At Sea Days: Transatlantic Cruise Part Three


Fall 2016, I took a transatlantic turnaround cruise with three fellow writers. We ended the cruise in Orlando, Florida and Hogwarts. We started the cruise by spending two days in Barcelona which I talked about in part one. The first port stop was in the Canary Islands which was my part two report. In this post, I’ll devote to the sea days on the Norwegian Epic ship. I’ll talk about the second port stop in Puerto Rico and our time in Orlando after disembarkation in the last two posts of this series.

Yes, the photo above could be of any sea day of our trip!

Oct / Nov 2016 Cruise Days, Weather in the 70s and 80s

A Typical Day Working

Woke early, showered, dressed, and worked for two hours in the studio lounge with a cappuccino. I met a travelmate for breakfast after a nice Canadian couple led me to the elevators. It is a big ship. After talking to the ships internet guru to solve a connection issue, I took a short break to the view the bridge. Afterwards I returned to the lounge for another round of work with cookies and more cappuccinos.

Lunch was late and another round of sushi.  I think we went to Wasabi five or six times. I grabbed a book and read two chapters sitting aft in the Garden Cafe so I could stare at the sea not a spec of land in sight.

I returned to the lounge for more work, not lasting long, finishing the day editing THIRDS, the YA book I’d like to finish on the cruise. Since I haven’t worked in it since June, I’m re-acquainting myself with it and revising at the same time. Did 68 pages today.  To page 111 the next day.  Now working in the Moderno restaurant (Brazilian). After the writing started: 1130 words, 771, 2095 word days.

On the first day, I tried to take a nap, but the announcement that the Rock of Gibraltar was coming into view interrupted that. At sunset, I took a pile of pictures. The Rock was about five miles away with Spain/Europe behind the rock Starboard and North Africa on the port as we headed for the strait.

A fellow traveler and I went to dinner after that, sharing a table with two British couples. Very nice. Swordfish at the Taste restaurant and split a lava cake.

Time changes again tonight. (I think we experienced six time changes.)

Things We Faced

Exercise: Eight stair flights walked, deck walk next to lifeboats. Writing breaks.

Lots of internet issues. IM was intermittent too.

Election Day 2016: NCL was concerned riots might erupt so wouldn’t televise election news in any public area. So five of us returned to the lounge where the solo travelers watched it. The dismay was palpable when Trump surged ahead. Few were left by 1:00am. I continued to watch it in my room till 3:00. Took a 30 minute break to edit and back up the document. Slept till 5:00 am and found out then that Trump was declared the winner. I’d woken that day at peace and ended the day feeling the same.

Discovered that they had scones every afternoon late in the cruise. Found myself less interested in food and portions were getting smaller. The Irsh pub had a good baked salmon served on a Caesar salad.

Never got tired of meeting new people.

The Ways We Played

One night we saw Barricade Boys, four stage performers who had all played in Les Miz, stage and film. They sang Frankie Vallee and Beatles songs, not to mention a few from Les Miserables. A highlight for me was a song from Queen.

Another night: show was in the Epic theater. Christian Miro, an Argentinian relocated to Spain, comic, mentalist, and magician. Great show. Nice twists on traditional magic acts. Used umbrellas instead of swords.

One afternoon I watched a hypnotist. He taught a method of self hypnosis to lose weight.

Dinner with trave companions and four strangers: Mike, Rob, Sue, and John. I talked much with John and Sue who provided me with good and plentiful color for my Gibraltar section. I love when that happens.

On the last night saw Cirque du Soleil. Many moments of mouthes gaping. Some audience participation. Incredible costumes. Wonderful. Good dinner too.


Another port city in the part four post!

Till next time, this report respectfully submitted by, Michelle K


About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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