|MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE JULY 2000|
|Written by Katy Draper|
By Barbara Alders
A friend (who is not on dialysis) and I left Phoenix on Friday, June 30 and arrived in Barcelona on Saturday at 11:30 AM. There is a 9 hour time difference between Phoenix and Barcelona. We embarked on our ship, the Legend of the Seas an hour later. We were picked up at the airport by the cruise line. After a welcoming drink and a buffet lunch, we rested, unpacked and explored the ship until dinner time.
After dinner I had a pre-dialysis meeting with the dialysis staff and the other dialysis patients and a tour of the area where dialysis would take place. Our first stop was Villefranche where we took an excursion to Monaco and Monte Carlo. No, I didn't win any big money. That was Sunday and I had had dialysis that morning at 6 AM. I didn't have my usual crash thank goodness as the tour started at 10:45 AM. We arrived back at the ship with only 10 minutes to wash up for dinner. There is so much to do on the ship that I just couldn't get to it all, as a dialysis patient, you have to pick and choose.
I chose to skip the second day tours and have a leisurely day on board.
On Tuesday it was Civitavecchia for our port and the long excursion to Rome where you could see the Imperial City or the Vatican. We chose the Vatican where we toured all morning, followed by a lunch at the Holiday Inn and in the afternoon we toured the Colosseum. Once again arriving home at the ship right at dinner time. Then a little gambling in the ship casino and to bed. The Vatican tour was 10 hours and a bit exhausting even for the non-dialysis patients.
Back to dialysis Wednesday morning and another day I chose to stay on board and recoup. It was hot and humid and we were in Messina. I would recommend that July is not a good time to go to the Mediterranean, it is too hot and humid. Dialysis continued to go well. The dialysis staff does not get paid, they basically get room and board for their services. They are friendly and professional.
Thursday, my friend and I chose to skip the tour and taxi into the walled city of Valletta. The tours are history orientated and we wanted some time for shopping. This is an area where fine filigreed gold jewellery is made and at very good prices. The available tour was to a glass blowing area.
Friday dialysis was not as early as it is a day at sea (the return trip to Barcelona). This day much more was going on on the ship. Since we were not in port, the ship board shops were open, there were horse races, the casino was open all day, there were miniature golf tournaments, painting auctions, and of course there was always entertainment and shows of which I didn't get to many of.
I will return to my home dialysis unit tomorrow.
To my knowledge none of the dialysis patients had any problems of any kind. One was a 72 year old man who had cruised with this particular dialysis staff before (to Alaska), one was a new (4 months) dialysis patient, two were a married couple, both on dialysis, they had met on dialysis and the other was a 5 yr. dialysis patient travelling with her husband and another couple (a gastroenterologist and his wife).
(We also have other travel stories)