And much as I admire airline personnel, none can compare to the spectacularly efficient and dependably pleasant Swedish stewardess, Birgitta, who, on the Vistafjord, voluntarily mended torn pants and miraculously produced a snack of grapes and Brie at 1 a.m.
And no one will ever be more concerned about the nutritional deficiencies of my diet than the compassionate Greek waiter, Yianni, aboard the Royal Odyssey. "Please, dear Mr. Marty," he would plead, "you must eat more Greek salad. Oh my, you have not even touched your moussaka," and then, with a mischievous smile, "If you don't come to lunch tomorrow, you will miss calamary, a special retsina," (now smacking his lips) "and baklava."
Ah, Yianni, purveyor of feta cheese and souvlakia, promoter of second helpings, and lobbyist for wayward waistlines, you're one of the reasons I don't shape up when I ship out.
Then, too, a ship is mood adaptable. Sometimes at sea I wish to be alone and to read. On countless cruises I simply find a solitary lounge chair on a deserted deck and savor the sun, the motion of the ocean and the peace that comes from enjoying the only company I seek: my own. Now lazy, languishing, solitary, silent and satisfied, I know my mood will inevitably change and a cruise ship can, and will, accommodate the shift.