A day at sea is a lovely way to relax, get some knitting accomplished and to people watch. Since the temperatures are not in the 20s – it is only the hardy souls out on deck. Most of them seem to head out, drop off covering garments and head immediately for the hot tubs. The process in reverse is even faster for some including a scoop and dash with the clothes toward the shelter of one enclosed space or another. (No question, IMHO that RCI has it right with their enclosed pools, usable with the sunroof closed in cold/inclement weather).
Well over half the passengers on the ship are from the US/Canada and played the walking zombie for the first couple of days. Didn’t hear a complaint about sea days from them at all. A number of other first time cruisers, not being dragged down by time zone changes had lots to say about the lack of hot weather and sunshine. Honestly, it is February. If you want to assured of hot weather, I might suggest New Zealand, Australia or South Africa. In other words, somewhere that it is summer. Canary Island are definitely not in the grip of a snow storm but still, they are in the Northern Hemisphere.
Given that I am mostly involved with audio books and knitting, it gives the brain a fair amount of time to roam. There are a lot of people here reading. Reading as in books – hard covers out of the library (700+ books) or paperback of their own. If I had known there was a paperback swap shelf I might have brought a few more books on a one way trip. What I have rarely seen is eReaders. Unlike this fall or last summer where Nooks, Kindles and iPads abounded – my count is still in single digits. Perhaps you might think that I am just missing them, but I have been wandering all over the ship, trading off sitting and relaxing places just to try out different locations and chairs. Lots of books, a few magazines and the rare reader.
For that matter, headphones and ear buds are rare outside of the fitness center.
Knitting seems to be a magnet, I have met a lot of women who do various kinds of needle crafts, but not one bought anything along on the trip. Several made the usual comments about not being able to take knitting needles/crochet hooks on airplanes. I did the usual explanation (wood, bamboo, plastic – not size 0000 steel 15″ lace needles and they ought to be fine). All the discussions were fun, it made up for the fact that I am going to have to frog the almost finished left side of my rainbow sweater back to the sleeve. Something about having cast on a few too many stitches and not wanting something will extend to my knees when finished.
I have had diner with couples from Leeds, Yorkshire, and Essex. Today I had a lovely conversation with a couple from Bremerhaven who remember when the US had troops stationed there. In fact, they were part of a network of locals who took in single soldiers for weekends and holidays. It is almost 20 years since the base closed and they are still getting cards and letters (and of course some email in this day and age).
Mostly however, the demographics are what you might expect: significant participation from us “old retired folks.”