meeting folks like Peggy & Lowell (hereafter P&L) (and Carol & Burt -or is it Bert?and Sandy and MaryKay -and her man Joe and Donna and so many more) is one of the things I like best about cruising and about Cruise Critic. We have made lifelong friends literally around the world…and some of them even like us enough to surprise us by joining us for what was already going to be a fun cruise but is now gonna be epic!