VIKING SEA ON SCHEDULE FOR APRIL 2016 DEBUT

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The home waters of Norway beckon for the brand new Viking Sea in 2016

The second of Viking Ocean Cruises’ sextet of cruise ships will make her formal commercial debut on April 3rd, 2016.

Currently nearing completion at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. the 47,000 ton Viking Sea will sail on an inaugural, nine night voyage from Athens through to Venice, with stops in Istanbul, Kusadasi, Kotor, Pula, and Dubrovnik en route.

During her first season, Viking Sea will sail spring and summer Baltic itineraries, before returning to the warmer waters of the Mediterranean at the end of July. From here, she will sail year round to the highlights of Greece, Egypt and Turkey while her sister ship- the already in service Viking Star- redeploys to the Caribbean for a maiden season of cruises based out of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Those eleven night Caribbean sailings are actually quite port intensive, with a first night spent on board the ship in San Juan, and subsequent calls to Tortola, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, before returning to San Juan. Prices, including flights, transfers and all guided tours, free Wi-Fi and beer and wine with lunch and dinner, as well as free use of all sauna and on board spa facilities, begin at £2,490 per person.

Meanwhile, Viking Sea will sail a mixture of nine. twelve and fourteen night itineraries in Europe on a year round basis. Many of these can be combined to create a truly inclusive, three week adventure.

Of especial note is an advertised, thirty five night Nordic Explorer adventure, taking the ship from Athens all the way through the Mediterranean to Bergen, via the western Mediterranean and coast of Europe, sailing on April 3rd from Athens.

For those interested in her maiden UK arrival, Viking Sea is scheduled to be in Southampton on Thursday, May 5th. First arrival in her home port of Bergen, Norway, will take the form of a two day stay on May 8/9th.

It will be interesting to see how the company markets this second of class ship after the grand splash (pun intentional) created by Viking Star last year. This whole ‘back to the future’ style of cruising that the line strives to offer seems to emphasise a very inclusive kind of understated luxe as opposed to a sensational, fairground ride kind of adrenaline rush.

It remains a fact that, while the first ship of a company is a statement of intent, then the second ship has to cement that reputation and ensure a smooth, onward product progression. In many ways, more is actually riding on Viking Sea than many people have perhaps considered.

That said, there is every reason for optimism. As ever, stay tuned for updates.

CELESTYAL’S CRYSTAL GETS NEW BALCONIES IN TIME FOR CUBA SEASON

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Celestyal Crystal at Lavrion, Greece, last summer

Just prior to beginning her new season of round Cuba cruises in December, the 24,000 ton Celestyal Crystal had an extra forty three balconies added to cabins on Six and Seven decks.

The work, carried out in twenty days in a Piraeus shipyard, added some twenty six balconies to junior suites on Deck Six, and a further seventeen to junior suites on Deck Seven. Most of these are located on the forward part of the ship’s superstructure, with a few more located right aft.

The new balconies all extend approximately 1.4 metres from the sides of the ship, and vary in length from 2.8 up to a quite substantial 5.8 metres. They represent a significant enhancement for these rooms which, on average, come in at around 170 square feet of interior space each.

In addition, the eight, V-shaped midships balconies on the Deck Eight Penthouse Suites were extended and refurbished, as were those on the two forward facing Imperial Suites overlooking the bow. Those latter two suites also feature a Jacuzzi, located on the balcony.

The total of fifty three balconies now available adds some very welcome, private deck space to what can sometimes feel like a very busy ship. Celestyal Crystal was originally constructed as a Baltic ferry, before undergoing a substantial conversion for full time cruising.

Technical upgrades were also taken in hand during the refurbishment, as well as a general refreshment of the main public areas throughout the ship.

During the winter, the refurbished ship will operate a full programme of seven night, round trip cruises from her home port of Havana, Cuba. Returning to the Aegean in spring, the vessel will then offer a series of three, four and seven night Greece and Turkey cruises from a new home port of Lavrion, just outside of Athens.

An interesting twist on one of the most distinctive and individual small cruise ships in service today. As ever, stay tuned for updates.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE LOOKS TO THE FUTURE

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Norwegian Cruise Line is Australia bound, and in a big way, too.

