Tuesday, September 20th, 2005
Between The Bridges
So this is the second-last day on board the Star Princess cruise liner, to be spent entirely at sea en route to Oslo, Norway. We’ll then head back to Copenhagen where we’ll be deposited ashore and left to fend for ourselves among the ravening Danes until our flight leaves for home on Friday. Today was a nice change, weather-wise, sunny and relatively warm. The high point of thet day was travelling under the Great Belt Bridge, one of the largest in the world that spans the Danish island of Zealand from the Funen part of the mainland. Many of the passengers gathered on deck to get pictures of our passing underneath, and to see whether we would actually clear it or lose or radar array. It was pretty neat. The rest of the day I spent averting my eyes from the sights of old men in speedos at poolside.
When my Dad first asked if I wanted to go along on this cruise, I didn’t say yes immediately – I had a couple reservations. Firstly, he snores. A lot. Earplugs and sandwiching my head between pillows has managed to ameliorate that problem for the most part, but it’s been a little rough. The second reservation was, well, the cruise. On paper, the idea of being ferried around the Baltic in luxury from one port to the next sounds great, right? Well it sort of has been, but it’s also been extraordinarily dull. I’ve mentioned it before but will do so again to drive the point home – everyone here is OLD. Like twice my age. And the shipboard experience is designed to cater to this audience, naturally. What I wouldn’t give for someone around my own age to talk to. The crew qualifies, but they’re all very much in “cater to the seniors” mode while working and seem to disappear otherwise. So basically I’ve spent the onboard time reading, wandering and getting some funny looks from the other passengers.
Something else that’s bugged me about this cruise has been the relentless attempts to sell us junk. The first thing I saw when getting aboard last week was a couple of crewmembers trying to sell us unlimited soft drinks for the duration of the trip for $40. Every day, there’s flyers and bulletins in the mailbox trying to sell us duty-free liquor, smokes, jewelery, clothes, photographs, videos… I get more junk mail here than I do at home. It’s pretty lame. This trip was not cheap – you’d think that they should be more interested in service than sales, but apparently not. It sort of cheapens the experience. Except not cheap. Their shiznit is expensive.
Anyway. I’m looking forward to coming home in a few days.