For any friends of Paul’s who haven’t seen it, in the Montreal Gazette, here is Paul Terni’s obituary. Thanks to Roslyn for sending it to me. I’ll be speaking at his Memorial Service, and the title of my eulogy will be “Paul Terni, my boss, my mentor, my tenant, my travel buddy, my client, my patient, my friend.” I’ll post it here, when I get it written, which will likely be on the plane to Montreal. It’s rolling around in my head, though. He was such a special friend.
Monday, October 8 – Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, a little late now
The Cabroma driver was half an hour early. I scrambled to get out of the room, texting the Martins and Fairchilds, as I scrambled. Bless them and our driver, we all came together earlier than planned and were on our way to Civitavecchia. That was an easy ride, too, and soon we were on the nice, new msKoningsdam, launched in 2016.
I had got the Martins a significant upgrade to a Spa Verandah, because Sheila actually has a condition called Loudness Hyperacusis, which means moderately intense sounds are perceived as being uncomfortably loud, and her original cabin, just above the main stage, could have been a real problem. My five stars, or my super sales performance on HAL, thanks to Joan Westgate, gave me a significant upgrade, too, from sleeping with the fishes on deck 1, to a nice unobstructed verandah on deck 7. So I traded with the Fairchilds, for their obstructed balcony on Deck 4. I didn’t think I should have a better cabin than my own clients. I don’t do anything in the cabin but work and sleep, anyway.
I booked us some specialty dinners and investigated how many people I could take to a group dinner, using my five-star 50% off privilege. The gal at the desk, brought out a flyer on the Cellar Master’s Dinner, for $89, six courses with wine pairings. I thought that would be just the ticket, and asked her how many people I could host at 50% off, for that. She didn’t know, but she went off to check with someone higher up. She came back, and, to my great delight, told me I could have as many as I wanted, on my privileged tab. It’s wonderful to have something really special, especially as this ship already has galley tours and a virtual bridge tour, that even includes parts of the engine room.
I met with the Assistant Beverage Manager, the Assistant Shore Excursions Manager, and the Entertainment Coordinator. I went back to my room, and adjusted my welcome letter, mail-merged, had them printed, stuffed them in their folders, and delivered them to the staterooms. On this ship, that takes 45 minutes. It’s pretty big. I didn’t finish until almost 8:00pm, so I ended up going to the dining room alone and eating with four Aussies and two Americans, Patti and Todd Hutchison. Patti and I share a birthday, and we’re both Monkeys. She’s just the Monkey that’s 24 years younger than I am.
Tuesday, October 9
I returned Helen Wang’s call, which was moot, because she had now read her Welcome Letter, and was clear on everything. I went down to man the desk. People came by to talk about the ports, especially Barcelona. That’s a city that I love, so I was happy to have that conversation. My people are interesting. One is involved in an organization called “Feed the 9”. That’s the 9,000,000,000 people who will be on this planet by 2050. It’s a scary thought on many levels. Another told me a very sad story about how her husband died on a cruise ship. It was a ruptured gall-bladder, so he was probably a goner from the time it happened, but I didn’t like her story about how the ship handled it. It’s not a cruise line that I promote.
I went back to my room and wrote my cocktail party speech. I was excited to tell them about the Cellar Master’s Dinner. I invited him to come, as well as the Future Cruise Consultants, old friends Joanne and Michael Gardiner. Journeys Ashore bowed out because the first day is a paperwork nightmare for them. That, I believe.
I also called every single room, reached some people, left more messages, and went to the Cocktail Party. The venue was half of the Crow’s Nest. It’s not a disco on this ship. It’s just a reading room, and a place to access your devices and enjoy the view. It was perfect. 45 people came out of 62, which is pretty good. The Cellar Master came and charmed them with his knowledge, and our good deal, and Joanne Gardiner always gives a nice enthusiastic presentation on Future Cruises, then they all introduced themselves. By the time that was over, 19 people had signed up for the Cellar Master’s Dinner, and a few more signed up after, for a total of 23. The Cellar Master got nervous, and called his manager. I got a call, right there on the Crow’s Nest phone. The caller told me there were not that many places left, as they had had a Wine Tasting that afternoon, and were almost sold out. I could expect, at best, ten places. I told him everything I knew, how much face we would all be losing, and asked him if we could find another date and repeat the event, just for Distinctive Voyages. He promised to get back to me tomorrow.
I went to dinner in the Dining Room, with my friends and clients, Page and Andrea Fairchild, and then to BB King’s Blues Club, which was a lot of fun.
For those of you who have been asking where I go next, that’s Buenos Aires to San Antonio, on Celebrity, December 23, with add-ons in BA and the Chilean Wine country.
If you want Asia, I don’t have one booked yet, but I have four exceptionally nice ladies from L.A. who are going, Shanghai to Singapore, also on Celebrity, in February. I have been working with these gals for a few months, and they are all lovely. They like to travel well, and they don’t quibble. I have some pretty nice stuff lined up for them. Read my own Asia blog from last February, to get the flavor. They’d be happy to have a couple more people along to share private tours, etc.
Email me about either of these, or anything else you want. I do work from at sea. I just booked a cruise for clients today.