Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Day 2.1 All Aboard

Finally on Sunday afternoon it was time to board our ship – The Avalon Luminary.  She carries 130 passengers, has a restaurant, two lounges and a sky deck.  Unfortunately, Belgium in May is still quite brisk, and frequently rainy. Not to mention that for low bridges, and overnight when we dock in a city, the captain closes the sky deck for security reasons.  So… we really haven’t spent any time up there.  But there is no lack for comfort on board regardless.

Our room has a queen sized bed (two twins pushed together, but the mattress was very comfortable, so we were never aware of it being separate beds!), private bath with a large shower, and plenty of closet space.  Since a significant driver in our decision to do a cruise is the fact that you don’t have to keep moving your luggage each day, we immediately unpacked and stowed the empty suitcases below the bed.  A big question was going to be what to do with the scooters.  As you may recall, the cruise line objected strenuously that there was no room to store the scooter.  Indeed, upon first glance it was looking to be quite awkward. 

I’d intended that each of us would store one scooter, but since the Travel Scoot was non-functional, we took them both so that Dave could tinker with it.  That scooter folds right up, so that was a simple matter to push under the bed.  The other one we were starting to resign ourselves to nest under the desk area, when I discovered that it would fit fantastically in the closet!  Et voila – two scooters stored and NO floor space sacrificed!

Learning how to move the scooters around on board took a bit of coordination, but even in the morning when the cleaning carts were in the hallway, I was still able to grab the front wheel and pull the scoots up the hallway…  Note to self – the farther back on the ship, the longer commute each day!  Gangplanks were awkward – mostly because of protruding wheels that would catch the hand ropes.  And the most difficult navigation of all, was the one day we did double park – and had to ascend to the sky deck to transfer to another cruise ship, then descend to their main deck to disembark.  I’m thankful we still only had one functioning scooter that day, because that was a heck of a transfer.  I learned to carry the scoot vertically, and hook the front wheel over my shoulder – that way I was able to free one hand to hold onto the hand rail.  Because those stairways up to the sky decks are narrow and steep!

Contrary to the protestations of the cruise line, all of the crew members were quick to offer to carry the scoots on and off for me.  To the point where I sometimes felt goaded into declaring I can do this!!  Oh well – it’s good to accept help.  Even our fellow passengers jumped in frequently to offer assistance.

As for the elevator on board... that was quite frustrating.  The cabin decks at the rear of the boat were 1/2 floor offset from the restaurant/lounge decks in the front.  There are 3 levels of cabins.  At first, second and even third look, the elevator appeared to only operate on the cabin decks.  But it turns out there is a hidden door in the side of the elevator that could open on the half floors...  HURM.  So we made rather little use of the elevator.  In light of that, the 2nd deck of cabins was ideal for Dave and I because it was generally 1/2 flight up or down that he needed to navigate.

Anyways, once stowed and the safety drill complete, we were underway just as dinner was served.  Dinner in the restaurant always had an appetizer, soup, entrée and dessert – wth 2-4 choices for each.  So there was lots of variety, and it was all wonderful!  We had already made up our minds to forego the gluten free and dairy free restrictions for this trip, and that didn’t take but a single meal to become a distant memory, haha!  It’s interesting to note that after a week of eating with abandon, neither of us have had any mal-adjustment back to this way of eating.

Most days we set sail just as dinner began, and sailed overnight.  The first morning we awoke in the Rotterdam harbor - one of the largest in the world.  Thanks to the wonder that is facebook, my brother alerted us to keep an eye out for the oceanliner, The Rotterdam which is permanently docked in the harbor.  Turns out that is the ship my parents and my oldest sister and brother sailed back from Europe to the USA on in 1961.  Low and behold, just minutes later, there she was!  (and no, those are not flames erupting on the dock, but a strange reflection of the table of people behind me, oddly spotlighted...)

(Here's a link to my blog's home page so that you can navigate to other posts about our trip)

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