Posts Tagged ‘Maasdam’



Cruise Stories

There are four stories in this series, and all were originally posted on CruiseCritic.com. One of the stories is now a book, and the other three are here for your enjoyment.

The first story chronicled our inaugural cruise, a ten-day Caribbean jaunt aboard Celebrity’s Galaxy in celebration of our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  The response to this story was so overwhelming that Celebrity Cruises invited us to take a second trip, gratis.  Eventually the story was released as a book, What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?

Kris was unable to accompany me on the free trip, so

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Doogie Howser, M.D.

“The doctor is available between five and six o’clock,” she said. “A few people have already signed up ahead of you, so you should probably come back around 5:30.”

“OK,” I said. “Put me on the list, please.”

The woman pointed to a sheet of paper on her desk. “Sign there, and write in your cabin number,” she said. “You’ll need to fill in these forms, too.” She handed me a clipboard and a pen, and resumed her chat with the wounded cyclists while I completed the forms.

Form design is tricky business, and I’ve always found the…

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Dalvay by the Sea

First, an admission—shopping is pretty far down on my must-do list of vacation activities. It seems to me that the retail world has become very generic—same stuff as the local mall in a different place. It is a small pleasure to find a unique store in exception to this trend, but vacations are meant for big pleasures—hence, shopping on vacation is reserved for those situations where it is all but inescapable. Such was the circumstance now.

Although the building housing The Dunes appeared fairly low and compact from the outside, inside was a different story. A profusion of stairs…

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Charlottetown

Kris quickly realized that I was not being impish. She had yet to witness one of my episodes, and it must have been obvious that I was in extreme discomfort.

“What can I do for you?” she asked.

“Hot towel,” I managed to croak.

Kris ran a hand towel under the faucet and brought it to me steaming hot. I hid my face beneath it. “Your left eye is swollen shut.”

“I know that,” I said.

“Should we go to the infirmary?” asked Kris.

“Now?”

“Yes, now.”

“They’re all asleep,” I said. “This will be over in two hours. I’m…

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Poetry

“I signed up, but I’m not sure if I made the cut,” I said.

“Well, let’s take a look. Your name?”

“Mr. ‘X’,” I said.

“Cabin?”

“220”

The woman rifled through several pages, and then re-examined the top page of her list. “Oh, yes—here you are. Go right on in,” she said loudly. “He’s about to start.” I left about 200 hopefuls waiting in line and made for the entrance.

The theater was packed, but I spotted a small gap in the mass of people— near the center of the room on the aisle. When I got there I was…

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APHC at Sea

I adjusted the showerhead to produce a concentrated spray and positioned myself so that the blast of steaming water hit me right between the eyes. The hot water provided a welcome distraction, but no relief from the pain.

I sat there for perhaps half an hour, with increasingly morbid thoughts racing through my head. When I emerged from the shower, the bathroom was thick with mist and condensation dripped down the walls. I dried off, wrapped myself in a robe and headed for the verandah.

It was a lot like the bathroom out there—foggy and wet, but 30 degrees cooler….

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Shy?

We walked aft to the dining room entrance and waited for a few minutes for the doors to open. Finally, the crowd surged forward. Inside the entrance I stooped to a hitherto unimaginable act—I stopped and asked directions. I could see the pride on Kris’s face.

A young man in an elaborate uniform topped by a pill box hat took my new table-assignment card and then said something that will forever remain a mystery. When he turned and started walking, we followed—just on a hunch that it was the appropriate thing to do. He led us down the stairs to…

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Show Time

The sound of the rain on the rooftop was soon drowned out by the sounds of footsteps on gravel. People materialized from the fog in all directions, seeking shelter from the sudden deluge. Kris was wearing a white jacket which caused her to initially appear as a body-less apparition, her face hovering a few feet above disconnected legs.

“Didn’t you go to the top?” Kris asked.

“Yeah—nice view,” I said.

“How come I didn’t see you?”

“Did you see anything or anybody?”

“Not really.”

“I’m sure we walked right past each other,” I said. “Not quite like the last time…

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Cadillac Mountain (Acadia NP)

In less than five minutes, the doors to the bus opened again. I caught a glimpse of a bright green jacket, which went nicely with the red face of Betsy as she boarded the bus accompanied by the guide. No search party was required—she was located waiting in the checkout line in the gift shop, holding some postcards that portrayed scenes presently hidden by fog. Betsy has since assured me that she was fully aware of the departure time and was equipped with a time-telling device, and—she cannot explain the lapse. Such is the power of gift shops to mesmerize…

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Acadia National Park

Tonight I got home from work around 8:00, capping the longest 4-day workweek I’ve ever experienced. Kris was pretending to read, but she couldn’t fool me—her eyes were closed. I scanned the local paper for a few minutes before returning to my “other job” (this one). The police report is always good for some entertainment. A few days ago, at 3:00 a.m., the police responded to a report of a goat attempting to break the glass door and gain access to the Great American Sub Shop. The goat escaped, and was later reported to be trying a similar tack at

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