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Random thoughts at sea: Elevator chasers...

I'm sure you've heard about ambulance chasers, those lawyers who are on the scene of an accident immediately trying to get clients. On cruises, there are elevator chasers.

With more than 3,000 passengers on board and 19 different decks, elevators are often considered the best way to get from floor to floor. The problem is the elevators seem to have a ind of their own. You can push the call button and then wait...and hope...that one will stop at your floor.

But before one does, the chasing begins. All eyes are on the floor indicator as the numbers climb go up or down. The passengers then move from one set of doors to another in anticipation of hearing that familiar ding and the red arrow above the door lights up.

Sometimes you're lucky and it stops at your floor. Sometimes it doesn't. When a door finally opens, the crowd rushes to get inside, a wave of people fearful that they won't get to the buffet before everything is gone.

One more elevator ride to go...


On-shore excursions are often a hit-or-miss affair. We have had some incredibly good ones and ones that left a lot to be desired. Our goal on each is to see something new and to learn a little bit more about this wonderful world of ours.

Sometimes, though, the excursion is hijacked by a know-it-all. That's the individual who thinks he or she knows as much, or more, than the tour guide. They pepper the guide with questions the guide already answered, they talk over the guide and they expound on minutiae to try and show their knowledge.

It's really annoying.

During several excursions there were people who did have expertise that added to the tour, but they added their information in a low-key, informal way that supplemented the guide's comments.

On a recent tour to Akrotiri one of the other passengers kept pestering the guide. The guide would say something and this person would repeat what was said and asked a question the guide just answered. I'm not sure what he was doing, but he evidently wasn't listening to the guide.

I'm glad he wasn't on our other tours.


One thing you learn on a cruise is that the “ugly American” syndrome is not limited to Americans.

When you're in another country, it's only polite to obey the local customs and not do anything that could offend the local residents. Unfortunately, many people don't agree as they assume they can do whatever they want, not matter what.

Walking the narrow streets and alleys of Santorini you see a city that combines history with beauty. From virtually anywhere you are, you look out to the sea and marvel at a vista that transfixes your gaze and leaves you in awe.

To really enjoy the view, you need to walk between and among the buildings, some of which are business, but some of which are private homes. That's the catch.

As you can expect, many residents do not want the tens of thousands of visitors to walk on what is their private property. Sadly, that doesn't seem to deter those who think they can go where they want wth impunity, private property be damned.

For example: While standing at the end of a walkway on Santorini taking picture, we saw an area that was roped off with a private sign. To several visitors the sign meant nothing as they climbed over the ropes to take a picture that they could have gotten just as well if they had not climbed the rope. Even comments from other visitors failed to deter the interlopers.

I can't imagine what it is like to have that happen. Sometimes, it pays to obey the signs.

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