Cruising the Chilean Coast

sunny 68

Again I took potluck, and was assigned to a table seating one couple, a Distinguished Gent, and two single women. One of the women lost her husband three years ago at Thanksgiving, and she’s not been home since. She schedules her cruises on different lines, but basically goes from one to the other. We were talking about this ship, and I mentioned Passages, and how the ship offered a free shuttle into the Plaza de Armas, the main square of Punta Arenas. The woman across from me said, “And did they?”

The conversation then drifted to other cruise lines, and the rumor circulating around the ship that Holland America’s Prinsendam hit 30 foot waves either as they passed the Horn in the opposite direction from us, or soon after. The rumor varies from the ship capsized, to passengers injured, to sustained damage to the ship which caused all passengers to be sent home, and the ship put in dry dock. I’ve sent an email to Alan Wilson who publishes Cruise News Daily and knows all. He’ll send me the straight story, but I fear what actually happened may dampen the swirling gossip.

Deaths of husbands, mothers, and one wife took up a lot of the conversation. It was a bit depressing, but the free wine helped my psyche drift.

Each day I am delighted with the friendliness of the crew. Asa, my stewardess is from north of Stockholm and treats me as if she is my nanny. She is always cheerful, conversational, and makes sure to see that I have my sweater on if it’s chilly out. The waiters in the restaurants are also eager to please. They are mostly Phillipino and give every impression of enjoying their work. Some have a neat sense of humor and we have a great rapport. All the crew, from lowly mechanic to officer, greets me when we pass. It makes the ship more than a commercial operation, almost like the yacht of a friend.

A woman entered the laundry as I waited for the dry cycle to end, and asked if I had seen any sunglasses. She said her husband had lost his and thought he left them in the laundry. See, I was right. They bond with socks.

The afternoon was spent in the Jacuzzi, and on my balcony, reading in the sun. How nice.

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