50 Shades of Grey

We boarded a Holland America cruise on March 4th, heading from Santiago, Chile through Patagonia, with bright and colorful hopes.

Us glacier

{Aboard the Zaandam, in front of a glacier}

These hopes have since been dashed in more ways than one. Allow me to elaborate.

We’re accustomed to Carnival, Royal Caribbean and NCL, specifically to their cruises around the Caribbean. We tend to avoid most of the passengers on those ships because 1) We are recluses; 2) We are disgustingly adorable and want to be alone together; 3) People go to get wasted and party and we’re too lazy for that.

However, on this ship, we avoid people for an altogether different reason. At least 90% of the passengers are over the age of 50, and I can safely estimate that 50% are over 70.
This ship is literally at least 50 shades of grey.

View Patagonia

{Our 50 shades of grey views – no filter}

I shared this sentiment once, and it led to the most hilarious Bruce Willis situation I have ever been in.

We were at dinner, seated with 2 other couples. The man must have been in his 60’s. We were chatting about the other passengers, and suddenly… the guy started making conspiratorial statements like: “There are definitely a lot of old people on this cruise,” and “we are surrounded by elderly people, there are so many of them.” That’s when I realized it was a real-life ending of ‘The Sixth Sense’ – the guy didn’t realize he was dead old! It was both depressing and hilarious at once.

Being surrounded by the elderly has 3 key repercussions:
1) Food lines have never been slower, for 2 key reasons: a) they walk at cautious speeds, and b) they can’t read the signs explaining what the food is. “And what is THAT? What did you say? Fish? And what is THAT? Ah, Chicken. And what is THAT?” I don’t know how staff members don’t throw themselves overboard daily.

2) They are starved for conversation, especially with young people. Those of you who know Abe know how much he likes small talk (not at all). I feel like fresh meat on this ship, in a purely conversational way. Once they latch on, we have to whack them hard to make them let go. Just kidding. We ease out of the conversation real gently.

3) It’s hard to get peace and quiet. Now, you wouldn’t think that, seeing as there are so many old people around. But picture this: Abe and I go to a nice spot, settle in with our kindle/audiobook/whatever. First, as I said, old people want to get close to our youth, so they tend to sit near us (as in, at our table) even if there are better seats further away. But then, since we won’t chat, they sleep. And then they snore. And so I end up getting frustrated and nudging Abe out of his audiobook every other minute so he can share my pain and hear their snores. It’s tough to bear that burden alone.

Anyways, let’s put the old people down aside. We’ve had crap luck with the weather: every day, you’ve guessed it, has been grey.


{The glacier}

It’s beautiful though. We’re sailing through the breathtaking Chilean fjords and channels, and have even caught sight of a couple whales and seals. We’ve passed shipwrecks and a sparkling receding glacier with light shining through. The wilderness of it all is amazing – just mountains and cliffs emerging from the water, rivers and cascades breaking through the changing vegetation as we sail further south. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll be stopping in Ushuaia – weather permitting, that is, as it’s put a damper on things so far (pun intended).


17 thoughts on “50 Shades of Grey

  1. You are forgetting that there are a lot of advantages of having old people around, among others :

    I) When you are listening some noisy music, they will not complain ( their sense of hearing is not 100% anymore )
    2) You do not need to take color pictures, just black and white (you can make some savings )
    3) If in the morning they see you and, if you are not beautiful as usual, because you just woke up, they will not complain but still find you beautiful ( don’t get exited, they do not see very well anymore )
    4) If you say things you should not say, they are generous they will pardon you (you remind them so much their grandchildren and, they often tend to forget as they often have some memory problems)
    5) Never know, be nice with them, maybe at the end of the cruse they will all fall in love with you guys, you are so much as the grandchildren they would have loved to have (they can put you on their Will)
    6) If the boat is sinking, do not worry, you will be among the first ones on the tender and, maybe the only ones, you will have a lot of space for you as they tend to forget things in their cabin & have to go back to pick it up : (wife, passport, glasses, money etc…)
    7) Even when they see some fresh “kosher” meat they are not dangerous… any more… (they still have a good taste, but it is a teeth problem, and you …can eat all the real meat you wish on board)

    From one of the old guys who loves you,

    1. Lol Papouille, you can write a guest post on the blog anytime! Don’t worry, I love all the old guys who matter, I don’t need to love old strangers 😉 But you’re right, there are some perks to balance out the downsides. Love you!

  2. Best, fabu, fantastic. 50 shades indeed… Pay close attention to what these septuagerians are doing when they are not cavorting and snorting next to you. They are up to no good, I tell ya! Beware and more tales soon, please

  3. Best, fabu, fantastico! 50 shades indeed… Pay close attention to what these septuagerians are doing when they are not cavorting and snorting next to you. They are up to no good, I tell ya! Beware and more tales soon, please

    1. Thanks DC! I tried to pay as little attention as I could as they took any eye contact as an invitation to chit chat. Sending you lots of love!

  4. I can totally imagine the old people in the lines… When my grandparents went to visit me in Chile they went on that cruise and they LOVED IT! :) jejejeje

  5. I was behind on my blog reading, but just read everything since CR, so awesome! Keep enjoying the good life. And from now on only Spanish with Kim now that she understands the subjunctive, I have no idea what that is.

    1. Hi Alan! Thanks for following our updates :) I may have forgotten my Spanish by the time I return, but I’ll brush up again for you guys!

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