The Cast of Characters

Thursday, September 18, 2014
After 22 days on board this floating resort, it's only natural that we would have encountered several people. Some we see only a mealtime, some we see repeatedly around the ship. And some we can't get far enough away from and hide when we see them coming.

The Southern Belles - these were the first people we met . They were on the first leg of our cruise. They got off back in London. They sat beside us in the dining room. Two little old ladies from Georgia, close to 80 if a day. One of the old girls was trying to get a text message to her son. The ladies were so discouraged with what they considered slow service in the dining room, that they bailed half way through the cruise, and then we only saw them once more when we happened upon them in the buffet. I gave them each a Canada bookmark as one of them used to work in a library. You'd think I gave them a million bucks, they were so pleased.

Senior and Seniorita - these two sat on the other side of us in the dining room. We never really spoke much to them. They were Spanish and for the first 12 days they each had a Stella Artois at dinner every night. Then, when the second segment started, they stopped with the beer almost entirely. After about 6 days into the second half of the cruise, they ditched the dining room entirely. I'm thinking it's cause they, too, were discouraged with the slow service and the long process of consuming a meal. Haven't seen too much of them since they had their last meal beside us.

Dr. Pierre and the Mrs. - these two took The Southern Belles table on the second segment of our cruise. The good doctor is mid 60's and suffered a stroke a couple of years ago. He is just learning to walk again and it's quite apparent that the injury to his brain was significant. He is very french, and she is quite english. Seeing them every evening makes us appreciate how lucky we are to have our health. On the odd occasion when the Mrs is in the dining room without the Doc, she has a tendency toward TMI (Too Much Information). We know way more about their relationship, family and living situation since his stroke then we really wanted to, for sure!

The Hamiltons - this couple must be in their 70's and from...Hamilton, Ontario. They are on our Mini Olympics team. Right from the first day of Mini Olympics, I identified Mrs. Hamilton as being a real competitor. On that first day she started bugging the organizer about having a swimming event. She claimed to be an excellent swimmer who had won "medals" in the past. The organizer was diplomatic when he explained that she would likely be the only competitor in a swimming competition, being that it's so freakin' cold out on deck. Especially up around Iceland. Aside from the Mini Olympics, we see her dragging her husband behind her at every competition we enter. Whether it be mini putt golf or speed sukoku, they are always there. She loves to win, and apparently can't get enough of those Princess pens that are the most common giveaway.

Joe Professional - this fellow is also a fellow Mini Olympian. He won our first event. We've seen him a few times since then at other activities. When we competed in the Mini Putt competition, he was the one who showed up well in advance and practiced beforehand just to get the leg up on the others. He was none too pleased when he didn't win. Apparently Joe also doesn't have enough of the Princess prize pens.

Type A Dave - he's another one of our Mini Olympic team mates. He's the one who's always up front near the organizers. The one who likes to complete their sentences, tell them how to set up the games they've been organizing forever. He likes to yell "go" when it's time to begin a tied event, even when the organizers tell him not to. He's like the kid in elementary school who always liked to beat out the erasers for the teacher. We see him fairly regularly. He was at the Slot Tournament the other day. No, he wasn't competing. He was coaching a woman on how to hit her "spin" button. What's important to note here is that the woman was not his wife, and by all accounts not even someone he knew. Just someone who he noticed while passing that he felt could benefit from his expertise. Yup, there's one in every crowd!

Old Jam Guy - this fellow has to be over 90 and is shaped like a question mark, complete with hunchback. He shuffles wherever he goes and doesn't get in the buffet line. Instead he just tells one of the staff at the buffet entrance what food he wants and waits for them to bring him a plate and find him a table. In all fairness, it's probably good that he doesn't get in the buffet line, shuffling along and trying to get food on a plate. We gave him the name Old Jam Guy because, well, mostly cause he's old...really old. Also, when we returned to the ship from Invergordon we bumped into him in the elevator. It was the first time we'd ever laid eyes on him. He asked if we'd been ashore and we said yes. He replied "I wish I'd known you were going, cause I would have got you to buy me some jam".

Dave Van Dyke - this is one of the ship's entertain staff and runs many of the activities including Mini Olympics. He is from somewhere in England where a very strong accent is common. He talks like Dick Van Dyke did when he was in Mary Poppins. Every woman he deals with all day long is called "Daaawlin'".

That's just a sampling of some of the characters we've encountered over the past 3+ weeks.

Tomorrow it will be nice to be on terra firma again. Here we come St. John's!!
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