The recent delivery of Norwegian Escape from Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard marked something of a watershed for Norwegian Cruise Line; she was nothing less than the fourth, 150,000 ton plus mega ship delivered to the company since 2010- an event that few would have foreseen even ten years earlier.

First off came the one of a kind Norwegian Epic, delivered from STX France in 2010, and only recently just refurbished in Southampton. Then came a trio of vessels from Germany; the Breakaway class sisters, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway. And, finally, as noted above, the line took delivery of the ‘improved’ Breakaway class vessel, Norwegian Escape, as recently as October.

A second ship in that series has now been allocated to the burgeoning Chinese market. Another projected ship will be given the name of Norwegian Bliss, but she will not see the light of day for a few years.

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Singapore beckons for the Norwegian Star

Thus, 2016 will mark a hiatus in the delivery of new ships to Norwegian Cruise Line. But that should not imply any loss of momentum for the line- now under the guiding hand of industry veteran, Frank Del Rio. Quite the contrary, in fact.

2016 will see the line expand its global offerings on a scale never seen before. Following on from her usual season in Northern Europe, the Norwegian Star will make her away down to Australia, offering some first ever Mediterranean cruises en route. Sailing via Singapore, the 2001 built ship will operate a full season of voyages in and around the Antipodes.

Next winter, Norwegian Sun will showcase a series of cruises down and along the east coast of South America. Always a trailblazer within the Norwegian fleet, the popular ship- another 2001 veteran- will offer a series of voyages between Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires, ranging from seven to ten days’ duration. There will also be some longer trips in the same region.

Like Kevin Sheehan before him, Frank Del Rio has thus far made no commitment to supply the home based UK market with a year round, dedicated ship. But he has reversed one of his predecessor’s prime deployments in the year round Mediterranean market.

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Norwegian is going global for 2016

Last year, many people were surprised by the news that the company’s two dedicated, year round Europe ships- Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Spirit- would be replaced by the giant Norwegian Epic, which was to be based year round in Barcelona. The two smaller ships would be sent back to the more benign, year round waters of the Caribbean.

Now we learn that, after just this one current season sailing year round, the Norwegian Epic will return to the Caribbean- to be replaced by Norwegian Spirit once again. And, in another twist, Norwegian Jade will also return to Europe for seasonal summer sailings, mainly around Italy and the Greek Islands.

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Atrium lobby on the Norwegian Spirit

Personally, I’m delighted to welcome the beautiful, hugely under promoted Norwegian Spirit back to our shores. Her raffish oriental decor and beautiful stepped terrace decks make her one of the most distinctive and appealing ships sailing these waters year round.

As for Bermuda and Alaska, Norwegian retains a strong, seasonal, multi ship deployment. There are also year round sailings to the Caribbean. And, for 2016, the Norwegian Sky is going to all inclusive pricing on her short, three and four day round trip sailings from Miami to the Bahamas.

I just wish that Norwegian would create some more upbeat, short haul routes for the Norwegian Sky. While her short cruises make for great little breakaways, they have become pretty much pedestrian, and far too predictable for a lot of people.

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Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

Frankly, many people are sick and tired of Nassau, a place that has a very brittle charm at best. Ditto Freeport. Sure, Great Stirrup Cay has been massively enhanced recently, but is that one call alluring enough to book for alone?

A few years back, Norwegian were offering some great, five night cruises from Miami that took in both Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Now might be a good time to consider reviving this route, using the Norwegian Sky. 

At the very least, why not vary the current, four night itinerary to include Key West every second week, and maybe even Cozumel as well? My feeling is that Norwegian really are missing the boat on this one- pun wholly intentional.

Perhaps such ideas are already under consideration, who knows?

But one thing that is for sure; it really is nice to see Norwegian making real, palpable headway again after playing second fiddle to the likes of Carnival and Royal Caribbean for such a long time. The future of the innovators of Caribbean fly cruising is one that I will follow with interest.

As ever, stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

THE LARDBURGERS’ CRUISE FOOD REVIEW

Dear blog reader;

By popular demand, our esteemed guest reviewer, Mrs. Myrtle Ethel Lardburger III is back to regale us with another of her- ahem- uniquely incisive reviews.

