…was filled with sunshine and many activities to keep young and old busy.
For those who didn’t feel like doing anything that required much energy, the pool was a welcome reprieve from the heat. Mom, Dad, Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry opted for this,
while I splurged the last of my cash on a spa treatment combo – a full body Balinese massage (by genuine Balinese therapists), a facial and a session in the thermal suite…it was absolute bliss. I felt like a million dollars afterwards.
Feeling the need for some sunshine, I joined the folks next to the pool, with a cold Brutal Fruit in hand and soaked up the rays – I ended up looking like an ostrich on heat because my legs, particularly my shins, were burnt a bright shade of lobster pink. Fortunately the sun burns up that end of the world, without the pain. In the 31 years I’ve been around, I don’t think I have ever had as much colour as I do now.
The afternoon I popped into one of the lounges where I competed for the title of the ship’s Brainbox. I came fourth, missing out on a prize :-(, but it was fun nevertheless.
Our last supper on board was incredible, as usual – but it was a subdued occassion. I think the realization that our holiday was coming to a close was getting to everyone. Ken told us that he would be sailing onboard the MSC Sinfonia again, when it goes back to Europe later this year. I must admit, I was quite envious at the thought, but he is such a wonderful person – he deserves it.
After dinner, there was an election of Miss Sinfonia’s partner – Mister Sinfonia. The election of this suitor for Mom was less raunchy than hers had been, but equally as funny.
The gents that were selected as semi-finalists had to serande Miss Sinfonia – but the catch was that a member of the Dream Team was holding up props that had to feature in their seranade – Uncle Barry was one of them, and his seranade was very memorable:
(Props shown up were a mannequin’s breasts, a white sandal and a beer can).
“Juliet, you have big breasts and you smell like and old shoe. I can only be with you when I am inebriated.”
Dad was up next, but being a bit deaf, he didn’t hear the instruction about making a seranade using the props. He let rip with a brilliant rhetoric which had everyone in stitches (and his poor daughter quite embarrassed and scarred for life!).
The last potential suitor was a well-built bloke called Edward – I don’t remember his entire seranade, but when he was shown tennis balls, he told Miss Sinfonia, “I look forward to you making my balls bounce tonight.” I laughed so much half my drink went up my nose!
The second part of the assignment was to collect as many bras as they could from ladies in the audience. Dad and Edward collected quite a few, but Uncle Barry sadly couldn’t lay his hands on one. Aunty Carol got hers loose, but she couldn’t get it off under her top…some lady in the audience felt sorry for him eventually and “donated” hers for him.
The final part of the election exercise was for the potential suitors was for them to perform a strip show. (Just when I thought I was already scarred for life, I found out, things can get a lot worse!)
The applause-o-meter was a bit faulty, so the decision was left to the judges and it was decided that each one of them deserved a sash.
The folks opted to call it a night, but I was far from tired. I went to the theatre to watch the final show of the trip, where I bumped into Mom and daughter, Charlotte and Madelein and sat with them for the performance.
The dancers and other entertainers had definitely saved the best show for last:
Still not wanting to go to bed, and thereby admitting that my holiday was virtually over, I went to the Pasha Club Disco, where I finally got to enjoy the drink Chief Engineer Guiseppe Balzano had been trying to get me to join him for the entire week.
It was interesting to talk to him – he is married, has been sailing for 25 years, has three grown up children (two daughters and a son if memory serves correctly). I asked him why his wife didn’t join him onboard – he says that she does indeed sail with him when the ship returns to Europe. He says though that he has contact with his family daily – pretty much like we do with Dad when he is working at sea. He was extremely polite asking me about my life, my parents, my education, my job. We chatted for quite a long time, but then there was no more putting off of the inevitable. I had to return to my cabin and pack.
I excused myself, but gentleman that he was, he again escorted me to my cabin, kissing me on the cheek as he had the night before and bade me “Arrivederci”. It was a bittersweet end to a fabulous holiday.
As I zipped up my suitcase, I actually shed a few tears – this holiday had done my mental state of late the world of good. I needed the break from reality, and that is exactly what I got. I recommend a cruise holiday to anyone…
Sleep didn’t come as easily as I had expected, given the late hour – I guess I was hoping if I managed to stay awake, Friday morning wouldn’t dawn and I could stay on board, but alas, it did and soon the familiar beep of an sms coming through on my cellphone meant that we were within cell phone range, and so too…the reality of regular life.