Back on the high seas

Oh what a week that was! I flew to Barbados last week to board the beautiful Seabourn Odyssey for a week of cruising around some of the most spectacular islands in the Caribbean. Now before you say anything I know there is a travel advisory level 4 – do not cruise. But this was work. Honestly – you can stop laughing now. It really was.

Oh what the hell, anyway. I was desperate to get out of Dodge. This place has become SO depressing with the numbers going up daily which clearly has nothing to do with international travel – so why ban us?

Getting onto that ship was like emerging from a long scary nightmare and finding that you died in your sleep and were now in heaven. OK I wasn’t exactly relaxed because Air Canada left my luggage in Toronto so I only had carry on so had to spend precious time farting around with the lost baggage people at Barbados airport. A fellow traveller also lost his bag. Actually it was his wife’s bag which he said was worse. Had it been his bag he would have just got on with it. He spent hours on the phone and finally got Air Canada to route his wife’s bag from Toronto to Gatwick and then onto another plane to St Lucia, our next stop. Me – I said to hell with it. I am going to roll with the punches, get onto this damn ship and order myself a glass of champagne.

So I just arranged for Barbados airport to keep my bags there until my return a week later. They said they could not get them into the airport until my cruise was nearly finished – so what was the point? I had insurance so I took myself down to the cruise shop which of course was filled with designer ware. More than I would normally spend but I had no choice – could not get off at the ports to go shopping because everything was bubble controlled. I got a swimsuit, shorts, couple of t-shirts and a designer dress that took my breath away when I saw the price. What’s a girl gonna do? Right?

I must confess the first three days I missed breakfast and slept in till 9.30 am every day. I was honestly wiped out and needed to recharge my batteries. I just love cruising so much and there is something very liberating – to me at least – with that gentle tipping motion of the ship when we get under way. I know not everyone will enjoy that as I did see a few of those patches behind the ears of some of the guests. But the Caribbean is usually fine so you don’t really need those sort of Drake Passage sea legs.

This ship usually takes 400 guests – we were just 86 and with over 300 staff we were really and truly looked after all the way. It was almost surreal sitting on deck under the stars eating a gourmet meal with the finest wine served by attentive servers.

The highlight was the beach day where Seabourn pulled out all the stops and treated us to Champagne and Caviar in the Surf. The beach was gorgeous, the water was warm and the champagne was ice cold – served to us by our wonderful wait staff. I lay on my back in the warm waves floating and staring up into that blue sky and wondered if I really had died and gone to heaven.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

4 comments

  1. Lesley, sounds great and as you said, I guess someone has to do it. I also want to travel and, being an optimist, expect that things will have stabilized before we go in February. I see that most European countries allow vaccinated Americans in as tourist now with the Scandinavian countries being the exceptions so I hope that Caribbean islands will be open then. Then world, here we come.

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  2. Lesley. I recently had to give up a cruise which I organized and paid for two years ago. I could not find an insurance company which covered Covid while cruising.. what company did you use for this coverage. Thank you. Mae

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    1. Hi Mae, I am sorry you had that disappointment. The company I used for COVID coverage while on a cruise is called Goose. I took that policy which covers up to $500,000 but I also took my usual all inclusive policy with Manulife. I hate travelling without insurance. If the Government changes the cruise advisory from a Level 4 to a Level 3 then we will all be able to get insurance much more easily. Stay well, Lesley

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