Frequent Floaters

My wife just took me on another cruise. This, our second, was a late-November Viking Rhine River cruise that carried us from Amsterdam to Basel, with well-chosen stops along the way.

First, let me make clear that whatever you’ve heard about the Viking junkets is probably an understatement. They treat you like pashas, with scores of staff coddling every whim, while the multi-starred menu would fatten the Mahatma himself.cruise-mancropped

And their ports of call and excursions not only proceed with a “no-worries” precision but are actually interesting.

I say that my wife “took” me because she planned, gathered, and confirmed every detail of the┬átrip. She chose this time and place because of a long-held hankering by both of us to see northern Europe during the Christmas season.

We weren’t disappointed. Big cities, like Cologne, Heidelberg and Strasbourg, offered dazzling holiday lights and displays; and the Christmas markets succored us with warm wine, hot schnitzel, and contagious bonhomie. My wife bought ornaments. I bought a wool hat. It was all grand.

Although this was only our second cruise, I had already detected a shared quirk among our shipmates. I describe it as a reorienting of life to coincide with, and be mere intervals between, the next cruise. I call it Frequent Floater Syndrome. Continue reading

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