October 20, 2018

Prepare For The Symphony

No the Symphony is not an elaborate musical composition, but the Symphony Of The Seas, Royal's newest and largest Oasis class ship.

This is the first cruise I have booked that originates in Europe instead of a US port. I will spend 5 days in Barcelona before boarding for the transatlantic crossing to Florida. This sounds really strange but one of only two ports of call is Port Canaveral, Florida on our way to Miami. Definitely a cruise for the journey not the destinations.

For some reason there just seems more to get done on these few weeks at home. All the usual doctors appointments, family dinners, train club activities, and of course visits with my grand daughter. Add to this the added task of some tree removal and landscaping and unanticipated car repairs. I am procrastinating packing for yet another few days, but definitely on Sunday.

Initially  when I started writing this blog it was for my friends that asked me, now that I have been doing it for several years I find that I want to do it for myself. It serves as a cruise diary, that when read, rearranges the distorted memories in my brain. Oops, maybe I shouldn't admit that, the staff at my doctor's office are amongst my readers. It's OK I still can remember where the car keys are even if not what I ate for breakfast.

I have rented an apartment for the stay in Barcelona before boarding the ship. My criteria were very simple: Location; Location; Location. The most important being located very close to the Metro system. I was told  it is across the street from the apartment entrance. More about that after I have been there a few days. I leave on Monday the 22nd to arrive in Barcelona on the 23rd.

I am often asked by my local friends if there are other people I know on the ships I sail on. The usual answer is that it is rare not to run into other passengers that I know. This cruise will be different in that I know in advance of many passengers that will be on the ship.  Before boarding our paths from home to the ship are quite varied. At the risk of boring you, but for my future reference, I am including a quick synopsis.

I think Lee and Sue were the first to leave the US. They have been traveling through a number of Eastern European countries since early September. Will meet them in Barcelona on the ship on the 28th.

Pann and Terry are in Ireland, will meet in Barcelona on the 26th.

Mimi has been in Italy for a week or so, is headed to the Greek Isles and then will meet on the ship on the 28th

Adrienne (my daughter), her husband Steve, and Amie leave on the 19th. I take them to the airport at 3:45 in the morning, what an  ungodly hour. At least the traffic will be sparse. They are headed to New York for two days and then on to Cairo and Luxor the evening of the 20th. I will meet them in Barcelona on the 26th.

Don and Di are in Moscow and  will meet up with Rocky and Linda in Istanbul. The four of them head for Cairo. I will meet them in Barcelona on the 26th.

Keli and Marilyn also go directly to Cairo, meeting up with Adrienne, et al. in New York on the 20th. Unfortunately they are not going to be on the Symphony, after leaving Egypt, they are headed to Paris for a week before returning to the US.

Alyssa (my youngest daughter) leaves Saturday the 20th to fly to New York with Marilyn and Kelli, where they will meet Adrienne, et al to fly to Cairo. I will meet her in Barcelona on the 26th.

Summer and Jen fly to Barcelona on the 25th, I will meet them there on the 26th. 

I don't remember where Kevin and Linda are, but will meet them on the ship. I am sure there are more I have forgotten, I apologize.

I originally was planning on touring Cairo, riding a camel to the pyramids and going on to Luxor with the others, but after looking at the projected weather, highs in the upper 90's, and the grueling schedule, like heading to the airport in Luxor at 3:30 AM, I felt it would be wise to plan a more leisurely schedule sampling tapas and wine in Barcelona. I may even catch some of the International Jazz Festival that is being held in Barcelona while I am there.

The alarm is set for 3:00 for a passenger delivery run to the airport. The landscapers will be here by 8:00, and then one more doctors appointment. How did I ever find time to work before I retired?