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Old June 28th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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Day 2 - Tales From The Sea - Wow! They Are So Young

Over the last few years I’ve sailed on quite a number of longer cruises ; 10-18 days. The general rule of thumb on longer cruises is that they draw an older crowd. On this sailing, we can just throw that theory overboard.

With the age demographic on this cruise, one might think they are on a seven day Caribbean cruise. Ignoring the fact there seems to be a significant number of “under 18s” onboard, the adult population on board is a true mix of age groups, skewing more than expected to the more middle of the road (age wise), still “family rearing” age group.

And there seems to be many multi-generational family groups in the mix as well.

This is certainly not solely a “senior’s cruise”.

Though I am not “officially” a part of the CruiseMates Group Cruise, it is a part of the reason I chose this sailing, to be able to cover the ship and meet the “CruiseMates folks“ on board.

And our CruiseMates’ hosts on board, MikeM and Betty, and the rest of the gang, have been very gracious in including me in the “group action”, which is particularly kind since I am traveling solo; without Mrs. Kuki.

I am dining with a few of them at late seating, which I’m sure I’ll enjoy throughout the cruise. We’re on traditional late seating in the Blush Dining Room, aft on Deck 3.

Our first dinner service, last night, was slightly “off kilter”, with regard to timing. Though dining time for late seating is 8:15, our first appetizer course didn’t arrive until 9 P.M. and it took a bit of speed eating for those who wanted to attend the 10 P.M. Welcome Aboard Show to get through in time. We were just ordering deserts and coffee at 10 P.M.

Aside from the somewhat stumbling service, our service team was very friendly, and the food was very good. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Beef Brisket entrée; very tasty!

Having missed the timing for the show, I stopped into the casino with the intent of playing a bit of Black Jack, before heading back to the cabin early, to write yesterday’s installment.

Do you know how hard it is to leave a Black Jack table when you’re winning? By midnight my eyes were blurring, and I was forced to admit I was beginning to crash. It was fortunate for me, as I left up money; a rare occurrence in a casino.

After a bit of writing when I returned to mycabin, it was 1 A.M. before I climbed into bed.

This morning, I hit the “jet lag wall”.

I woke up at 7 A.M. with the intent to tour in our first port of call, Marseille, France.

No excursion planned, but I was going to take an available shuttle into town (for 12 Euros return). It didn’t happen!

My shoulders were sore from lugging my computer bag around for the lengthy travel day; my eyes were sticky and begging to relax, so I enjoyed coffee out on deck, and made the decision to stay on board. I laid back in bed for a quick moment and woke at 12:45 in afternoon.

Apparently my body was telling me something, and for a change I listened.

When I woke up it afforded me the opportunity to wander a part of the ship, and take some pictures. Most of which you can see in the photo gallery.

For this evening Mike and our CruiseMates Travel Agent, Nancy Bogert had pre-arranged a group dinner at the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, and Nancy so graciously included me in the group reservation.

Dining at the Steakhouse was pretty much as good as it gets. Excellent service! Excellent food! Excellent company! It’s so well worth the $35 surcharge Carnival charges for dining there.

This evening I skipped going to the new show “The Brits” , in the Ovation Theater, and the late night Punchliner Comedy Club, as we have an early morning tour heading to Venice, upon landing in Livorno.

No dropping into the cabin at 1 A.M. for me tonight!
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