By Mira Rowe
Newhall Community Contributor
Travel is a magical word. Everyone loves to travel. Young, old, rich, poor, or disabled people. The young can travel on the cheap and can rough it up, while others prefer, or need comfort.
My husband and I are in the sunset of our lives. We can only travel with assistance, comfort and safety. The cruise ship left from San Pedro. Across from the parking lot, a few feet away, was our home for the next sixteen days. We had four days at sea as we sailed for Hawaii, visiting the islands of Honolulu, Maui, Lahaina & Kona, then sailed back for four days, docked in Ensenada before the ship brought us back home to San Pedro on June 9.
This was a bridge cruise and a hundred bridge players cruised with Arnold and Roberta Salob, owners of Bridge Holidays out of New York City. Roberta Salob, is a lovely, vivacious, effervescent woman. Bridge is a learning game and she brought along materials with her which she shared with us using her “New York voice” and lots of humor. There were daily lectures scheduled each morning at 10 a.m., then a duplicate game of bridge in the afternoon. Each lecture was about half an hour, which seems to be the maximum attention span for seniors. We lunched individually, then played duplicate bridge for an hour and a half. Bridge games last three and a half hours at home, but this is a shortened session and just fine for preserving the energies of the senior players.
This particular bridge cruise was well paced and not hectic. We had been on bridge cruises before where they played bridge nonstop. Once, the captain of the ship we were on said he could have just stayed docked in port and no-one would have noticed.
Roberta joined the group on land trips and made sure everyone was present and negotiated assistance if needed. Her husband, Arnold, and another couple, Barry & Mary, both directors, helped supervise.
Onboard entertainment included a female vocalist with a four man orchestra, a rock and roll band, ballroom dancing (complete with “ambassadors” who danced with the ladies), a comedy show, nightly movies, a casino, and even chef cooking exhibitions. The food on this cruise ship was the best of all. Dinners were superb. Steaks, lobsters, oysters, caviar, truffles, crab, you name it, they had it. Of course my husband and I both gained almost ten pounds by the time we got off the ship.
One couple we had dinner with had taken 12 cruises, another had taken 23, with this same travel agency. This was our first with Bridge Holidays. This cruise was pricey but it was on our bucket list, you see. Other cruise lines may charge much less but we felt this experience was worth it. My husband and I have been sailing for ten years now with other cruise ships, but Crystal will spoil you for other cruise lines. My husband Hansford and I agreed that it is too pricey to do again. Yet by the time we left the ship, we signed up for a future booking.
Something about travel makes it addictive. While travelling, there is no past, no tomorrow, just the present. There are no worries, no cooking, or cleaning. Life is easy, relaxed and enjoyable.
Are we better people because of the travel? Yes indeed. Is it something others can do? Yes, the only way for seniors to go. They can have fun and be safe and comfortable at the same time. The price to pay? Yes, expensive- but then again, as we all say, it is only money and you cannot take it with you, right?