Archive for February, 2013

The Single Senior Cruises

February 3, 2013

The Single Senior Cruises

I wanted to get out of town for a few days and be electronically unplugged. I was anxious and wound tiAnnie and Donna big hats 001ghter than a rotini noodle. The Railroad Man had mentioned going on a cruise the first week of January, but I hadn’t heard from him. I took matters into my own hands and looked on my favorite travel website I found a four night Carnival cruise out of Long Beach for $229 plus port fees and taxes. The Railroad Man didn’t know if he’d have the time off so I asked my neighbor Donna to go. We booked it and poured over the shore excursions. We nixed the exciting ones (kayaking, snorkeling and parasailing) because it would be too cold, even with a wet suit.

The car trip to Long Beach was uneventful. We ate dinner at Strata, a small local Italian restaurant. The Eggplant Parmigianino was excellent but the Chicken Picatta left something to be desired. It turned out to be a more expensive than we thought when I found the $48 parking ticket on my car the next morning. Neither of us had seen a meter when we parked outside the restaurant.

Donna discovered she had left her toiletries in Scottsdale. I had an extra toothbrush and toothpaste to get her through the night and early morning. Donna had a cold and went to sleep early. She snored loudly for the first two hours, despite the Breathe Right strip on her nose. After that she emitted a soft purr.

The hotel let us park the car for the cruise and had a complimentary shuttle to the port. All for $93.00 including our night’s lodging! The lines to get on the ship were short and we easily found our cozy stateroom. We had lunch on the Lido deck and then Donna took a nap while I read on the deck, using my new Kindle.

A note about the bathrooms in public spaces onboard:  I was shocked when I sat down and a second later the toilet flushed. On a boat that means a hard swishing like an air bidet. When I was finished and tried to flush the toilet, it wouldn’t. I pushed button that went from red to yellow. Another wait and pushing the button finally flushed. Luckily the toilets in the staterooms were normal one.

That night we looked for the “Over 35 Singles Party” on the listed activities. I thought I’m way over 35. Donna, who has a boyfriend, said it was in the “Desperation Lounge.” It was so desperate no one showed up but us! Even the scheduled piano player was sick.

It took all night to for the boat to travel the twelve miles to Catalina Island. We walked up and down the little streets of the town. We were enchanted by the cleverness of Del Sol, the company that sells items and tee shirts that change color in the sun. We bought nail polish and headbands for ourselves and our granddaughters.  Donna swore she wasn’t going to eat lunch since dinner was lobster, but I coaxed her into a Mexican cantina. We looked longingly at the giant margarita one of our shipmates was drinking. I must be getting to be a fuddy-duddy. I didn’t get one because I’d fall asleep before the afternoon’s glass bottom boat excursion. That turned out to be a dud and I should have opted for the drink.

That night was the formal dinner. As soon as I’d booked the cruise I’d gone to Last Chance and bought a formal for $12.97. I also bought high heels to match. What was I thinking of? I hadn’t worn high heels even in my younger days. I tried them out at home but they not only hurt, I feared a major topple. Donna looked lovely in her green dress. She had many pictures taken so she could give a good one to her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. I humored her and had photos taken but bought none. I actually could have used one for the back of my new novel.

The next day we went to Ensenada. We took a cooking lesson and made salsa and guacamole. I drank an excellent mango margarita. Afterward we arranged to join a tour of La Bufadora, a geyser that spouts from the sea. It was amazing. We stopped by the restaurant that our guide said would give us free margaritas. They were four ounces but delicious. We had a choice of a $10 drink in a heavy glass or a $5 one in a paper cup. We chose the latter as you can walk the streets there with liquor. They served us 24 ounce margaritas! We happily drank and shopped our way back to the tour van. I was going to dump the last half of my drink, but Donna asked me to pour it into her cup. We had lost our water bottles and she was thirsty. Even though we took naps when we returned to the boat, Donna was still tipsy at dinner. She danced with waiter when they put on their show for us.

The quality of the food onboard varied widely. Some nights it was delicious and some nights inedible. Of course most of the desserts  were terrific.

We went to see the show on the last night of the cruise but it was canceled due to the high seas. Instead I lead a trivia team. Of course I got all the answers correct about books. Unfortunately we lost on the final question.

I didn’t miss my computer or my phone. By the time I returned home I was as relaxed as I ever get. It was a good but not a wild time. Am I getting old?