skip to Main Content

Mediterranean Cruise pt 1

I was on board a few hours before Mark. When he finally got through the enormous queue, I saw him wandering around the pool deck looking for me. He was dressed in a jacket and shirt and was easily the most well dressed man on the ship. It looked a little out of place. It reminded me of when we were kayaking in Turks & Caicos with Sue and Katy 20 odd years ago. Mark turned up wearing a collared shirt and the chap at the desk found Mark’s inappropriate clothing highly amusing.

I’ve been on this ship before, back in 2021 when I cruised the Caribbean out of Port Canaveral. The spa area is particularly lovely. It even has a “snow” room. Quite expensive though, but much better than the recent Royal Caribbean ship.

Not my ship

We dined together before meeting the singles bunch. A mixed bag and nearly all American. We then went our separate ways and I hit the tables in the casino. A girl called Lisa joined the table. Lisa was the most irritating person I’d met in years. I left the table when I could take no more. At one point I asked her if she was always like this. The croupier laughed. I guess he found her a bit much too. Lost at poker, won at blackjack.

Monday – Cannes

The first of our stops was Cannes in the South of France and we were tendering ashore. It had clouded over and the queue for the tender was rather offputting. If I’d not been here before I may have persevered, but I had, so I didn’t.

Later I met with Mark in a bar and he was talking to a lady called Terri. The second Terri he’d met in two days. At one point she revealed that both her hips had been replaced. Mark was visibly put off by this. You think you know someone and all of a sudden you realise they’ve got issues with metal body parts.

I left them all behind and headed to my nightly dose of gambling. I stayed on the poker table and did rather well until I didn’t. I ended up leaving the casino $10 up but I was $500 up at one point and should’ve called it quits. Note to self.

Tuesday – Livorno

I debarked alone about 10 o’clock and had to queue for 20 minutes just to purchase a shuttle ticket. After that I had a super time. Livorno is the gateway to Pisa and Florence, but I’d been to both so I decided to give Livorno a go.

I went to the Terrazza Mascagni which was the top tourist attraction, and it was very impressive. Named after the composer, Pietro Mascagni, the 34000 black and white tiles have been confusing chess players for years. I walked back to the main square after buying a magnet. The shuttle came every 15 minutes so I had some time to kill. I decided to toy with some pigeons as I had some biscuits in my bag. It passed the time. Once back on board I headed for the back of the ship and found myself a secluded spot for some vitamin D.

Terrazzo Mascagni

We were overnighting in Livorno which meant no casino. Ships have to be 12 miles offshore before they can partake in their particular version of piracy. I had to find some other things to do. Mark and I dined together although he was meeting metal Terri and I didn’t want to interfere with his search for romantic companionship. He seems to need the ego boost of female company.

Later in the evening I was due to meet Mark in the karaoke bar. He didn’t appear. He called me and he’d bumped into the first girl called Terrie he met – Tennessee Terrie. He’d stood up Terri 2 for Tennessee Terrie.

They had bumped into a couple in their 80’s who were in the exclusive Haven suites. They were invited up. He called me and I met him there. The older couple – Shirley and Christian, were from Provo, Utah, but didn’t know Doug.

Shirley showed me the facilities which were very acceptable. She then revealed that she had trained under William Glasser. I’d read two of his books on psychology – “Choice Theory” and “Control Theory”. Both excellent reads if you have the time and the inclination.


I think Tennessee Terrie was keen on Mark. Highly tactile. I actually thought metal Terri was better, but the revelation about the hips had obviously had an effect on him. In truth it was about the attention he was getting from Tennessee Terrie.

Wednesday – Livorno again

A second day in Tuscany and I stayed on board and enjoyed the sunshine. I found Mark and he looked like someone who’d had red paint indiscriminately daubed on him. He doesn’t do the sun well. He does sunscreen even worse. He wouldn’t let me take a picture though.

After the debrief on his adventures I had a massage which was relatively painful at times. The rest of the day was highly agreeable. Mark is an attractive man – tall and slim, with a sophisticated air about him. However, his body shows no signs of physical exercise at any time in his life. But this doesn’t stop him from casting aspersions at various women he’s been befriending. “Metal hips” had stretch marks which were somewhat disagreeable to him. French Elise was doing well until he caught sight of her thighs.

We left at seven heading down the Italian coast toward Rome where we docked 12 hours later. Our route took us close to the island of Elba, made famous by Napoleon, but it did mean the casino didn’t open until 10:30.

I dined alone as Mark had a date with Terrie from Knoxville, Tennessee. I’m looking forward to finding out what her deal breaking physical abnormality is. Perhaps asymmetrical toes or a freckle in the wrong place.

Thursday – Civitavecchia

I fully intended to go to Rome on the train which only took 47 minutes. That’s probably a lie – I was 75% intending. But when I got to the station, there was a very long line for tickets. I decided to see the delights of Civitavecchia instead. That didn’t take long. I then got caught by a Senegalese beach seller. As soon as they ask you where you’re from, and you reply, you’ve basically bought the belt already. Any kind of engagement can be costly.

I was back on board two hours later and I caught up with Mark. He was having a day out of the sun for committing crimes against sunbathing.

Next stop Naples.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.