The name of the restaurant: “The Prime.” The only one of three choices on the ship requiring diners to make hard-to-get reservations. The Prime had a more stringent dress code than the other two, being more formal than the other restaurants on board. This small restaurant with its strict policies somehow translated to cruising guests into feelings of exclusivity.
We were fortunate enough to gain access to this chosen, selective spot, having planned ahead. As we entered we saw a room filled with well dressed, sophisticated, bejeweled fellow epicures.
We were clearly in elite, exclusive company. Or so it seemed at first impressions.
However when our eyes grew accustomed to the darkened room we saw that small world in a different light.
The elegant couple seated across the room was drinking heavily, and with each sip seemed to find more cruel and more devastating insults to fling at each other. This was not a simple misunderstanding or lovers’ quarrel, but a summation of years of fury and anger.
My husband looked at me and said,
“This feels like a rerun of a performance of Edward Albee’s play, “George and Martha.”
“Yes, I said: I can still picture Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the leading roles of the movie version.”
At the table next to them sat a family of three, a mature couple with their adult Down Syndrome son: the young man hopefully not understanding what the shouting was about at his neighbors’ table.
Near us was an old couple, handicapped and needing one walker and one wheelchair to be mobile. What a tribute to them to still seek the pleasure of a foreign vacation even though their lives were difficult to maneuver.
“I really admire them,” I said. “They are making a noble effort to make the most of their lives; they’re not just sitting around feeling sorry for themselves.”
At a large table in the center of the room was a group of gregarious people making their presence known and conversation impossible not to hear. Their discussion seemed to center around the newly-published book of the author at their table. The writer constantly tried to focus the conversation to her book when the subject changed. After polite initial interest, her table mates kept trying to shift from the topic of her book to a battle about politics. The battle raged throughout their entire meal.
At the entrance to the restaurant an abrasive woman, clearly used to giving orders and getting her way, began a shouting match with the Maitre’d when he denied her a table without her having a reservation. He stood his ground, politely saying,
“I’m so sorry, ma’am, but most guests made reservations on line before even boarding the ship. There is nothing I can do for you. We simply have no table to offer you.”
A small discrete room, a rich microcosm of illusion was, in reality, a telling microcosm of pain, disappointment and troubled lives.
Comments on: "PAIN AT THE PRIME" (23)
i use one password for all. very risky
i use one password for all. very risky
Yep, money is no guarantee of happiness, good health or class. Never has been, never will be.
I’ve never been on a cruise, I hope to one day! It’s not surprising people fight on a cruise, after all, they’re still human. It’s sad all the same!
Perfect title. I love love love the linen, crystal, silverware of those restaurants even though the people who frequent them don’t.
Some of us do…
Sounds like you had dinner and a show. I hope the food was good.
Who could notice the food with all that was going on around us?
very well described. a smooth sea which in reality became a series of turbulent choppy waves. No wonder we both took some antacids after our special dinner at the Prime.
After the Prime experience the sea resumed to its smooth demeanor.
That people pay to go on a cruise to fight seems a bit strange… maybe it was a last effort for reconciliation … who knows what goes on in some peoples minds…
All I know is that no matter where you go you take yourself with you!
Paying for quality time on a cruise is lovely. Romantic. But I just don’t get the point of a person paying so much for such only to showcase how miserable s/he has been. Well, this shows that there are certain things that can’t be bought with money.
That was the real lesson of this experience. Misery pays no attention to anyone’s bankbook.
Once you peel back that veneer of sophistication and privilege, you’ll often discover that you’re so much more blessed. I hope that you and your husband had an excellent trip. 😉
Thanks, Judy. This experience was only one evening; the rest was relaxing and trouble-free.
Oh, sorry to hear. Can’t imagine why people would pay for a cruise if they’re so miserable.
Hope you find some peace and quiet!
I think they’d be miserable no matter where they were; there are people like that.
It’s sad, but telling of life. I have never been on a cruise, but would love to one day, probably with my walker. lol
Jackie, I hope you do it and don’t need a walker!
Ah, yes, even in the surreal world of a cruise ship, real life rears its often unpleasant head.
We enjoy cruising. The kids can go off and do their thing while we do ours. Plus, I know they can’t go anywhere given we’re in the middle of the ocean. 😉
I guess they understand that overboard is not an option.
Haha, yes, let’s hope so anyway.