Centenary World Cruise Day 60-62: Sea To It

Day 60:

We’re halfway through our journey. There are a few indicators – I had packed my pills in four zipper bags of 30 doses each, and I finished the second one. The list we’d been given of all the ports flipped over to the second page. We’re sick and tired of everything on the ship. Luckily, for most of the rest of the trip, we don’t have very many at sea days in between ports. We’ll be circumnavigating Australia, so it’s only a day or two between each stop.

Day 61:

Well, the pizza was delicious, but I spent most of the day in some pretty severe intestinal distress. Funny – I’ve eaten and drunk in places where other folks have turned their noses up at the food, expressing a certainty that we’d get sick, and it never happened. But in Australia – bingo.

We ended up talking to the couple next to us at dinner about food. When we first got here, several people remarked at the fact that they had gained weight while on the ship. I expected the food on this cruise to be a non-stop parade of deliciousness, but…it’s not. Much of the food here is laced with some variety of pork – ham in the potato salad, pork in the stir fry, sausages and bacon and pork roast at breakfast. Since I don’t eat pork, beef, or lamb, my lunch and dinner choices are much more limited than other people’s.

The food is definitely geared toward not just British tastes, but the tastes of older people. Nothing is highly spiced or very well salted, and because they have to feed 2700 people three times a day, some of their practices (like putting out sliced bread and then leaving it out all day) mean that the food isn’t as fresh as one might hope.

We gave our dinner companions the benefit of our discoveries – like the fact that the coffee bar serves kedgeree (rice, smoked haddock, and hard boiled egg with curry and butter) at breakfast, but the main dining room doesn’t. We also discovered that you can’t get decent coffee or tea at the breakfast buffet, and that the lunch in the pub is better than up in the dining room. So now you know too.

Day 62:

For the second time on this trip, there was a medical emergency that necessitated a helicopter evacuation. Early on, I met a couple who had been on several Cunard cruises, and they pointed out that the demographic on these cruises made it inevitable. They said that they always saw at least one ambulance at every port, waiting for someone on the ship. And now I have seen at least one ambulance at every port, waiting for someone.

This is why you have to have travel insurance. The cruise line isn’t going to reimburse you for the rest of the trip you booked, and on a 4-month trip, that can run into a lot of money. But I wonder whether the cruise line has some kind of waiting list so that they can fill the room of the person who’s been evacuated.

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