ABOARD the MS VEENDAM — Decisions are difficult on the last day of a cruise – perhaps especially so on just a week-long experience.
With all that packing for the airplane to do, should we also take another shore excursion? There are new friends to say goodbye to, remember. Do we go to the final performance in the showroom? What are we going to wear tomorrow?
And that ever-present dilemma: If we accidentally pack the wrong thing – maybe our shoes, heaven forbid – and they are taken off with the midnight luggage pickup, how will I get along in the morning with only the hand luggage and a pair of socks?
On our own last day, Saturday, June 13, at Bar Harbor, Maine, such questions were answered by the weather – the first dull-sky day of the trip. Throughout the morning it looked like it might rain at any minute.
Great! We’ll have a leisurely breakfast, do some laundry, start organizing ourselves, and then see how we feel.
We were anchored off-shore, so the ship’s tenders began their back-and-forth shuttles. Finally we could stand it no longer and got ourselves down to the main deck to climb aboard one of the bobbing orange launches, and get into town. I took my laptop, hoping to find a wi-fi equipped coffee shop. (There is wi-fi on the ship, of course, but we had used up our allotment, and adding to it might be expensive.)
The town was charming – very “Down East” — and there were plenty of coffee and other kinds of shops. But free wi-fi? Just in the public park, everyone said.
Sure enough. We recognized many members of the crew there, as a matter of fact, keeping up with members of their family in several languages, on their smartphones and tablets. There were no tables, which would have been more suitable for my laptop. So we made do with just a rock wall.
Afterwards, I discovered the park gave me the ideal angle from which to shoot the ship. I’m turning it in with this account, and then immediately returning to the Veendam.
It’s starting to rain, too. But with a few good photos in the camera, everything is all right.
Photos by Robert W. Bone