|We were with friends Lisa and Barry, enjoying one last night together on the ship in a private sitting in the wine room.|
Today’s photos are from a South American cruise in 2017, again with friends Lisa and Barry, as we shared an exquisite evening dining in the “wine room” as their guests. The food and wine were “over the top.” For more on the post, please click here.
No doubt, we have a little apprehension about traveling for almost two days when we depart India on January 12th. At this point, we have no idea how comprehensive the precautions will be at the Mumbai airport in the middle of the night, the four-hour layover in Dubai, the airport, hotel, and taxi in Johannesburg, and the fight on the smaller plane for the arrival in Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger airport, eventually picking up the rental car, for the hour-long drive to Marloth Park.
|The wine room was filled with rows and rows of exceptional wines.|
We can only hope and pray we arrive in Marloth Park on the 13th without having contracted Covid-19. It’s a little scary. We’ve read they have been taking extra precautions with the first two flights on Emirates Airlines, but we still have to deal with everything in between.
On our own, we’ll be taking several precautions, wearing masks, face shields, rubber gloves, and using hand sanitizer. We’ll change our gloves frequently. We may decide we won’t eat on the flights to avoid touching the trays. Also, we don’t plan to drink many liquids during the flight to avoid using the bathroom. I’m sure over the next few weeks. We’ll come up with more precautions as we continue to research.
|That night, Tom was having a great time, dining in the private “wine room” in the Tuscan Grill with Lisa and Barry.|
As for the time between now and January 12th? Hum… challenging. This morning, a note slipped under our door notifying us of a big party at the hotel tonight and to be prepared for noise until midnight. Also, with the party imminent, our entire floor appears to be booked.
While walking this morning, we encountered no less than a dozen guests, half wearing face masks and the others not. In each case, as soon as I could see a guest without a mask, I stopped dead in my tracks to stare at them. If they don’t put on a mask or return to their room to do so, I shout out, every single time, “Please put on a face mask!” Most comply. If they don’t, I turn around and head the other way.
|An antipasto board was served to each couple.|
At times, I’ve returned to our room when a dozen guests or more are waiting for the lifts, half or more of whom aren’t wearing masks and are yelling and talking loudly. No way will either of us get close to such individuals or groups. Often, guests leave their rooms to visit a guest in another room. Even in those cases, I tell them to put on a mask.
At this point, I don’t care what people “think” of this crazy woman walking the corridors all day, telling people to wear masks. The hotel has described to every guest that masks must be worn when outside their rooms. When we report a lack of compliance to the managers, they also are frustrated and don’t know what more they can do when they’ve explained the mandatory mask policy to every guest at check-in, including providing them with a printed notice of COVID-19 precautions and requirements.
|It is one of the great wines we enjoyed last night.|
After a party like tonight, we wonder if the staff will become infected when guests refuse to wear masks at parties, weddings, and celebrations. At this point, we no longer go downstairs to pay the bill. We ask them to bring the bill and portable credit card machine to us.
When processing the bill outside our room door, we wear a mask and gloves, don’t touch anything but the printed copy and our credit card, along with two new plastic room keys, which we sanitize after we’re done. When food is brought to our room twice a day, we don’t allow the server to enter the room. Tom handles the one tray and stainless steel-covered plates of food. We rewash our hands after touching the steel covers and tray.
This morning, somehow, the kitchen forgot to bring our breakfast order. An hour and a half later, they called and asked why we hadn’t ordered. We had. Finally, 90 minutes after our breakfast arrived. We don’t know how this happened, other than the fact that so many guests are here and dining in the dining room and the staff was busy.
The room next door to us has a phone’s notification vibration occurring every 10 to 15 minutes. It wakes us up each time it goes off. Hopefully, by tonight the guest(s) will be considerate enough to turn off the notifications on their phones. At least 25 times after 11:00 pm, we’ve had to call the front desk asking them to tell the guest to turn off the notifications. The walls are paper-thin. Right now, after 1:00 pm, we can hear people yelling in the corridors. I hesitate to go out for my next scheduled walk. Oh, dear.
|My filet mignon, cooked rare, was exceptional.|
Thanks for listening to me whine again. The time can’t come soon enough. I keep reminding myself, day after day, how much time is left, which is 36 days. I can’t wait for a big steak, a glass of dry red wine, a big bag of pellets, and the blissful companionship of our human and animal friends.
|Tom’s ribeye steak was also cooked to perfection.|
|Tom’s dessert of homemade doughnuts, cherries, and vanilla ice cream.|
We hope all of you are holding up well amid the ongoing madness of COVID-19. When will it all end?
Photo from one year ago today, December 8, 2019:
|In Marloth Park on this day in 2013, this male zebra stood under the carport for quite some time, watching over the other males. For more photos from one year ago, please click here.|