Here, she reviews the cuisine sampled aboard a recent mega ship cruise somewhere ‘out there’. So, without any further ado- it’s over to Myrtle… 

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Our guest reviewer was not moo-ved by the on board food…..

Hi there folks!

I am so diluted to be back here to share my considerisms on cruise ship food with you all!

We’d best start with breakfast in the buffet restaurant, I guess. Really, these plates need to be bigger, I’m afraid.

By the time I had put on my bacon, sausages, ham, toast, hash browns, eggs, waffles, jelly donuts and ice cream, the damned plate looked like a sculpture of Mount Everest. Then the ice cream melted and ran all over the bacon. Some damned fool tried to plant a flag on top of it and then claimed it in the name of some banana republic. Didn’t even have the courtesy to offer me a goddamn banana, even.

Well, I can overlook lots of things, but those kind of bad manners are most definitely not to my taste, let me tell you!

We tried the so called special new ‘Chinese breakfast’ one morning, and this took forever. We ordered the Chinese style Corn Flakes. It’s damned hard work picking up milk with chopsticks, let me tell you.

One day, we had lunch in the main dining room. I asked for the Vichysoisse to start with.

This was disappointing, sorry to say. Had to ask three times for them to take it back into the kitchen and heat it up. Waiter didn’t understand simple English. And I’m often assured that my spoken English is very simple, indeed. Go figure!

They had Angel Hair pasta on the menu. Herb always says that my hair makes me look like an angel so, of course, I ordered it.

Sad to say, that pasta was a disasta. Damn thing looked like something that had crawled off the top of Donald Trump’s head. I stabbed it with a fork and it scuttled off the plate, ran clean across the room, and crawled up the inside leg of some guy on another table. Guy sat there for the rest of lunch with a stupid grin on his face. Wasn’t grinning when I bitch slapped him across the face with a slice of Dover Sole, mind you. Myrtle one, pasta thief nil.

One night, we got to have dinner in the very posh, extra pay restaurant. I think it was called Il Tarantulato, or something like that.

Well anyway, it started very badly. The Maitre D’ was a real snob; the sort of guy whose nose is so far in the air that he sneezes on low orbiting satellites. Had the nerve to demand that Herb cover up his wife beater and take off his best Steelers cap. This, of course, did not bode well for the evening.

Jesus, the menu was bigger than Pavarotti’s ass. I kid you not, people. And everything was written in this kind of fancy foreign scrawl. Who knew that there were so many different ways to write ‘Burger’ in Portugonese, for crissakes?

Anyway, I decided on the Gateaubriand for a main course. Piece of cake, you might think. But no. Not with this troupe of clueless clowns.

Out comes this whole slab of roasted cow, wheeled out on a trolley. I knew just how it felt, poor thing. After five margaritas, I usually have to be wheeled out on a trolley, too. But I digress.

When I pointed out that this was not what I required, I was informed that ‘my pudding will follow’. Well, that is a disgraceful way to describe my husband! Herb may be a little slow on the uptake sometimes, and he may be a touch flabby around the jowls, but referring to him as a ‘pudding’? I at once went and made an official complaint to Captain Speaking, of course.

His reaction was to start repeatedly stabbing himself with his fork, while banging his head off the table at the same time. I get it; if I had such an incompetent Maitre D’ to apologise for, I’d bang my head off the table as well.

So no, this kind of dining left us definitely wanting more, I’m afraid. We were not impressed with either the food or the service. Damned waiters were all like extras from The Walking Dead. I’ve seen more animation at an undertakers’ convention.

We are sorry, but we have to give this one the thumbs down. Safe travels, y’all- we’ll be back with more real soon.

Love, H+M

 

 

CARNIVAL TO OFFER TEN BERMUDA CRUISES IN 2016

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The stylish Carnival Splendor is Bermuda bound in 2016

Over the past couple of decades, the summer Bermuda cruise season has become more or less dominated by a ‘big three’ composed of Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International.

So complete is this dominance that many potential Bermuda bound passengers overlook other possible options for travelling to the island from a number of different American ports.

For 2016, Carnival is offering no less than ten ex-USA sailings to Bermuda on five different ships, each of which offers at least one overnight stay, and some offer two. Like most ships these days (exception; the four 2016 sailings by Holland America Line), all ten of these calls will use the main mega ship berth at King’s Wharf, on the western side of the island.

