Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Ship mates matter.

One can choose whether one has dinner at sixish pm  or eightish pm and which out of four restaurants and what size table - seating two, four, six or more.  Ultimately it is up to the Maitre' d to make the final decisions.
So far I have been lucky with my dining companions - it can really affect your cruise.

One ship mate was in tears as she told me just one person was spoiling dinner for their table.  The culprit was an elderly lady who habitually turned up half an hour late which interfered with the smooth running of service, wearing the same less than pristine clothes (to put it politely) and with an unpleasant, aggressive manner.  Eventually my S.M. spoke to the Maitre 'd who handled it with the utmost tact and the culprit was seated elsewhere.  We never discovered where.

Apparently my ship mate was told that although the Maitre 'd  couldn't control  people's behaviour he could control the seating arrangements.  The next evening she was invited to dine at our very dishy Finnish Captain's table  and ironically had a day of angst deciding what to wear:)

Alone again -  on this cruise - I really looked forward to seeing my five dining companions for a delicious dinner and convivial chat.
Sometimes Jean and I would meet for an aperitif before dinner and Hazel and I were often doing the same excursions and got into the habit of meeting in the Observatory bar watching the sunset over a digestif.  Fay was a delight - my senior -  and graciously used her second name as she also was Patricia.  She had some mobility problems but men were charmed by her and she was never allowed to struggle alone.

Hazel and I became  friends.  She told me her mobile had saved her life.  She was a farmer in Wales  and had a prize ram which she had trained.  One day in the fields he butted her -  he was a bad tempered beast - and she couldn't get up (she has had knee and hip surgery, has difficulty rising from a chair and is also diabetic)  Thank Heaven she had her mobile so was able to summon help.
Like myself she chose her excursions carefully but would always leave the coach to brave  the cobbles to see what there was to see.

One of the excursions I had booked - the Hermitage seemed to have endless very wide staircases which could mean me teetering up the middle with no handrail teetering backwards and taking the group with me. Remembering my promises to the boys (be careful and no dancing) I exchanged it for the ballet which in the event had the same type of staircases but it was only going down that was discombobulating and one of the pretty dancers  (one of ours - not the ballet) gave me her arm and all was well.

Maurice was  a lovely bachelor with a delightful giggle and Ian was a widower and an ex fire chief. 
Some of the girls found him a bit grumpy because he always found fault with the food - quite unfairly.  Each night we would find on our pillow the next day's events and reminders about if we had to adjust our watches for instance- and a chocolate.  I grumbled that as I had 2 beds I should get two chocolates.  Ian said he had his in one long row as he never ate them and a couple of nights later brought then to dinner for me and I finished them off at bedtime.  So I forgave him his grumps.

I have spent most of the morning trying to down load the relevant photos - with no success but life is hectic just now with phone calls, two workers to be looked after and all the ground floor in  utter chaos, the groceries delivered and nowhere to put them,  Sawdust up my nose and every where.
I'll try again later.


Exile on Pain Street said...

The report is lovely, even without the photos. Don't stress it. I'm taking my first cruise in December. I don't know what to expect but these posts have whetted my appetite.

Ms Scarlet said...

Awww... this cruise sounds so wonderful. Making new friends, and the little bits of light gossip - it sounds so much fun.
Good luck with the new kitchen and I look forward to your pics.

Anonymous said...

What fun you have, PI ... my parents did a similar cruise a few years ago and, like you, decided against the Hermitage outing. They were glad they did for similar reasons to you. Hope the kitchen returns to full operating service soon!

angryparsnip said...

I adore your posts on your trips.
And I can tell by the way tell your stories what a wonderful writer your are.
I always feel like I am right there with you.
But by any chance was Hercule Poirot cruising with you ?

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

Exile: I shall feel responsible if you don't enjoy it. Yu will be one of the younger cruisers.

Scarlet: thank you. All luck welcome with both drains and kitchen.
Oh to have everything back in it's rightful place.

Roseneath: wise parents. The sink is plumbed in tomorrow so I expect to have a working kitchen by Saturday. There is still the tiling, decorating, floor and windows.

Parsnip: thank you:) I didn't meet all the passengers but I think I would have spotted Hercule.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Like Parsnip, I SOOOO Enjoy your posts about your trips.....I've never been on a cruise, and you make it sound so wonderful I wish I could go---But.....I will keep enjoying them, through you, my dear.

The Kitchen sounds a Nightmare of sorts----I hope they finish it up quickly, my dear.....!

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

Naomi: it is going to be lovely but it takes it's toll and with the drains next week for three days I'm feeling wobbly.
So glad you enjoyed the post. Now if only I can get the photos to work.

neena maiya (aka guyana gyal) said...

I think you charm people everywhere you go!

Pat said...

Neena : that is so not true. I think I may have lost my gardener. The lawn is as high as an elephant's eye and she isn't answering her mobile.

rashbre said...

It sounds like great fun and also good that there is flexibility in the itinerary. I won't be surprised it you have a backlog of posts now to tech us all about it!

Pat said...

Rashbre: certainly a backlog of photos which I'm sorry to say are behaving badly.

About Last Weekend said...

I have loved reading about the cast of characters on the boat.
Isn't it lovely when you can see as much or as little of people as you would like?
Glad the mean, less than fresh lady was seated elsewhere - there is always one on every boat/bunch isn't there? Some people do not change or get wiser with age.