Monday, February 17, 2014

No, No Noro--the Virus, that is

The Allure of the Seas 
We just got off the Allure of the Seas.  Never heard of it?  It’s the largest passenger vessel floating the waters today, five feet longer than its twin the Oasis--huge like a monster, like Moby Dick on steroids.  Some of the decks were lined with 1600 staterooms.  I finally remembered to carry my water on our way to our cabin from the elevator.  They should consider serving snacks, i.e., after my four course dinner, chocolate cupcake, and visit to the candy store.  But I digress.

one of the theatres
In the months before leaving home, I had never glanced at a picture of  the boat.  Or of anything on it--not the sleeping quarters, swimming pool, basketball court, theatres, comedy club, ice rink, carousel, or the miniature Central Park they built along deck eight.   Who gets wound up with petty details if you're about to meet your demise?

Christ, I was paying for a trip in the land of noro-virus, a perfect setup to catch the ultra-contagious illness where your insides spew from every available portal.
So why was I going?   Because my husband was having a small family reunion—five couples attending, one cousin from each pairing, looking forward to reconnecting after many years apart.

Fun for them, I thought, but death was my only reward.  I was certain I wouldn't survive, so I studied the odds.  Out of 23 million traveling by ship each year, only 2,300 get sick.  Only?   Still, another Royal Caribbean had been hit two weeks earlier, and a few days later one of the Princess ships.  Who knew that a Princess carried germs?

I was stuck, so I planned my inevitable demise, praying that the captain would quote something inspirational before dumping me over the sides.    

Maybe the two of us should have a little talk, I thought, making my way up the gangway to join the masses ahead.  Probably a few thousand others on this ship when I quickly learned there were 6,000 passengers and 3,000 crew.

Nine thousand people carrying a zillions germs!  I was going, going...

My husband and I somehow ended up on Deck 5, the busy and decorative Royal Promenade.  Lined with shops and restaurants with special sales tables smashed in the middle, the place was more crowded than Macy’s the day before Christmas.  And suddenly there was tons to do, and I wasn’t going to miss a thing.  Bob's cousins joined us, and they ended up wonderful.  They were smart, funny, and told a good story.   And so did their spouses.

Besides, I found a half priced bag at the Guess tables and grabbed up some look-a-like Pandora bracelets.  Funny because I hate Pandora and I’m not too crazy about Guess...

But it’s part of the cruising life, you doubters out there, and I made it home kicking and yakking and complaining nonstop.  Well life doesn’t change, does it?

And I’m grateful for that too.