So, for those of you that might want to add a little ‘Fun Ship’ style and frivolity to the peace and beauty of Bermuda, here are the options available to you throughout 2016.

Carnival Pride is offering  a brace of five day cruises from Baltimore, Maryland. Sail dates are April 10th and October 26th.

She will also offer a pair of seven night cruises from the same port, departing on September 4th and 18th.

Carnival Sunshine will sail a five night itinerary from Norfolk, Virginia, on October 23rd. Prior to this, the same ship will sail on a seven night itinerary from New York on October 1st.

From Charleston, SC, Carnival Ecstasy showcases a pair of seven night sailings to Bermuda, departing on May 12th and November 6th, respectively.

Carnival Victory offers a southern twist on the classic Bermuda cruise experience, with a one off, eight night sailing that departs from Port Canaveral on May 19th.

Last, but not least, the Carnival Splendor features a nine day Bermuda cruise, sailing from Miami on May 26th. This cruise features a single overnight stay in Bermuda, and additional Caribbean calls at Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, and also Grand Turk, in the Bahamas. This one is a particularly lovely combination.

For the UK market, many of these cruises can be packaged with stays in landmark cities such as Miami and New York. And, for something more than a little different, you could combine a Bermuda cruise with a stay in the genteel, old world pace and grace of beautiful Charleston.

All of these cruises present good options to enjoy this beautiful, still very much off the beaten track destination, at the best time of the year.

Enjoy!

NINE IN A ROW AS EURODAM ACES USPH INSPECTION

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Holland America blends traditional ocean going luxe with modern standards of cleanliness and hygiene

Holland America Line’s MS Eurodam scored an unparalleled, ninth consecutive 100  per cent cleanliness score in an unscheduled United States Public Inspection (USPH) at Fort Lauderdale on October 25th.

The 86,000 ton, 2,100 guest Eurodam was in the course of a turn around for a seven day Western Caribbean cruise. As it happens, this blogger was one of the 2,100 passengers embarking that day.

Holland America Line ships have always been historically spick and span. Back in the 1920’s, the well travelled wit and raconteur, Basil Woon, wrote in his book, The Frantic Atlantic, that ‘a speck of dirt on a Dutch ship might be enough to make the Chief Steward commit suicide.’

Despite this magnificent achievement- and I can personally attest that this snap inspection resulted in none of the  embarkation delays sometimes associated with USPH inspections at Fort Lauderdale on October 25th- Eurodam is far from unique in the Holland America fleet for attaining a perfect score.

In recent years, fleet mates Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Ryndam, Statendam, and Veendam have also hit 100 per cent score rates. This year alone, some six vessels across the fleet have been given some nine perfect scores. Statendam and Ryndam have since left the Holland America fleet to begin new careers as part of the P&O Australia cruise fleet.

Well done to all concerned, This represents a truly epic achievement by all departments on board what I can personally testify is, indeed, an immaculately well kept and staffed vessel.

PRINCESS OFFERING TWO SHIPS TO MEXICO THIS WINTER

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Enjoy memorable sunsets on a Princess cruise to Mexico

Princess Cruises will offer no less than sixteen seven and eight night Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles over the coming winter season.

Beginning on November 21st, both Crown Princess and Ruby Princess will be making round trip right through until April 9th next year, and again from October 2016 onwards.

The far more numerous seven night sailings follow the traditional, three port round trip circuit, with calls at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. Two eight night seasonal sailings, departing on December 19th and 27th respectively, will also add on the port of Manzanillo.

All round trip itineraries allow for a minimum of three sea days.

The Princess commitment to the resurgent Mexico run matches recent redeployments to the area by ships from Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line. Holland America Line is also offering a series of similar sailings, departing from the port of San Diego.

Whether Royal Caribbean will return to the Mexican run remains to be seen; as of now, no sailings for the area are listed on the current UK website.

Of course, Princess are no strangers to the Mexican Riviera; back in the ‘Love Boat’ days of old, the weekly television series revolved around the fun and frolics happening aboard a Princess ship as she sailed these self same waters. The show became a television staple and, indeed, many people still credit it today for starting the great, ongoing cruise boom of the last three decades.

