St. Pat goes cruising, followed by weeks of overwork
The good news is, I got a cruise in before I got sick. That was before Thanksgiving. It was a nice cruise, a repeat of the itinerary from our 2006 church cruise, from Melbourne to Nassau and back.
We went on a different Royal Caribbean ship called Monarch of the Seas. The ship we cruised on in 2006 was retired from the fleet. Monarch was very similar, but a little newer. The coolest thing about it? Our captain was a woman, and fantastic - a real sharpie!
The very most fantastic thing about the cruise was we sailed around 5:15 on Nov. 14 — the day Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off at 7:55 p.m. Captain Karen took us out and positioned the ship so we would have a great view of the liftoff from the decks.
It was gorgeous. It had already turned dark, and there was a fulll moon, the size of a dinner plate, hanging in the sky to my right, as I waited on deck. It cast ghostly white fingers atop the water.
Then, to my left, I could see a faint orange glow on the horizon, exactly where sea and sky appeared to meet. It grew larger and brighter. It was gorgeous, a huge ball of orange and red, lifting into the sky and arcing toward us.
It cast its own fiery fingers across the water, overpowering the pale and wan moon.
I held my breath, as I always do at booster separation. Then, the shuttle continued, like a bright white star moving across the heavens. Perfect.
We went straight from dinner to the deck, and I didn't have my camera with me. I decided that was better, even though I don't have photos to brag of - I spent the minutes experiencing it, instead of fiddling with the camera.
I did get a nice photo or two the next day, as we into Nassau Harbor, though.
When we got back, I was coming down with a bronchitis plus head-cold thing that's been going around. I've been sick for just about three weeks, but am mostly over it now, thank goodness. I couldn't take time off to recuperate - I was working 12 and 14 hour days. sigh.
I'm glad I got through the cruise BEFORE I got sick, though.
I had a good time. I give this cruise a B+. The only downer was the weather turned windy and a little chilly, and we didn't stop at the little private island on the way back - the weather was too foul. I didn't mind much - we just cruised around, instead.
Now, I'm looking forward to Christmas, and another day or two off.