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LIVE from the FREEDOM of the SEAS, Sailing 5 Sep 2010

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Hello Everyone,


Things have not been going well for me so far on this cruise. It is very emotional for me! Lot of tears and sniffles!


I made up the two photos above a few days ago at home.


I have Carol's ashes here in the cabin with me and arrangements have been made to scatter them at sea tomorrow (Monday) at 2:00 pm. I have no clue how that will work but I will let you know what happened when it is over.


I had a rough trip to the port from Palm Coast, FL where I live. It is only a 90 minute drive but I had to pull over and compose myself twice because I teared up so badly that I couldn't see to drive.


Here is a photo of me outside the terminal building at the port.




You can tell my walker is too short for me. Sometimes I feel like the Hunchback of Palm Coast when I am using it. I only use it on cruises and when I get home I am going to have to modify it or get one for tall guys. The Notebook is hanging from one side and my CPAP from the other and Carol's Ashes are on the seat.


Port improvements have finally been completed! You now get a parking ticket when you enter the RCI area, then go drop off luggage, and then park. You pay the parking bill on the way out now.


Check in was a breeze. I walked in about 10:30 and they directed me to the handicapped line. Two others were ahead of me. In 10 minutes I was checked in and about 11:15 we started boarding.


There were lots of people there and the regular check in lines were long. I have never seen so many people so early!


I went directly to Guest Relations to see about scattering Carol's ashes. They took down the info and when I got back to the cabin after dinner there was a message waiting that everything is set up for tomorrow afternoon.


Then lunch at the Windjammer. And of course the obligatory lunch photo.




After lunch I went up to Deck 12 to the smoking area. No chairs at all! The loungers were all tied down. Luckily I had the walker with me.




I got into my cabin, 9248, which is a Junior Suite about 12:45. It has lots of room and is very nice, even a walk-in closit. I will try to post some photos tomorrow.


Carol's favorite thing was to sit on the balcony so I posed this photo of her ashes with a RCI Robe. Wierd maybe, but that was Carol. That is what I will always remember of her!




Dinner tonight in the Main Dining Room was the Prime Rib and it was excellent. I am at a table for 4. The widowed lady across from me is about my age, maybe a bit younger, and was traveling with her dad who is 90. About 2/3 of the way through the meal we realized that he was "not right" so we called the Head Waiter who called in Medical and they took him down to the Medical Area. I hope he will be "OK"!


After dinner I went back up to Deck 14, to the smoking area in the Olive or Twist Lounge and met the same three young guys I have been running into in all of the smoking areas on the ship. I ended up telling them Carol's story without too many tears and they offered to go with me tomorrow to scatter her ashes but I think I am going to do it on my own. Nice guys! They cheered me up a lot!


One thing for sure. I will never again get a cabin near the forward elevators. The distance from my cabin to the rear elevators is just beyond what I can walk comfortably with my cane. Most of the time I am able to make it and then head down the stairs to the computer center where I can sit and rest a bit. I don't like to take the walker because it is often tough to get through crowds and almost impossible to move between the tables in the MDR.


That's it for tonight folks. Lots of tears today but many good memories too!


Bear with me please...



Edited by Trainman-2
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Trainman! I'm so excited to find your live post! I have thought of you so often these past several months. :) I hope you have a wonderful cruise filled with lots of healing memories. I'm thrilled that you're including us on a other journey. Thank you!!!

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Jim, Carl and I are so glad to see your post. I have been sitting here on the computer looking to see when you would get your info out there.

Keep the information coming, we love the pictures of the food you like and your treks around the ship. We feel like we know you.


Chin up and we too shall remember.


Thanks for your humor and please enjoy your time on the Freedom. We loved sailing on her in Feb. So much fun.


Also, thanks for sharing the pics of you and your brother with your Mom. So nice to see the video and the paddle wheel boat.

Waiting for more from you.................


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God bless you, Jim. What a wonderful tribute to your lovely wife, Carol. I have no doubt you will have an emotionally filled week ahead. Reading your post made me cry as well. Take comfort in the fact that many of us are with you on this very important cruise.

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Have a wonderful cruise Trainman. Carol is certainly with you in spirit. Are you sure you can't adjust your walker? A lot of them adjust at the wheels to go higher for you taller folks. You are in our thoughts and prayers.


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Those three young guys I mentioned eariler have already corrupted me. After my last post I went back up to the O&T Lounge on deck 14 and hung out with them awhile.


It is about 11:30 PM as I type this. On past cruises Carol was usually ready to quit for the night and hit the bed by 9 pm and that was just fine with me.


