Transmission #2: Beverly Jackson

Photo courtesy of Beverly Jackson.

Courtesy of Beverly Jackson.

I joined forces with my parents for a going away party held in their stateroom for those who came to see you off. Until I entered my own room and saw flowers everywhere, I confess I was apprehensive that maybe no one would send me any, but all my beaus came through! Then came the time when the party must end: “All ashore who are going ashore!” blasted over the loud speaker and off the visitors went down the gang plank while the orchestra played.

Farewell parties are no longer possible due to strict security measures, but whenever a Crystal Cruise ship leaves port, they play Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World” – I cannot hear that song anymore without relieving sailing out of places like Elba, Cartagena, Yokohama, Santorini, Shanghai, and best of all, Istanbul at midnight under a full moon.

Back now to the United States about to set sail, steam billowing out of the two red funnels, everyone waving and shouting goodbyes you couldn’t hear, passengers throwing a veritable net of brightly colored paper serpentine streamers over the railing, linking us to those we were leaving behind. Then we heard the grinding of the anchor being hauled up, the churning of machinery deep within the ship in full action, and soon we were sailing past the Statue of Liberty with the skyline of New York City fading fast from our view.

— Beverly Jackson, author and former passenger