Hard to resist…Rocking the night away…Lautoka, Fiji…

Freighter beyond a peninsula while docked in Lautoka, Fiji.

I can’t recall the last time we danced as much as we have on this cruise. Oh sure, when we first started dating in 1991, it wasn’t unusual for us to go “on a date” to end up on the dance floor rocking the night away. 

Again, last night there was another “silent disco.” Immediately after dinner, both exhausted from too much fun, we walked past the event on the way to our cabin, hoping to turn in early for a change.

Many Fijian islands are small, as shown here.

Alas, Tom grabbed two lighted headsets off the DJ’s table, plopping one on each of our heads. Our instantaneous response was to immediately start dancing while the 1965 Four Tops song, “I Can’t Help Myself” was blaring on the “red” channel.

Once we started moving, it was nearly impossible to stop.  When Tom left for the restroom, I continued to dance by myself until some 30 something guy grabbed my hand and twirled me around, suddenly my new dance partner until Tom returned. Oh, good grief!

There are hundreds of islands in Fiji.

It’s easy to remember music from “the old days,” especially when today’s younger generation has a profound interest in music from our era in the ’60s, ’70s, and 80s when some of the best dance music rocked the radio waves and sound systems in our cars and homes. In addition, we often hear the old songs in movies, TV shows, and at a variety of venues.

Sure, most of our dance moves are still the same as our distant past. But, hardly ever does anyone adopt a new style of dance when, as amateurs, we kind of “loved the one we’re with” in more than one way…our personal dance style and our preferred dance partner.

The industrial port held little interest for us in getting off the ship.

Isn’t it funny how we each think our style is still upbeat and trendy when we’re dancing? Any yet, as we looked around, it was easy to tell how old the dancers were, besides inspecting the laugh lines on their faces and crinkles around their eyes. Their dance style gave it all away, and we were no exception to the rule.

It’s during the gyrations on the dance floor that suddenly we become young again, energized, hopeful for a long and healthy life and overall grateful to be alive and able to move about to the fast-paced thumping of the music. 

Buses were lined up at the port to take passengers on a variety of tours.

A variety of songs played on the three colored lighted stations consisting of red, blue, and green lights on the headset. One need only notice the color of their own favorite song on their headset to dance with someone else listening to the same station, same color. 

Although many couples and groups didn’t seem to care if their partners were listening and dancing to different songs, everyone, regardless of the songs, couldn’t seem to stop dancing, laughing, and interacting.

Booths were set up along the port for tourists to shop.  No interest in that!

Perhaps the average age in the overall group was probably around 50, with many of the dancers were well into their 70s and some into their 80s. There was only a handful of 20 somethings.

What great exercise! I wish I could have kept up with Tom, who has proven he can dance non-stop for hours. Maybe by the next cruise, I’ll have recovered sufficiently enough to keep up with my five years younger husband. In any case, I did my fair share on the dance floor.

Many passengers enjoy cruising for the shopping.  For us, we’re only interested in spending our remaining AU 133, US $100, non-refundable cabin credit. 

Hoping for an early evening, Tom didn’t get to sleep until well after 1:00 am, and it was 2:15 am the last time I looked at the time on the phone. So today, another sleepy day, we’ll attempt a short nap at some point. 

Neither of us is good at napping when it’s hard to turn off the “music” in our heads. But, I suppose, in essence, that’s a good thing!

May you have music in your head today and always!

Photo from one year ago today, March 9, 2016:

Could this face with grass in her mouth be any cuter? Nothing can compare to the charm of these gentle animals. For more adorable alpaca photos, please click here.

A fun video on “silent disco” night!…The unreality of life on a cruise…Routines become all encompassing…

 This was a “silent disco” so you won’t hear much
in the way of sound.
Living aboard a ship is comparable to living in a world far removed from day-to-day reality, not unlike that for other passengers who have left their homes to travel on a ship for weeks or more.

Having spent 198 days cruising since the onset of our travels, beginning on October 31, 2012, it served us well to roll into the comfortable routine. Moreover, doing so provides us with a sense of a home during these extended periods.

The ease with which we move from activity to activity, area to area, and a variety of dining and drinking venues become somewhat of a routine for other passengers and us as well.

Christina hung out with us on disco night along with many other new friends we’d met aboard the ship.

This becomes particularly evident when we visit areas we tend to frequent each day or evening at certain times. As a result, our daily routine looks like this:

6:30 am – One of us gets out of bed to shower and dress, with the other immediately following behind. 

7:30 am (8:00 am on sea days) – Arrive in Epernay dining room for served breakfast at a shared table from six to 10 passengers.

The lighting was not conducive to taking photos, but it’s evident that not everyone listened to the same channel.

