To The Tune Of Tom’s Diner: Waiting On Something In Southampton – Epic

Remember the song Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega? The lyrics go something like this: “I am sitting / In the morning / At the diner / On the corner / I am waiting / At the counter / For the man / To pour the coffee . . . ”

Well, I too am sitting / at the Sheraton / across from Heathrow / using wireless / and sipping Starbucks coffee / I am waiting / for someone to call me / and take me to Southampton . . .

Southampton is where Epic soon awaits me and others waiting to board the much-hyped NCL vessel. She’s several hours late, limping in from Rotterdam, her pace slowed considerably because of a malfunctioning propellor shaft. I’m sure NCL will work out this unfortunate issue. I hope so. I hope that Epic is the ship that turns NCL around.

Summer of Disconnect

Travel often involves a lot of waiting. That’s why I carry a Kindle as well as a Blackberry, iPod Touch and Macbook Pro. I fill in the voids with something akin to carbohydrates from those digital devices.

Last week, I waited on luggage. The sole piece I was carrying spent much of the week flying around the British Isles to catch up with me on Crystal Symphony. Being luggageless was not as painful as I had imagined. For starters, Crystal responded admirably. Crystal’s concierge was vigilant about tracing the bag, informing me each night whether I might be reunited with my luggage at the next port of call.

Crystal Cruises was not responsible for losing the piece of luggage that I checked in. That was British Airways' fault. But Crystal came to the rescue with a t-shirt, toiletry bag and free laundry service during the period in which my luggage was astray.

Crystal also extended free express laundry service, a toiletry bag, and the concierge even managed to suit me in a tuxedo for formal night. I was less than relieved to return to my stateroom one afternoon to find my blue bag waiting for me. Judging from the luggage tags, the bag apparently had been on an interesting journey throughout Europe. Unburdened by the bag, I briefly considered a new strategy for future travel: not packing.

It’s now 4:30 p.m. in London, 4.5 hours past our scheduled departure time to Southampton. I am sitting / at the Sheraton / waiting for something Epic . . .

Join the Conversation

Cruise Fan says:

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Epic – you must have finally got on board, despite the disruption. I am hearing mixed reports about Epic and so am trying to read as many reviews as possible. Eagerly awaiting reviews, thoughts and photos

Ralph Grizzle says:

Thank you! I’ll post my review next week, and it will be interesting for you. It’s Mid-Summer here in Sweden, so we’re taking the whole weekend off. Truthfully, every Friday is a holiday during summer here in Sweden, though Swedes are reluctant to admit they have so much time off from work.

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