November 7th, 2010

journey

Haifa, Israel

This morning around 7am we pulled into the harbor at Haifa. We had the guests lined up all around the running track and down the stairs, queued up to meet with the Israeli immigration people, one by one, to be "face checked" against their passports. Many of the crew (me included) had to do this as well. We ran a bit late, but the crew bus I had signed up to go on was held so we could make it. Vicky, our HR person, is awesome. She really takes care of us, and never fails to be cheerful and energetic. She's a Texan dynamo.

It ended up being just five of us on the small bus, heading for Tel Aviv. It actually wasn't going all the way to Tel Aviv - we ended up in Jaffa, where we prowled around the shops (most antiques and flea-market stuff), and ate a really delicious lunch (I had a great grilled-cheese sandwich, a tasty salad, and a bottle of mango juice). After that, we split up, with two people heading for the beach, and the rest of us walking around a bit more. We even managed to find a music store to browse around in. After that, we had cappuccino and some wonderful chocolate cake. I spent much of the day hanging out with Jorge, our new Brazilian bass player who I'd met on the first day. I noticed a lot of solar water heaters on the buildings in Israel (like I'd seen in Greece) - I suppose in a place with this much sun, it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of that.

We left to head back to the ship around 3pm, which got me back by 5pm, plenty of time to get set up for my 6pm show. Tonight they had quite an impressive buffet out on the pool deck (complete with fish-shaped ice sculptures), and I played for two hours on the stage there. Afterwards, I played another hour in my usual location on the deck at the Windows Cafe, finishing up at 9:30.

After retreating to my cabin to rest, make phone calls and watch a DVD, I could feel the ship start to move - off we go to our next port of call!

Next: Ashod, Israel