We are anchoring today off Newport, Rhode Island from 0800 to 1400. The stay has been shorted by a couple of hours due to local “speed in the channel” regulations. It is a tender drill, one of two for the journey.
The Ship itself is the Crystal Symphony. It is one of two ships belonging to Crystal, a Japanese owned cruise line. At full capacity there are under 1000 passengers accommodated in ocean view or higher type cabins. in It is one of those high end cruise lines comparable to Regents and Silver Seas. Or maybe not Silver Seas, given this particular population of passengers. I can see what the appeal is for certain portions of the population, but it is giving me the willies. There are those who are used to be catered to for everything. In the case of the men on the voyage, it is because they have spent their lives being Captains of Industry with secretaries and assistants their whole careers to do all their bidding while in the office and a wife who does the same at home. The women, not counting the elderly widows about whom I will discuss in a minute, are those who have always had household help, personal trainers and sent their well turned out offspring to private schools and named colleges. There are certain assumptions of behavior that I see when watching them. To them the staff is there at their beck and call but should otherwise be invisible. Heaven forbid that it should take more than 2 minutes to get a glass of wine or that someone else would get served first. Other than one when of them is holding forth on his own brilliance, this group is fairly well modulated in voice and behavior.
The elderly, wealthy widows are a different group. They spend their lives practically on the ships taking a world cruise every year with their fancy dresses, seven steamer trunks, and cruise line provided escorts for evening dancing. This is their life; having long outlived their husbands and (not to be too tacky) not having close ties to children, grandchildren etc or they wouldn’t be at sea for over 200 days a year.
Someone, please shoot me if I turn into one of those ladies.
The passengers as a group are highly demanding, extremely well dressed in that very expensive fashion name understated manner. This is not a group that wears knock-offs nor would they ever consider traveling without their watches and jewelry. Apparently the reception desk has to store the excess for numerous passengers where the room safe is not large enough.
Ok, I need to take a deep breath and accept the fact that I really don’t care how the lettuce is arranged in my salad bowl nor do I care to have someone hovering at my elbow. I will admit that the ship is extremely beautiful, well maintained and elegant. There is no shabby furniture nor are there worn places in the carpet.
It isn’t the staff’s fault that most of the passengers fly first class and are “very demanding.” My cabin attendant was stunned when I inquired about what I could do to make her job easier. Apparently it is not a question that gets asked very often. But I don’t see why it should be such a big deal to turn on the little light for “make-up cabin” in the morning or evening. Not being much of a room service person, where to leave the dishes is not a concern for me (again, the magic “make up the cabin” light should suffice.
It is an interesting experience. It is not one that I can see myself ever willingly repeating. I am not comfortable being waited on to this extent. I don’t particularly feel entitled and don’t care for the attitude. Since I drink so seldom, the value of all inclusive on wines, alcohols and other beverages has little value to me. The specialty coffees are nice, but I can get that on my other cruise lines. What I also realized is that there are too many passengers reminiscent of some of my least favorite of George’s work associates.
Ok, enough whining out of me. I found a lovely cafe (The People’s Cafe) with really high speed wifi and nice people. Shore can make up for a lot!