Cruise 2005      Mom and Dad drove up the night before from McAllen and stayed in a local Days Inn.  They arrived at the house at 9:30 a.m. while we were still packing.  Fortunately, everything fit in the van nicely and we didn't have to put anything on the roof.  It was raining and cool.  Fortunately, too, my steering electronically engaged so that I could drive us down to Galveston.  Except for some periods of heavy rain, the drive was uneventful and we arrived at the dock about 12:30 p.m. 

     Because we had filled out preboarding papers and I am disabled, we quickly boarded the ship and explored our rooms.  We had muster at three o'clock to our muster station.  We had late seating for dinner, and didn't want that, so we had to beg the maître d' to give us early seating.  He did, but we were separated.  Beh and I shared a table with two couples that had left California for locations near Scottsdale and Bella Vista Arkansas.  They were wonderful to talk to, but we needed to get the family together.  After dinner, Beh and is I joined the variety show Mardi Gras Around the World.  The Rhapsody of the Seas had left Galveston at 5 p.m. We hardly noticed.

Day 2      We awoke early and had breakfast in the Windjammer buffet.  The sky was blue and it was definitely warmer.  We found the ship events manager and talked to we about selling my books aboard ship.  She told me that I could set up in the library and that I could give a lecture on "Setting up Your Own Web Site."  The library was a quiet and nice place to set up my books for sale.  After I was there two hours, I had talked to maybe, five people, but hadn't sold any books.  

     We had to break at noon and ate lunch in the dining room so that we could talk to the maître d' again.  He gave us a bad table by the entrance, but at least we were all together.  That afternoon we joined Mom for bingo.  Out of six cards, Mom won one game, and Beh won the next.  Later Beh blew the money she won on slot machines.  

Leaving Galveston at Seawolf Park

Seawolf Park

     Because they had eaten so much at lunch, Mom and Dad declined dinner.  At a large table, we waited for our tablemates.  Harriet Hood, a retired schoolteacher from the DeBakey High School for the Medical Arts, showed up first.  She was followed by Reginald and Emelda Martin, church members with a Joshua Hill family, and their son, Roland Martin, a syndicated newspaper columnist for the Chicago Defender and his wife Jacquie Hood Martin, a Baptist minister and Harriet's daughter.  They were also accompanied by young lady whose name I never learned.  After dinner we watched Max Dolcelli, a standup comic and former writer for Saturday Night Live, perform jokes related to shipside adventures.

Unicyclist catches his hat.

Unicycle Juggler at Key West

Tightrope Jugglers at Key West

Tightrope Juggler at Key West

Maui Maui Fire Dances at Key West

Fire Dancers at Key West

Day 3      We awoke late to discover that the ship that scheduled my talk for 9 a.m. I arrived about 9:15 to find that there was no one waiting for me.  I located Jasmine who did the ship's daily schedule, the Compass, and she apologized for not connecting a little write up about me with the talk on the program.  She said she was scheduling me again later in the week.  I set up in the library again and sold a couple of books.  Still, after two days, I'd only talked to about 10 people.  The library was a wonderful place, but nobody came there.  

     By 3 p.m. we docked at Key West.  After walking around the pristine compound near the Harry S. Truman winter White House, we toured the Mel Fisher Museum featuring the treasures of the Atocha, a Spanish galleon.  A store clerk let me hold $130,000 gold "money chain" and a small gold sword shaped combination toothpick and ear cleaner worth $250,000.  We then walked Duvall Street and took in the sights until we got back to Marlboro Square.  As the sun set, we sipped a margarita and watched a fire breathing unicycler, a fire juggling tight rope artist, and fire swinging Mali Mali dancers. We dressed up for dinner and went to the Captain's reception.  The show that night was Broadway show tunes sung and danced by the ship's talented troupe of singers and dancers.

At the Key West Dock

Docked in Key West

Mel Fisher's Map

Day 3Day 4      We ordered breakfast as room service.  By 10 o'clock I was set up by the pool to sell my books.  It was a much better location than the library.  Many people passed by and looked, but only a few stopped to talk to me.  We gambled a bit the lost.  We watched the art auction.  It was very good art but a little expensive for us.  I checked on our excursion at Grand Cayman.  It had been canceled, but I booked another to Stingray City.  Mom and Dad came to dinner that evening so we finally had a full table.  The entertainment that night was Chad Cheswick.  Chad had a comedy-juggling act that ended with him juggling three bowling balls. 

Schooner at Key West Sunset

Schooner at Sunset

Selling Books

Please Take a Look

Making a Sale

Selling a Book

Signing a Book


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