Centenary World Cruise Day 99-110: I Sea What You Did There

Day 100:

This is the point in every new presidential administration where the opposition party starts piling on about how little the new president has achieved. I will say that in my first 100 days on board, I have passed no legislation, I have undone none of my predecessor’s policies, I have instituted no sweeping reforms. There is a good chance that I will not be re-elected to this ship.

Day 101:

This might be the last entry for this trip. I know that we’ve still got more than two weeks, but after more than 100 days at sea, I have COVID. My trip effectively stops here, because I’m not allowed out of my stateroom for at least six days (which ends on the day we’re supposed to be in Tenerife), or until I test negative. What’s weird is that I haven’t had any loss of taste or smell, I haven’t had any major fever (two tenths of a degree) – this isn’t anything like I thought it was supposed to be.

Being sick on the ship is tough for many, many reasons. First off, I’m stuck in a 200-square-foot room, and can’t leave until I test negative, and they won’t retest me for six days. Second, we have to get our meals brought in, which is tough because they can only bring us food off the set menus, and NOTHING from those menus is looking appealing at this point. The dinner menus have been…utterly unimpressive. Normally, if I don’t like what the dining room is serving for dinner, I just go to the buffet, but that’s not happening. Third, nobody’s taking our trash (including the boxes and vials from all the COVID tests they gave us test Stephen). Fourth, I just want to sleep, but I can’t. Not least because I’m just not a good day sleeper, but also because our phone is ringing off the hook with the purser asking us if we need anything, the medical team asking us if we need anything, housekeeping asking us if we need anything, catering asking if we need anything…Yes. We need a social secretary to handle all these calls.

Stephen’s not testing positive yet, but it’s only a matter of time. There’s no way he doesn’t have it.

And by the time we start feeling better, it’ll be time to start packing for home. I’m already exhausted thinking about it, but hopefully I’ll be more up to it once we get there. We’ll see.

Day 109:

I am finally sprung! After nine days stuck in a tiny stateroom, having nothing but room service meals (which aren’t as hot as they could be, and the menu is extremely limited), and not taking more than three steps at a time, I’m sprung!! I immediately left our room this morning and went down to the pub, where I could catch up on a week’s worth of email and work conversations.

Sadly, we missed a lot while we were sick. We missed the second Crossing the Line ceremony, we missed the Country Fayre held in the ballroom, we missed Tenerife. We also missed the immigration inspection for the UK, because it was being held in one of the restaurants. They told us they would visit our room today at 2:00pm and do it there. When I went up to the room at 1:00pm, Stephen (who’s still quarantined) said they’d already been and gone. He said he tried reaching me at the pub, but the person who answered the phone at the pub said that there was no one drinking iced tea in the pub. He lied.

I ended up going down to the restaurant where they were supposed to still be doing inspections, but they’d gone. I checked in at the purser’s desk, and was told (with a reproachful look) that the immigrations officers would be around at 10:00am tomorrow, and if I don’t come down and present my passport, I won’t be allowed to leave the ship. Now I wonder if that’s how they attract employees on these long-haul voyages – “Sorry, you didn’t give us your passport, so you work for us now.”

Day 110:

We make port in Southampton tonight, but no one will be off the ship until tomorrow. There is a couple we met early on in the trip that have become friends, and I was afraid we wouldn’t get out of COVID jail before they left, and that they’d think we’d been avoiding them.