Greetings from Nassau. :)
We've been having a lovely cruise around the Eastern Caribbean. I thought I might try and write - a little - while onboard, but a preference for leisure very quickly took over, and happily, my pooter seemed most comfortable stored away.
Tomorrow the dream ends, and we are back to real life, and real time.
It's the sense of time that's struck me a lot on this trip - the time we have, the time we waste, how much people can try to cram into a day. And how hard that becomes when there are no clocks.
Like many cruises, and resorts (and, if you never noticed, Starbucks), the Norwegian Epic has almost no clocks anywhere. Not on most of the public decks, no clocks in staterooms, and so it can become a mystery just what time it is. This is fine, say, if your day majinly consists of lying around by the pool... but this is a ship full of activities and options. There's a (fabulous) spa, an awesome gym, and lots of dinners and shows to choose from. All at scheduled, specific times.
And no clocks.
It's enough to make one buy a watch (and thanks to a very large onboard shopping plaza, lots of nice watches at deep discounts to American retail prices)... but it's also kind of a pain. A 10:00 gym class, a 12:00 massage... what time is it again?
So far, I've nearly missed one reserved only lunch, and two spa appointments, not to mention nearly missing the boat trip I'd arranged to join from St. Thomas to St John. My phone has become a lifesaver in terms of keeping track... but in St. Thomas and St. Maarten, my phone decided we were in the next time zone... and I gained an hour. And generally thought I was late. Or early. Or something.
Sure, time is a luxury problem - and so are those spa appointments - but it's the sense that time should have no meaning, on a rigorous schedule, that's really striking me as odd. Culturally, I think the tension between a vacation where time doesn't matter, and the heavily scheduled leisure of a cruise trip, are a good example of how confused Americans can be when it comes to leisure and time off. Have a great time, take it easy... but try to be on time.
And now, I probably have to go off to an appointment somewhere.