off to bermuda

Dad left on his cruise for Bermuda this afternoon. Maureen, Stanley, and I saw him off from the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. He wanted to take a cruise (a leisure cruise—his stints in the Navy and as a merchant seaman don’t count!) and took the plunge and booked this cruise to Bermuda via Norwegian Cruise Lines out of Boston.

We arrived at the cruise terminal shortly after 1 p.m. and Stanley and I waited with Dad while Maureen dropped the car off. The line was astonishing, at least two city blocks long, and that’s the line to get through security.

Stanley Thomson and Jim Fleming at Black Falcon Cruise Terminal
Stanley and Dad, the outside line, June 5, 2009. (click to enlarge)

Maureen caught up with us after parking—and the line moved surprisingly fast. We’d already moved up a block by the time Maureen found us. I found out later that, when fully booked, the ship Dad is on, the Norwegian Spirit, carries 2,000 passengers. The lines were intimidating if you’re not used to that sort of thing, and it can get pretty confusing trying to figure out where to go once past security, but we kind of followed the crowd and got directions from the women who seemed to be in charge of keeping the queue in order and moving. Security was no hassle except Stanley set off the alarm and had to be hand-wanded—turns out it was the staples from his heart surgery that the scanner didn’t like. He showed the guard his chest and was waved through.

Norwegian Spirit through the terminal window
Looking through the window at the Norwegian Spirit while waiting to check in, June 5, 2009. (click to enlarge)

Dad was both nervous and excited, but the line continued to move fairly fast. To look at the crowd in the terminal you would think the din would be overwhelming, but it wasn’t, and the flooring was made of the stuff, the rubbery layer, that makes standing for a while bearable—and the entire line to checkout took just an hour. I guess we shouldn’t have been so surprised that it went so fast—NCL has been doing this for quite some time now.

Jim Fleming leaving for Bermuda, June 5, 2009
Jim Fleming, getting ready to embark, June 5, 2009. (click to enlarge)

We got to stay with Dad until he reached the gangplank. We waved good-bye and then drove around the wharf areas to see what was there and stopped at, I think it was Yankee Lobster Market, for a late lunch—lobster rolls for Maureen and Stanley and I got a scallop roll. The clam chowder is nothing special, but the scallops and cole slaw are really good.

Dad called Maureen about an hour after the ship left the dock, which he said happened around 4:15 p.m. He told her he likes his cabin, had already met some people, and was off to grab some dinner. Maureen said he sounded pretty happy. We think he’s going to have a great time and I’m looking forward to his reports from shipboard—I hope he can send at least a photo or two if he wants to. Ah, a cruise ...

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