Waking up a little later, we grab some breakfast and threw our bags together as the car service we ordered came early. A lovely 1 hour drive to the ship, we saw the country side which gave way to tons of colors – oranges, yellows, and greens on the hillside.
Arriving at the ship, the ship attendants grab our bags so quickly it was crazy…then off we went to check in. It was simple as everything is automated these days. We got our photos taken, received our “fedora” and a really nice keepsake from Dave Koz – a memory book with places to insert photos and autographs.
We made our way to our cabin, checked it out, it was really nice. We’re on the 10th floor which the same level of most of the musicians on board, we passed by Dave Koz’s room and said hello! He is such a wonderful host, telling me he REALLY wants me to have a good time, that is his goal! Our room is one level from the eating area too. Then we took a tour of the ship, concentrating on the spa, bars, and shopping areas lol – then had the mandatory drill, after that, we made our way up to the deck where we received our first alcoholic beverage – it was called “When in Rome”…go figure! As we were enjoying our sailing away party, everyone was wearing their fedora’s and dancing to the house band on the deck, and partying away. We were able to mingle with all the musicians, Peter White, Keiko, I chatted with Greg Karukas for a bit, then saw Dave – he was gracious as ever. He introduced all the musicians and welcomed everyone to the cruise and again, told everyone, he wants them to have a GREAT time! The house band was off the charts, playing some great tunes for everyone to get their party on…and wow…it was unreal – all the folks were having so much fun!
After a few When in Rome’s (the signature drink) one thing I didn’t expect was the richness of the food, from the dinner the night before (having wine with no chemicals in it and fresh yogurt with tons more cultures than America for breakfast, real parmesan cheese, REAL whip cream, REAL Tiramisu, and REAL almost everything) AND I think I drank the water! My tummy wasn’t doing quite well. After arriving at the ship, I thought I was okay and was, but after a few more drinks of “When in Rome” and a few toasts of champagne, we grabbed a snack at one of the local eateries on the ship (as I was getting a little too buzzed and dinner wasn’t until 9pm). We had some pizza and salami and cheese – but then, came the rumbles…and then…oh boy…not good. All I can say is that if you saw the movie “Sex in the City” – the part where Charlotte accidentally drank the water, well…that’s how I felt lol.
After going back to our room, our bags had arrived, we unpacked – I decided to take a walk to the medical station to get some Imodium cause I couldn’t find any at the General Store on the ship, someone told me it was “free” downstairs…well, let me tell you – just because your tummy is not feeling well, geeze they take so much information, I guess they have to if you’re going to visit them for medical care – so I filled out the forms, no problem. They gave me the pills, then, they said they are going to quarantine me! Seriously? Why didn’t they say that before they gave them to me? OMGosh, YES, I had to stay in my cabin the whole night – Jean went to the show with Brian Culbertson and Kurt Waylum that night, then to dinner by herself. I was crushed, I thought about sneaking out, but my luck, they’d call to check on me or find me out and about and throw me off the ship. Oh well, I caught up on some writing and organized my things. The nurse told me she’d call me at 7am the next morning to see how I am doing and if everything was ok, I’d be free. Ugh, a night in with no internet, no phone, TV is bleak with Italian shows.
Jean returned after her night out, updated me on all the happenings…I was able to watch Culbertson’s show on TV (yes, they tape them) and we were off to bed. Tomorrow, we dock in Messina, Sicily and I can’t wait to meet my friend Pietro as he lives here!