Sea day...on our way to Mykonos Greece, arriving in the morning...

No photos today due to poor Internet connection on a sea day with many passengers on the ship using WiFi.
 
On our prior seven cruises since 1/3/2013, our captains were rather chatty, announcing destinations, weather condition, points of interest plus generally anything at all that may peak the curiosity of the passengers and crew.  Not so much here on the Norwegian Spirit. 

He'd hardly said "boo" until today when we attended a "Latitudes" members only, cocktail party at 1:00 pm for the 419 passengers on board who have attained a certain number of points starting at Bronze, then to Silver, Gold and ultimately to Platinum. 
Currently, we are Silver members but when this cruise ends we'll be Gold members, allowing certain privileges, none of which are relevant to us at this point, other than the 15 minutes of free Internet time and invitations to a few cocktail parties with free drinks and appetizers.

Thus, today at the party, the captain finally spoke at the party as many of us eagerly await the cruise line's decision to as to whether or not we'll be allowed to get off the ship safely in Istanbul with the news of ongoing unrest.  He didn't provide us with a definitive answer at this point.  From there, we'll have to make of our own decision, should they give us the "go ahead," as to whether or not we'll choose to get off the ship to tour Istanbul.  With all the amazing comments we've heard, we'd love to see Istanbul.
However, if we can't get off the ship in Istanbul in a few days, we'll hopefully be able to venture out in Izmir, Turkey in order to take advantage of the tour to Ephesus, supposedly comparable in its wonders to Petra, Jordan, my favorite all time place to visit since we began our travels over seven months ago.

We've made it through the Middle East without incident (aside from illness), one would think an eastern Mediterranean cruise would be relatively safe.  But, as we continue to watch BBC world news daily (only news we can get on the TV), violence continues to rage everywhere in the world including in the US (based on the latest shootings in Los Angeles county a few days ago). 
Tom and I have a theory that perhaps some share with us:  that the terror throughout the world has been going on for years and its only the media's constant announcements of these events that bring it forefront in our minds.  "World at War" then and "World at War" now, generation after generation, leaving each civilization suffering the ravages of political, religious and social unrest. 

When will it ever end?  Never.  As long as humans have the ability to think, to be coerced and manipulated and to strongly uphold their  beliefs, right or wrong in society's view, this state of terrifying expression will continue, leaving those in its wake at dangerous risk. 
Drive-by shootings occurred only 1/2 hour from us in our "old lives."  We chose to avoid these areas as much as we possibly could.  Tom's mother, a dear woman, passed away in 2008, having spent many years living in that kind neighborhood.  In many cases it's "who you know" that increased the risks in certain areas.  Perhaps, in many of these worldwide high risk areas, it's not only "who you know" but where you happen to be at any given time.

Tom and I don't know any "high risk" people (that we're aware of) but we've increased our exposure as to where we will happen to be at any given moment.  We proceed with caution...possessing a desire not to diminish our experiences while we continue to grow our range of experiences.
After all, in the past month we've been to Egypt, Jordan, the Suez Canal, the Gulf of Aden, Strait of Hormuz, United Arab Emirates plus we've traveled past Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and Oman, albeit with a bit of adventure, coming out safely on the other side, having loved every moment while feeling safe most of the time.

Soon, we'll know how as to the safety of visiting Istanbul, Turkey deciding from there our course of action and sharing it all with you here.
Tonight, dress up night on a sea day, we've been invited to join a party of four from the US for dinner in the Windows dining room.  With our dressy clothing long gone to lighten our load, we'll make the best of it, me in a casual long dress, spruced up with accessories and Tom, in black long sleeved dress shirt and dress pants.  With this as our last cruise for the next 17 or more months, we're at ease to no longer hauling dress up clothing. 

Updates:  Xcom Global responded to our frantic inquiries explaining they have reset the MiFi and it should be working by tomorrow morning.  Secondly, the property owners of the house in Tuscany have graciously agreed to accept our credit card payment for the two and a half month rental, making paying the balance much easier for us.  Plus on the 16th, they'll meet us at the property at 3:00 pm to let us in and familiarize us as to how everything works. 

Moving right along...photos coming after tomorrow's visit to Mykonos, Greece!

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