Securing the Machine – At Sea, Florida, United States

I woke up early on Monday to eat my breakfast in the dining room. If there is one thing I have learned about cruising it is that choosing to spend meals in the buffet line is never a good thing. It`s not that the food is bad as it usually is somewhat similar to the menu in the dining rooms. In fact, there is about three times the selection complete with new creations almost every session.

From seafood salads to breads of every grain to every kind of fresh fruit and vegetable known to man, they have it covered. There is always a chef cooking up a storm be it tender pasta to spicy stirfry to fluffy omelettes to carving up large juicy slabs of meat or foul. The dessert section boasts rich moist cakes, buttery cookies, sugary trifles and fresh made to order crepes with fruits and ice cream of your choice.

No, the problem that lies in the buffet style dining is the size of the plates. They are giant oversize ovals just screaming gluttony. I have tried on many occasions to monitor my portions but there is just something weird about filling up only a quarter of the plate. No matter how you try the food rolls around or spreads all over the place unless you give it something to lodge up against. The truth is, it is a constant challenge to moderate your portions when dining in this more casual café style setting.

I prefer to sit downstairs in the formal dining rooms and be served a set menu. Not only is the food presented on normal size round plates, they are more human proportions. The chefs seem quite concerned with presentation and quality rather than the whale size quantities being consumed upstairs.

I realize a lot of this has to do with self control and discipline fully recognizing that this is one area I need work in. Ironically, I think it would have been worse for me if I was working out in the gym. For some reason, in my mind, I feel it is ok to eat whatever I want as long as I am exercising. This is not a good train of mind on a 24 hour all you can eat seven day cruise.

I contemplated my big toenail which was getting blacker by the hour and wondered if this was a good thing after all. My running shoes were still soaked from the rainy party we attended on the weekend. It seemed that my grand ideas of uber fitness would be stifled by this set of unusual circumstances.

After my solo breakfast of plump sweet blueberry pancakes and perfectly poached eggs, I sipped a cup of English Breakfast tea. I decided to begin my errands for the day with a positive attitude with the intention that everything would work out. After standing in a line to pick up nine tickets for the ice skating show, I tried to tackle the internet problem once again. Again, there was no feasible solution and I began to ponder the idea of leaving the cruise at the next port.

I am super grateful for being able to travel while work and do not want to put that privilege in jeopardy. I really love my job and feel it is more important to be faithful to that commitment rather than a holiday. I chose a long time ago that I would give my best to ensure that TravelPod succeeds. That was before I even worked there. I suppose it is rare for me to find something I believe in so strongly. So when I do, I am loyal to the end.

I felt a little crippled most of the morning trying to do work without a steady connection. Every so often, I would connect to the expensive Wi-Fi system for a few minutes to download and send what I had completed. It was not the most productive morning let me assure you.

Finally that afternoon, I received a phone call informing me that they had “found” one of the Dial-up machines. I bounded down the two flights of stairs to the fifth level to snatch up my ticket to freedom before they changed their minds. I practically sprinted through the mall like promenade filled with glittery jewel shops and duty free liquor boutiques. Past the English style wooden pub and the big screen TV laden sports bar lined with stools, I ran.

I stood impatiently in the short line catching my breath while other passengers inquired about silly things like what altitude we were at and if the crew actually slept onboard. Finally I spewed my tale of woe and was presented with my prize. I triumphantly carried it with care back to my cabin to make sure it was compatible with my laptop.

After configuring the cumbersome machine, I was able to connect, albeit with an unpredictable and slow speed. So my job would be a little more challenging but it could be done. Relieved I caught up on what I had fallen behind on and began to feel much more relaxed.

The other day Luc reminded me that we are TravelPod, not WorkPod and that at some point, I would have to schedule time off. He told me it was healthy to disconnect completely sometimes and I agreed. But now was not the time. I have a newsletter to write as well as implementation of several new ideas and changes. It is far too exciting and busy a time to be taking holidays. That will come later.

Our first day at sea seemed to fly by and I found myself with my dinner mates sharing stories of what we had discovered that day. I smiled as I observed budding friendships and sparks of romance round the table. It was rather endearing to see everyone bonding so well and I had to feel a little melancholy.

I knew that I would be spending a lot of time hidden in my dark stateroom rather than soaking up the sun on the upper decks with my new friends. Things had not gone as I had planned but I decided to be grateful for our precious time all together at dinners.

After making sure we had all tasted the delights of the night, Kate, Jess and I headed up into one of the many Jacuzzis on the top deck. It was quite refreshing to immerse our bodies in the bubbly warm bath and breath in the fresh night air. We chatted about everything under the starry sky for hours until we were pruney. After a quick rinse in the circular one person shower, I crawled into my bed for a night of sweet dreams.

Grateful for connection

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