I've been so flustered lately (for reasons I won't go into here) that I've forgotten all about blogging. And then, I woke up this morning to find a rejection letter waiting in my inbox for one of my more recent short stories I submitted over a month ago. But that's the breaks, I guess. I'm in the middle of putting the finishing touches on yet another short story, so I'll find another place to submit the rejected one before finishing up that one.
And then I get back to work on the ongoing novel. Phew! The life of a part-time writer who still has to work a 9-5 every day, eh? Now you know why finding the right amount of time to blog can be so crucial. At least to me.
Anyway . . . I have some unexpected news. Remember back when I said I was contemplating my very first sci-fi convention in Boston next month? Sure you do, I mentioned it right here! Well, turns out that I won't be making it to that after all. Boooo! I know, right?
But the reason why, is . . .
We're going on a cruise! And I mean, as in right now!!! Well, okay, not RIGHT NOW, right now. But in less than two days! Holy crap, why such short notice? Well, I only just found out yesterday and needless to say I've been in a whirlwind trying to get things ready--including having to let my boss know I would need to take an immediate leave for all of next week. Whoa! Thank god I have an awesome boss, and that I am an awesome employee who usually never ever does things like this. So everything worked out fine and my leave request was quickly and painlessly granted.
But yes, we're going on a cruise. I won't go into the details of how this fortune came upon me, but suffice to say that my wife did all the planning and neglected to tell me until the last minute. Surprise, surprise! But as far as they go, this is a good one. If you recall, I was just mentioning how I thought I might plan a beach vacation sometime for later this month. Well, looks like I was beaten to the punch!
And where will we be going? Well, let me not get ahead of myself. First, this is the cruise ship we will be sailing on:
It's Norwegian Cruise Line's "Epic," one of their largest--if not THE largest--vessels in their fleet. In fact, it's so large that it belongs to a new class of cruise ship called "megaliners," and can carry as many as 4,100 passengers. *gulp* That's a helluva whole lot of people!
We'll be leaving from Miami this Saturday afternoon for a 7-day tour of the Eastern Caribbean:
As you can see by the map, our first stop will be in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten -- which is the Dutch sister country to the French colonized St. Martin, situated on the same island and to the north.
After spending a day there, we'll sail west nor'west to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
And then our last port of call after that will be the Bahamas. I hear Norwegian has their own private island there, but if time allows I will endeavor to hit up Atlantis Resort and give it a quick look-see. Or maybe not. When in the Bahamas, I prefer more out of the way and laid back locales. Atlantis is a huge tourist trap, but as such it might be worth seeing what all the fuss is about.
In-between it all, we'll be spending approximately 3 days completely at sea. If you've ever been on a cruise before, you know that sea days can be brutally boring if your ship is lacking on the entertainment side and is too crowded. Luckily, I get the feeling we won't have to deal with too many large families and kids. I'm not aware of January being a terribly popular vacation period for families, especially given the fact that kids are still in school. I've never been on vacation during the winter months, though, only the summer. So needless to say I'm going to be thrilled if I don't have to deal with the usual HORDES of annoying, screaming kids and bratty, sulky teenagers. Oh, I so hope that is the case!
But, anyway, it's not like we won't have our distractions. Epic seems to be fully prepared for long sea days, as evidenced by their many on-board venues and amenities. I've only done a casual perusal of what's on offer, but here's what I found thus far:
Can you believe that? A huge outdoor theater, a water park, and--GASP!--is that a freaking bowling alley? Double-you Tee Eff? How big is this ship, anyway? Of course, we've been on huge cruise liners before, so none of this should really be all that surprising to me. Still, I seriously doubt we'll be left wanting for things to do. On top of this, I'll be bringing along my laptop to get some writing done.
As you can see our cabin has a balcony, so I plan on sitting out there in the morning hours and getting a few hundred words in before the sun is directly overhead and I head up to the weather deck for some lounging and reading!
Ah, what a life! I anticipate my most difficult decision will be whether or not to wear shorts or trousers to dinner . . . and, do I really need that second dessert?
Because, oh, it is SO ON! :)
Fear not, though. I'll be sure to take plenty of pics while we're gone, and perhaps even a vid or two. We'll be back a week from this Saturday, but I can't rule out a possible quick blog update or two in the interim. Personally, I wouldn't hold my breath on that if I were you. But stranger things have happened on our excursions . . .
In the meantime, you can peruse the Facebook photo albums from our previous two cruises here and here if it suits you. No pressure, though.
I hope you all have a pleasant weekend and following week. I'll try not to come back with too deep of a tan! :)