A Momentary Flash of Panic

Dearest Rachel –

On approach via the bus: the Odyssey is the one on the left, hidden by palm trees.

Well, honey, I made it this time. Admittedly, I was over prepared this time; the QR code didn’t seem to work with their check in procedures, so I had to show them the previous screen from the pharmacy, showing a negative Covid result.

But before that, there was a slight matter regarding my passport folder. As we pulled into the docks (and we had to stop at two other ships, the Celebrity Reflection and Apex, before being dropped off in front of the Odyssey), I went to check my backpack for the folder, as it had a fair amount set aside for tips and other expenditures. Nothing too dangerous, but it’s not like I’d want to lose it.

The folder wasn’t in either of the pockets on the side of the backpack. Again, I could manage without the cash, and I have my passport card elsewhere, but to lose the cash and passport, well… I don’t need to tell you that could pose a problem. I couldn’t begin to guess what might’ve happened to it; while we were waiting for the bus (and yes, this time it was definitely ‘we’ – between the three ships, the bus to the pier was all but full, although I did have space to set my backpack down to rummage through it once I discovered the situation I was in), all the people I was talking with seemed to be veteran cruisers. Which means they were are sufficiently well-heeled to have no reason to abscond with the chump change that I was carrying with me in the folder. Eventually, I realized I would have to check my suitcase when we got to the pier maybe I put the folder in there instead. A very long shot, to be sure, but I had to check everywhere until I found it.

However, the moment the bus stopped at the Odyssey, I stood up to look under my seat, and there it was. It had fallen out and wedged itself between the seat and the interior wall of the bus.

You know that feeling when you lean back in your chair on two legs and you start to fall, and just as you fall, you lean forward and catch yourself? I feel like that all the time.

Steven Wright, from I Have A Pony (1984)

Thank heavens I’m not like that all the time, but I was clearly enough of that for those few moments that the lady behind me I could tell that I was ‘freaking out.’ But all’s well that ends, well…

Ironically, as part of the check-in process, I was asked for my passport (naturally, as all of the ports of call are foreign), and when I handed it over, the girl at the counter was confused. Evidently, she’d wanted my passport card after all. I could have managed just fine without finding the passport folder.

Not that I would have liked that.

I keep forgetting about how many levels of gangplank that have to be climbed in order to get aboard. And as these ships keep getting bigger, the ascent keeps getting higher.
Of course, the pool deck (where you no doubt would have headed first – or at least made a note of for when we got our suitcases, and your swimsuit in particular) is that many more decks further up.
In accordance with family tradition, I made my way to the Windjammer for lunch while waiting for my cabin to be available.
They had all manner of food displays, alongside actual food.
Including this collection of gingerbread and cupcakes.

I barely had time to get myself a lemonade before the announcement came at the cabins were available. It’s not like I was hungry for lunch, anyway.

One key card. That’s it. I mean, it’s not like I should’ve expected more, but it just brings it home again.
And to be fair, it’s plenty roomy for a single. Indeed, there’s probably room for two, or even three, if you include the couch.

Strangely enough, for all the luggage in the hallway, mine isn’t among them yet. Well, it isn’t as if I’m in a hurry for it. I decide to walk around, and get my bearings.

Such as, for instance, my table in the Main Dining Room (and yes, that’s what they’re calling it – not as creative as the ones they used to give these places on previous ships, but it is what it is). I purposely had my agent put me at a larger table, otherwise I would probably hide out from everybody all the time. This at least forces me to talk to a few people; whether they’ll want to talk with me remains to be seen. Remember the McKinley couple from our first cruise to Alaska? Right, the ones that never showed up at the table. Precisely.

By the time I figured out where everything is below decks – and decided to head back to the cabin to finish this letter to you – it’s actually raining outside. So the topside tour will have to wait. There’s no need to panic, though, now that I’m here; especially considering that there will be plenty of days to explore the place over the next week.

Oh, but I did make a point of letting the folks know I’ve arrived safely; they would want to know that much, at any rate. So everyone’s reassured at this point, and now it’s just a matter of waiting for when we shove off, onto the open seas.

Keep an eye on us, honey, until next time.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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