Thursday, July 28, 2005

Cruising, May - July 2005

My cruise ship gig was delayed for a month because of the fire. I was actually prepared to cancel it completely but Doug convinced me that I should do the last three months of it. It was going to take that long for the insurance company to figure out our situation, apparently. He had to give up a month of touring as well.

What was really nice about this was that we’d both be there together for the first section of it. Way back in January before all of this craziness ensued, I had noticed that a certain big band was going to be performing for the ship’s big band theme cruise and I suggested to Doug that he ask his former student, who used to play with that band, if he could find out if they needed a sub for the cruise. He did and they did, so Doug was there playing in the big band for 10 days starting the same day that I began my 3 month contract as a show band musician. Isn’t that cool?

So we had what amounted to a working vacation together for the beginning of my contract. It was definitely a vacation after everything we’d been through. We were crossing the Atlantic from Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon, so we also had plenty of time to get together and work on house things. We got started on his clothing list and we made some initial drawings of potential floor plan changes that we could make to improve the house. It was great to have all of that time together in such a nice environment. I also had fun sitting in with Doug’s band after I finished my gig each night.

After Doug got off in Lisbon, the ship cruised in the Mediterranean for a month and the rest of the time we were in the British Isles and the Baltic Sea area, which included St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Oslo, the Norwegian Fjords, Stockholm, Tallin, and Gdynia. It was a fabulous itinerary.

I got off at every port and saw as much as I possibly could. I took a lot of pictures. But every spare minute I had while I was onboard was spent working on that g*%@&#% personal property inventory. By the time the three months were up I had all of the items listed that I could possibly think of or visualize in our house. Internet access at sea was very expensive so I had to wait until I got home to do the rest of the pricing research.

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