9:00 – 9:30 am – Return to the cabin to collect laptops and head to Cafe Al Bacio to begin posting. Often, I’ll go directly to the cafe to secure a seat at one of our favorite of three tables situated along the railing overlooking the centrum while Tom dashes to the cabin to get the laptops and the camera.

12:00 – 12:30 pm – Return laptops to the cabin to recharge. If one of us didn’t eat breakfast (I’ve had smoothies most mornings), we might wander to the 14th deck to the Oceanview Cafe, a buffet, where each item offered lists the following, if applicable:  gluten free, sugar-free, vegetarian, lactose-free. This only helps me choose items to a degree since nothing is notated for “low carb” or “starches,” neither of which fit into my diet.

Sorry for the blur; I couldn’t resist including this dancing photo!

1:30 – 2:00 pm – On sea days:  Return to the cabin, collect laptops, and return to Cafe Al Bacio to work on the next day’s photos and post, respond to email and of course, chat with an endless array of friendly passengers.  Some passengers have giggled with us when labeling our seats in the cafe as our “office.” So true. On port of call days: It’s during this period, we may walk off the ship (or take a tender) to explore the port we’re visiting.

4:00 pm – Return to the cabin to relax a bit, later dressing for the upcoming evening’s activities. Most nights are “smart casual,” with no dressy clothing required. However, when “chic” is listed, people tend to wear dressier clothing, although it’s not required.

5:00 – 5:30 pm – Wander to the Sky Lounge for “Elite (or higher) members free happy hour during which we always sit with other passengers shooting the breeze while we share our collective travel experiences as lovely appetizers are servers by wait staff along with cocktails and beverages of our choice.

Our adorable new friend Christina (of Harold and Christina) also “rocked the night away.”

6:30 – 7:00 pm – Happy hour in the Sky Lounge ends at 7:00 pm, after which we wait in what is usually a short line to be seated for dinner. Since we enjoy dining at a shared table, arriving later than 7:00 may prevent the opportunity to dine with others since most passengers dine early to make one of the two shows presented at 7:00 and 9:00 pm. We rarely attend the shows when variety-type shows hold little appeal to either of us.

9:00 – 9:30 pm -Leave the dining room we make our way to one of the many bars where we’ll listen to music, chat amongst ourselves and others to relax and enjoy the remainder of our evening.

The “Ice Bar” is just that, covered in ice. I couldn’t resist making this heart shape as a remnder of our 22nd anniversary the following day.

11:00 pm to ???? – Head to our cabin for the evening hoping for a good night’s sleep, only to begin the same highly enjoyable routine all over again the next morning. 

A few nights ago, a disco event was listed on the program, referred to as a “silent disco.” This is the point when each passenger dons a lighted headset with three channels, each colored coordinated for three types of music being broadcast.

With all the party-goers wearing their headsets, those not wearing them didn’t hear a sound. This is a hoot, especially when a good song is playing and we all go nuts encouraging each other to change the channel for the better dance song via the use of a little button on the side of the headset.

More new friends from Australia, Corinna, and Beau, with whom we’ve had a great time.

As it turned out, at times, Tom and I were dancing together with each of us listening to a different song. This was hysterical. And proved to be more fun than we can describe. 

Tom danced for two hours non-stop, standing next to me at the “Ice Bar” while I joined him in dancing as often as I was reenergized, later sitting for a short recovery period only to begin again. (After all, I’d been sick for the past three months and hadn’t yet had quite enough time to recover after months of lounging. Now, vigorously walking through the ship each day, I’m beginning to feel a slow return to my old self).

We both had messy hair from taking the headsets on and off throughout the night. Tom’s was especially messy from sweating. His shirt was soaked by the end of the evening.

Gosh, we had so much fun. We were reminded of our “hay days” of carrying on in our younger days dancing in a variety of bars and discos. Wow! What a fun activity, especially when we were with friends we’ve made aboard during the entire evening.

Today, the ship is docked in Suva, Fiji. Having spent four months in Fiji over a year ago, plus considerings its where I contracted the infection, neither of us has any desire to get off the ship. 

Eventually, Tom had to remove his glasses. He was sweating so much!  I love this photo!

No offense intended for Fiji. We had a good experience on both the islands of Vanua Levu (Savusavu) and Viti Levu (Pacific Harbour) during the extended period. Today we’re content to stay on board in air-conditioned comfort, continuing to revel in our highly pleasing routine and visiting with the wonderful people we’ve met along the way.

Have a pleasing day, hopefully, spent in the presence of YOUR wonderful people!

Photo from one year ago today, March 8, 2017:

The sun was peeking through the clouds casting this glow at the beach in New Zealand. But, of course, the scene would have been more impressive had it not been so late in the evening. For more photos, please click here.