The Solstice is OK
Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
301Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Our hot tub is between a pair of swimming pools. The water in the pools look almost surfable. Waves are pounding over the sides and onto the deck, The swimming pools' waves aren't an amusement park type creation. They're the result of rough seas. I shudder. Suddenly I see movement and squint towards an immense darkened wall of glass. People, dressed as though they're going to a funeral or wedding are milling about. Ellen tells me they're dressed and ready for a formal dinner. I turn my head and gag a little. Not because of the waves, but from the constant eating. The hot tub has been my escape tonight. Two nights and I've already gotten to the stage where I wake up at two in the morning with the need to be fed. When I look at my watch and realize it will be four-and-a-half hours until breakfast I have an anxiety attack.
I've talked to quite a few fellow passengers. It seems that everyone has cruised before; most people multiple times. I suspect that that is why these people don't stagger about as though they're drunk. I on the other hand feel a constant, yet mild, inebriating buzz, even though I've barely had a drink. Old salts these boat-vacationers with their well earned sea-legs. It's quite possible that of the 2,800 passengers, Mary, Jim, Ellen and I may be the only neophytes.
Our room, with veranda, is approximately 190 sq ft. The flat-screen has at least a couple of dozen movies to choose from. I'm far more interested in seeing pics of Osama's BLT. (brain lobe tissue) though. Anything to help turn me away from the food trough.
Our bathroom has a silver box filled with kleenex tissue that's always full. Beside it sits a cylindrical crystal-like container filled with q-tips and cotton swabs that is never empty. Towels are always clean and dry and there's never the rude shock of reaching for toilet paper and finding an empty dispenser. Ellen thinks there are little cleaning fairies, or ghostly gnomes inhabiting our space to fulfill our every need.
Yesterday, after watching The Fighter on television, I took a walk with pad and pen to record the decadence. I was shocked by my discovery. There are fifteen bars where one can take their natural state of inebriation to an entirely different level. For the bulimics and simple swine, there are seven restaurants, a chic cafe, a quaint bistro and a gelateria. For those who seek distraction from the destruction of both mind and body, there is a spa, art gallery, internet lounge, casino, library, solarium, lawn club (to make you feel as though you're in a park-like setting), swimming pool area, 5th Avenue type shops & boutique area, movie theatre and Massey Hall-like live theatre.
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Although the sea bottom is five kilometres beneath us, the Bermuda Triangle is now just a scary memory. We're into our sixth day across the Atlantic. I've seen two boats – or for all I know they could have been space ships - on the horizon.
Aside from all the wonderful things that I mentioned in the previous paragraph the Solstice develops the occasional, disconcerting quiver. It sometimes has that rumbling bowel feel to it, probably similar to what's going on in the insides of my over-fed boat-mates. I'm really looking forward to the Azores.
Photos will be available at a later date.