As I woke on the morning of our last full day at sea, I felt the ship rolling. Curious as to why, I pushed back the drapes of the cabin’s window and gasped an unprintable word – this is a G- rated blog – at what a I saw.
Then it occurred to me that the noise I was hearing through the double-pained glass was the wind howling. I turned on the cabin TV to the ship’s channel where I learned that we were in a force 8 gale. That means the wind was blowing from 39 to 46 miles per hour.
I have been in rough seas before. I made two North Atlantic crossings back in the 50’s when I was in the Army. We had a pretty good storm on one of them. The ride on the troop ship was more exciting because there is a big difference in a relatively small troop ship without stabilizers and a 105,500 ton, 12-deck tall cruise ship that has state of the art stabilizers.
A lot of soldiers on that troop ship got demonstrably seasick. Fortunately, I wasn’t one of them. In fact, I actually enjoyed going on deck for some fresh air and feeling the sea spray on my face. One sight I’ll never forget was when I went to the head on the fantail of the ship. As the fantail went up and down like one end of a seesaw, the water in the toilets – there must have been at least 20 of them in a row – shot up like fountains.
On the Carnival Triumph we had expected the day at sea steaming from Halifax, Nova Scotia to New York City, would be fun, with ballroom dance lessons, delicious food, an afternoon tea, the chance to lose some more money in the casino, and the passenger talent show in the big lounge.
You should have seen the ballroom dance class trying to do cha-cha steps with the ship rolling that way. I tried it for a little while, but decided that at my age I wouldn’t want to fall on a hard dance floor.
As the ship pulled into New York Harbor the next morning, all was calm again. Getting off the ship was a lot easier than getting on with not as many security hoops to jump through which made lines to the customs stations short.
We got to enjoy the bus ride down Broadway and 42nd Street and Time Square back to La Guardia Airport. I reflected that was a good way to experience downtown Manhattan. You got the ambience without having to get involved with the throngs on the sidewalks or the pushing and shoving of what must have been a million people in Times Square.
Now that I am back home I am seeing more beautiful fall leaves than I saw anywhere in New England and Canada, and the main reason for going in mid-October was to see those leaves. The rest of the adventure made up for it.