Seized Moment No. 3: The Promenade Deck
The Promenade Deck and I became well acquainted on the cruise. I wanted to spend as much time outside in the heat as possible so the heat would soak into my bones, melting them if it wanted, releasing it ever so slowly on our return to Saskatchewan, like asphalt on a cool summer evening. That's where I exercised, an easy walk at first, out of deference to a recuperating lower back.
The Promenade Deck is its own community--the strollers, hand in hand, ambling along; the serious walkers, decked out (couldn't resist the pun!) in runners, caps, and T-shirts, making laps with a determined step; the runners, checking traffic and announcing their presence; the readers ensconced comfortably on the chairs; the nappers, giving in to the warmth and the leisure.
From time to time, there are watchers, people hunched over the deck rail, staring out to sea, playing their own movies on the sky screen, dreaming of places and tales untold. When they congregate, I pay attention--there's wildlife. That was the case as I rounded the corner--a few people staring aft on the starboard side. Oh, my--dolphins, four of them, leaping out of the water, so close to the ship I am afraid for their safety. A few seconds, and they're gone, having delighted those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
Missed Moment: Redefined Luxury
We are living in luxury. Really, living in Canada, luxury characterizes our daily life--shelter, food, safety, things we take for granted that 95% of people in the world don't have or struggle to maintain. The cruise, though, brings luxury to a whole different level.
We have a cabin steward, a waiter, a wine steward, who call us by name and cater to our every whim. Every meal, from the buffet to the dining room, is a masterpiece, that the staff serves up with a smile, even when they are dead tired after a long, taxing day. Musicians, singers, dancers, magicians, entertain us; travel and shopping experts inform us; culinary staff tantalize us; our fellow passengers engage us in stimulating conversation.
It's our third cruise, and, sadly, we are getting used to this luxury. Can't be. The tuna needs a little more sauce, and the peach crisp some zing, like lemon or a liqueur. Unpressed chair covers detract from the elegance of formal night. The service is slow, and, oh, the towels are just not fluffy.
Luxury breeds discontent, I am afraid. For appreciation and gratitude, mix up some lack of expectation, and watch the awe explode. How unfortunate that, able to bask in genuine luxury even briefly once in a while, we should allow a critical spirit to mask any of the daily delights of the holiday.