At sea

Jim was poolside when I awoke feeling much worse. Was so glad we had no tours for the day. I dressed and went to the ship's doctor. He gave me antibiotics for my throat infection and a blank bill to sign (which I thought was very unethical) that was charged to our cabin. Two women told me they had to buy tampons from the doctors office and they were $9.00! Everything we purchased on board and lounges, gift shop, etc. was signed for and paid at the end of the cruise. The exception was the pursers office where travel books, stamps, and film were sold. Also the casino and bingo.

I went to breakfast and had some soft cream of wheat, then up to the pool area. Jim, the two Bills, Jeff and Joy were sunning so I joined them. Bill Walker was our unofficial doctor, always dispersing different vitamins for different elements. He had my packet all ready for me and Rusty told him he didn’t have a license to give out prescriptions. Everyone was full of tall tales today. Jeff related the story of his parents and their first fight over pool plants. Bill insisted that if they had a pool he wanted nothing around it to mess it up. One day when he got home, Audrey had purchased plants and planters and had them sitting all around the pool. Bill took one look at them and started hoisting them over the fence down the hill. Audrey came out, saw what he was doing, and fetched all his shoes (Jeff says he likes shoes) and did likewise. Jeff and Joy remind me of Jay and Janet and are the same ages. They picked at each other and picked on their dad. Jeff said he couldn’t see or hear, and was falling apart.

Walker told a story about taking some out-of-state friends to the Madonna Inn, where he and Rusty were booked in the cave room. He donned a caveman costume, black wig, and carried a rubber club. One the other couple came by for drinks. Bill charged at them like a madman. Great stunt.

When we were in line for the poolside buffet lunch, Jim had me fetching him a glass of water. Bill W. asked if I always waited on him and Jim told him that I was a Stepford wife. Jim later commented he’d have to go back to less delicious meals at home. Bill had a chuckle when I concurred that I “wasn’t programmed to cook good meals.” I ate my last fattening baklava --- even had two pieces.

As the sun moved around to the side of the ship, so did I. Jim went to the lounge at 2:30 to collect baggage tags etc. for our return trip, then stayed for bingo. I read a little and watched some terrific skeet shooting. I talked to the wife of an LA vet, and she and her husband had been on the ship four weeks. They first took the cruise to Yugoslavia, Russia and other ports, then stayed on board for our trip, and they had their two boys with them! It must be nice. This ship had taken the fastest pace of any day on the cruise. But it was very smooth and a beautiful day.

Finally had to go back to the cabin at 4:30 to fancy up for Captain’s Gala Formal Dinner. Black and white for Jim and I this time. The Jenkins and Jeff joined us in the lounge for cocktails, and Jeff took our pictures. We had one of the best meals of the entire trip --- lobster, lights turned off while waiters brought in flaming baked Alaska. Our waiter finally remembered which chair to pull out for me, that Jim and I drink Sanka, and Jim always had “cheeses.” It was tip night. Our waiter did remember that I asked him for a set of menus at the beginning of the cruise. They were put in the state room while we were out.

We went to the floor show in the lounge after dinner with Judy and Ed and Edith and Ed. Afterwards I went back to the stateroom to start packing. Jim and Milt kept calling for me to come back up, so I went for a while, then went back to finish up and hit the sack.