These current Princess ships sailing to Mexico are a lot more sassy, stylish and amenity laden than their dainty Seventies forebears, and the allure of the Mexican Riviera seems to have finally rebounded positively after a few years becalmed by rising crime rates. As a voyage, it provides a welcome, less frenetic option for winter sun seekers that might be jaded with the Caribbean.

Worth considering, especially with a few pre or post cruise hotel days at one of those sun splashed beach cities of LA.

CELESTYAL ANNOUNCES YEAR ROUND WINTER CRUISES IN 2018

See the amazing Temple of Poseidon on a short Greek cruise and stay

See the amazing Temple of Poseidon on a short Greek cruise and stay

As part of a series of ongoing investments and improvements to its brand, Celestyal Cruises will commence a first ever, year round programme of winter cruises from Greece, beginning in 2018.

These winter itineraries will take the form of a series of seven night, three continent cruises, to be operated by the Celestyal Olympia. The 38,000 ton ship, familiar to many as the former Song Of America of 1982, will sail from the port of Lavrion, just outside of Athens, Ports of call will include Antalya in Turkey, Jerusalem, Port Said for Cairo, and Rhodes. An itinerary that uniquely allows passengers to set foot in Africa, Asia and Europe on each round trip.

This route marks a welcome diversion for the company’s largest ship, which usually spends four months of the year laid up each winter in Piraeus, before resuming her spring and summer programme of three and four night mini cruises to the Greek islands and Turkey.

Celestyal also plans further enhancements at the line’s new fleet home port of Lavrion, the closest actual embarkation point for passengers flying into Athens. It is one of a number of bidders currently looking to build a new pier and, given the importance of the cruising sector to the overall Greek economy, the company is likely in prime position to achieve its aims.

In other developments, Celestyal Cristal will offer another season of seven night, winter cruises around Cuba this winter. And next spring, the line will introduce the 19,000 ton Celestyal Nefeli on a route that features a lot of Turkish highlights.

Plans are also afoot to embark passengers from both Kavala and Thessaloniki, located on the northern shores of the Aegean, in a couple of years’ time, in order to tap into the potentially very lucrative eastern European market.

Interesting times at the specialist Greek islands operator here. As ever, stay tuned for updates.

SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS- SOME MARITIME MUSINGS FROM THE PAST FEW WEEKS

Happy days; the dainty little Deutschland is off to Poenix Seereisen

Happy days; the dainty little Deutschland is off to Poenix Seereisen

While I was enjoying myself swanning around the Caribbean the other week, several quiet but subtle developments were going on behind the scenes in the cruise and ocean liner industry. Here’s my take on some of them.

First up, a big, heartfelt ‘well done’ to all at the SS. United States Conservancy for managing to secure another lifeline for this valiant, fabled ship. The story of their struggle would make for a wonderful movie script, even if we know that the final chapter has yet to be written. Hopefully, it will prove to still have a happy ending.

On the Dubai front, I’ll have something to say about the latest QE2 developments in a separate, upcoming blog. Stay tuned for that one.

Truly wonderful is the news that Phoenix Seereisen will take on the troubled, unsettled Deutschland. Not only does this put this gorgeous little jewel box back under German ownership, but it will also see her welcome return to the German cruising market. And, as an added bonus, this lovely little ship will finally be refitted with the ‘Juliet’ balconies that were bruited for her back in the last days of Peter Deilmann ownership. These should help to give this lovely little ship some kind of competitive edge, and ensure she remains a viable cruise option for a good few more years.

Sadly, almost inevitably, the end has come for the former Kungsholm of 1966. I suspect that politics played a part in the ship not being able to find a permanent future berth in either Stockholm or Gothenburg, and now the venerable, 28,000 ton paragon has left on a final, one way voyage to the scrapyard.

In any event, she was a ship with a hugely storied career. Many in the UK in particular will remember her as the Sea Princess, a long standing and popular member of the UK cruising market. Even with the unsightly truncation of her original forward funnel, she was a fine, stately, beautifully crafted paragon of an ocean liner that made a successful transformation into a long serving, hugely popular cruise ship.

