Journey to Bermuda

At first, taking the redeye from LA connecting in Chicago and on to Newark seemed like a good idea. It is now, with the time change, of 4 hours, 1 PM on Sunday afternoon. We are halfway to Bermuda on the Azamara Journey and I just now woke up.

We arrived in Newark at 11 yesterday morning and marveled at how soon our bags arrived on the carousel. It was spinning as we got to baggage claim. LAX would do well in sending a rep to EWR to find out how they do it.

Michael went outside, grabbed an abandoned cart, which we loaded, and with her pushing the cart and me lugging (I just now understand the connection between “lugging” and “luggage”) two other bags, we headed to the taxi stand. On the way we were buttonholed by a gypsy cab driver, but not sure of how things are done in Newark, I turned him down.

The official taxi manager gave us a dispatch voucher “to keep with us at all times”, and pointed us to the next cab in line. I looked at the receipt in my hand and blanched; $46 flat fee, plus $1 per bag plus tolls. The former fee was $35.

Madame Administrator smiled and said, “The price has gone up.” For the same charge, according to the rate card, we could have gone to midtown Manhattan or Montclair, NJ. Where was the gypsy when I needed him?

I made sure the driver had change for a $100 bill, and we were off to the Bayonne Cruise Terminal. On arrival, three baggage handlers hustled us out of the taxi. Two of them loaded our bags on a boat bound carrier, while the third, as I was paying the driver, held out his hand and gave the “I’m the one who will make sure your bags get safely to the ship” speech. I gave him $5, fumbling as the cab driver was, at the same time, handing me the change for the hundred. I tipped him $5 and he just stood and stared at me. I figured I had under tipped him. Well, I was tired of being intimidated, and just stared back. Just at the point where I feared losing this eye to eye contest, I realized I had forgotten to give him the $100.

Boarding process was quick with no waiting. Security card photos taken, we went up the gangway, made a bit slippery by continual drizzle, boarded Journey, where Champagne and white wine greeted all passengers.

Our cabin, 7018 was forward on the port side and ready. We dumped our carry-on and headed to Windows Café for buffet lunch (great soup) and then back to 7018 to nap. There we met our butler, Caetano Voz, from Goa. He made sure all was OK, and noticing that Michael was a woman, said he would put the twin beds together for the night.

Our afternoon went something like this:

Nap nap, knock knock, here is one of your bags, sir. Nap.

knock knock, here is one of your bags, sir. Nap

knock knock, here is one of your bags, sir. Nap

knock knock, here is one of your bags, sir. Nap

Four bags. Awake.

Eyes propped open, we went to a private cocktail party hosted by Hotel Manager Niyazi Korkmaz . New to Journey, Captain Carl Smith was to attend, but was stranded with the pilot on the bridge. We had sailed late to accommodate the loading of provisions including 4 washers dryers to be installed in a newly constructed coin laundry. I have been cruising for over 35 years and this is the first Captain I’ve come across with only five letters in his last name.

Dinner was in the specialty restaurant Aqualina, and after dinner we headed immediately to bed.

I belong to Cruise Critic, to my mind the most complete cruise website on the net. For some weeks those of us on this cruise have been keeping in touch on the Azamara pages of Cruise Critic. We planned a Cruise Critic get-together generously hosted by Azamara. The gathering of Cruise Critic members, when I awoke at 10:35 this morning was already five minutes in progress.

The next time I surfaced was, as I’ve said, 1 PM. The redeye was not a good idea.



One Response to “Journey to Bermuda”

  1. owen Says:

    Oh, dear Brother, you should have mentioned our family’s tiny shred of New Jersey seagoing distinction: Our great grandfather, Throne by name, was the commodore of the Bayonne Yacht Club. I’m guessing said yacht club no longer exists, but then, neither does Commodore Throne.

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