Who knows, maybe I will sleep late tomorrow.


As always, I am thanking all of my Cruise Critic Friends. I have met several already and our M&M is tomorrow morning at 10:15 so I will meet the rest of them then.



My walker is adjusted to maximum height already...



More tomorrow, night everyone...

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Trainman - Freedom of the Seas is a beautiful ship and I look forward to reading your live cruise posts.


May you find courage and strength, tomorrow as you fulfill Carol's wishes. May you find peace and happiness knowing Carol will always be in your heart.


I believe, good long cries make our heart stronger.


A drink, conversations with new friends and a laugh or two can lift our spirit and ease the pain.


Make sure to have someone take a picture, when you go on the FlowRider. Can't wait to see that photo!


Look forward to reading your Live posts all week.

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Truly one of the most heartfelt and emotional threads I've ever come across on any forum......


Trainman I admire what you're doing and your wife would be proud of the strength you're demonstrating.


I'm very much looking forward to following your cruise and especially seeing your shots of the food from the Windjammer........I'm posting this from a train en route from Manchester to London......offerings aboard are rather sad looking pre packed sandwiches........I wish I was in the Windjammer!! :D


Sincere best wishes from the UK.


Cullinp & family.

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I have read your last live thread and it was wonderful. I knew that you wife had passed away after that cruise what a fitting tribute that your doing for her. My thoughts and wishes are with you today and do enjoy your cruise I believe your wife would want you to have a great time and so do we.

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MONDAY, Day 2, At Sea


Good morning everyone,


I actually over slept by my standards and just barely got down the the snack bar on the prominade for morning coffee by 6 am.


Walked back to the room and learned that I had left my Sea Pass in the room so I walked all of the way back to Guest Relations and got an Extra Key and then walked back to the cabin. I was pooped after that.


Here is a view down my long, long hall way on deck 9.




I headed up to the Windjammer for breakfast, got some silverware wrapped in a napkin, left it and my cane on a small table for two and headed to the buffet line to get my breakfast. When I returned there was a lady sitting at my table for two. She had moved my cane but I sat down in my seat facing her and told her how delighted I was for her to join me. She mumbled something about me joining her but I think she realized that I had been there first when I unrapped my silverware. She said she had to go and bugged out leaving two dirty coffee cups on my table.


My breakfast...




It is a cloudy, rainy morning but I think as the sun comes up it will clear off by late morning.




All of the Chair Hog's towels out by the pools got soaked in a brief rain storm as I was leaving the Windjammer.


Lots to do this morning. I have to finalize arrangements for scattering Carol's ashes and our M&M is at 10:15.


More later...

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Trainman - 2

I have always eagerly watched and read your posts. You are truly a remarkable man.


Today as you say good by to Carol, in the one place you shared so much together, I want you to know, even though we never met, my prayers are with you. I will set my watch for 2pm. At that time I will pause and pay tribute to her. Through your previous threads it is obvious the love you have for her.

. . . . In life remember their is always something old to be sought and enjoyed always something new to be found treasured and shared, thank you for sharing your life with us . . . .

All our love

Sue and crew

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Glad you are moving on with Carol's memory in your heart and doing what you both loved to do, cruising!:D


Looking forwar to your posts. I have a party of about 40 going on the Freedom in May, One of which is my Dad who has never been on a cruise. It will probably his last, due to his health. :(


Keep us posted! I love your live posts!!:D

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Jim, I have enjoyed your LIVE posts so much. Thank you for taking the time to do this LIVE post and we will all be with you as you pay tribute to Carol. My husband was diagnosed last year with Stage IV cancer - same cancer as Michael Douglas. Thank God he is cancer free and doing really well. We now cruise as often as we can and enjoy every minute of every day together. Our best memories are from our cruises together. When my life is over I would like my ashes scattered at sea also.


Love the pictures of the food. :) I know today will be bittersweet but I have no doubt Carol is smiling down on you and thankful for all you shared together. Hugs, Wanda

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Jim - There is nothing I can say except God Bless you......the love you have for Carol is incredible and although you are on the ship alone, you are never really alone......the wonderful memories will always be there to bring you comfort.

Wishing you good health and happiness always.....:)

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Thanks again to all of you here on CC and especially to all of the CC Members that I have met on-board in the last two days. I really appreciate your expressions of sympathy and support.


We had a nice Meet & Mingle this morning.










As you can see the sun has burned off most of the clouds. There are still a few out there but it is turning into a nice day.



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