But, on a final optimistic note, it was heartening, indeed, to hear that Viking Ocean Cruises has ordered another pair of vessels in its hugely anticipated ocean going fleet. Lead ship. Viking Star, has thus far cut an enviable swathe through the cruise industry, and continues to garner huge praise. And, as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke- don’t fix it.

As ever, stay tuned.

EURODAM PART TWO; A HALF MOON RISING

Sometimes, it really is better in the Bahamas......

Sometimes, it really is better in the Bahamas……

What a day for a daydream; what a day for a daydreaming boy..”

Daydream; The Loving Spoonful, 1966. Lyrics by John Sebastian.

There were many things I was looking forward to about my cruise on the Eurodam. And returning to Holland America Line’s ‘private island’ of Half Moon Cay was right at the top of the list.

The Bahamian outpost is actually a part of Little San Salvador, one of a series of some seven hundred islands sprinkled like stepping stones amid the sparkling azure hue of the ocean. Carnival Corporation- the parent company of Holland America-bought the island for something like six million dollars in December, 1996, and promptly proceeded to develop an area of roughly fifty acres into a kind of ‘catch all’ day break destination for passengers cruising the Caribbean.

Geographically, Half Moon Cay lies some one hundred miles to the south east of Nassau, the capital of the Bahama Islands. But, in terms of crowds, temperament and tempo, it is practically on another planet entirely.

So successful has Half Moon Cay become that it is now also a prime destination of choice for vessels of the parent Carnival Corporation. And, when you see this sizzling, sultry little gemstone, the reasons for that success are instantly apparent.

Half Moon Cay is strictly low rise in appearance, but sky high in terms of stunning visual impact. The entree is a perfectly hewn, semi circular arc of tissue soft, powder white sand lapped by almost supine, electric blue waters- a literal Half Moon, as it happens. Beyond this, clearly marked winding trails lined with hibiscus, frangipani and rows of deep, vibrant shrubbery, form a backdrop inhabited by local wildfowl, making the whole area ideal for nature lovers and ramblers.

We came bumbling ashore from the Eurodam on tenders, in itself a thrilling enough entree to what lay ahead. While many passengers do not enjoy the tendering experience, I am one of those people that have always savoured it as a kind of spray tinged appetizer to the fun and frolics awaiting ashore. It certainly hones the anticipation to knife point sharpness for me.

Meanwhile, para gliders flit across the sky like so many skittish butterflies. Jet skis roar and splutter across the sparkling briny like scampering water beetles. From the nearby barbecue- literally unloaded from the ship and cooked ashore- the smell of jerk chicken, burgers, and a whole other conga line of goodies floods the fresh, mid morning air.

Half Moon Cay is essentially a surreal, sweetly scented netherworld; a kind of idealised dream destination. Shorn of the need to do anything more demanding than grab another Margarita from any of the numerous bars that sprinkle the landscape, you sag with pathetic gratitude into a kind of submissive, smiley stupor once ashore. In an ideal world, every day would truly be like this.

After a while, wading through the tame, milk warm surf while holding a drink and talking to friends just became so- normal. Further along the expanse of that flawless beach, other passengers lolled in seafront cabanas, while others rode horses through the same surf that we strolled with such indolent indifference.

And yes, we could have gone deep sea fishing, or possibly have taken a glass boat ride to take in the stunning smorgasbord of underwater coral. We could have gone kayaking, sail boating, or we could even have hauled ourselves aboard a Hobie catamaran. And, for those so inclined, there was certainly no shortage of water toys to frolic with on that sparkling, sun kissed ocean.

But that would have involved making a conscious effort. One involving actual motivation on a day when, well, the sun was in the sky, the beer was cold, and the sand was just so damned warm between my toes. And yes, I folded. First world problems, eh?

Even the palm trees seemed to be saying ‘chill out’ as they danced an idle, soporific skit against a backdrop of clouds that drifted by like so many giant, ghostly galleons of old. And, through a filter of reggae and old sixties tunes, the words of that old John Sebastian classic, quoted at the start of this article, came flooding back to remind me of the day’s really urgent, to do business.

So, another Margarita it is. Reality? A damned interesting concept.

But not today, thank you. No sir, not today.