Our first day on board the Nautica is spent at sea, which allows us more time to get to know our fellow passengers.
There are very few English on board the Nautica, in contrast to Celebrity where a large percentage of the guests were from England. More precisely from Northern England. Dear readers, those of you who are English will know that was a put down. Those of you who know little of England must understand that the country is all about class and breeding, and being from the north of England generally implies a lack of both.
The weather in the North of England is generally grey and depressing and the people need to get away to the sun. But that is not always possible. They must wait for a bargain, and the Transatlantic Cruise on Celebrity was indeed a great deal.
At this point, I should point out that I am from England. Yes, I have lived half my life in California, but you can never take the English out of an Englishman. It stays with you for life.
The English passengers on Celebrity were instantly recognisable, with their pasty white skin, bad teeth, and penchant for inexpensive nautical flavored clothing, usually in navy blue and red with cute little anchors or captains crests, emblazoned all over them. It is one of the rare occasions where Americans show a little more restraint than the English. When an American is tempted by a captains crest, or a cute little anchor, there will just be one of them placed simply on the left breast, in what they hope is a show of European class where less is often considered more. The English, however, go overboard (pardon the pun), covering their top with rows of anchors in an effort to be more outgoing and cute, and, hopefully, American.
And what is it with the English and their teeth. There seems to be a genetic defect which prevents any English person from having straight teeth. And, born this way, they leave them this way, seeing no reason to improve on what God gave them. As they grow older their teeth turn a yellowy brown colour from all that tea , and grow even more crooked, which they believe adds a dash of character and shows a total lack of vanity. I know vanity is a sin, but a total lack of it is not always a good thing.
On the other hand Americans can suffer from an overdose of vanity, causing them to fixate on their teeth, which they straighten, cap, buff, polish, and bleach until they achieve a look so unnatural that you can’t take your eyes off them, staring in disbelief at the amount of money that must be invested in their mouth. Indeed, Americans probably invest more time and money in the way they look than any other nation, and certainly much more than the English
The first thing American women do after boarding, is go straight to the beauty salon and book an appointment for their hair and a facial. Englishwomen however, arrive on board with their brand new hair do, often carried on in a box as hand luggage. It can then be brought out and worn at any time a “new do” is needed. Very useful indeed for all those formal nights.
The men too have their differences. American men wear jewelery, and can always be found with at least one of the following adorning their tanned bodies: a heavy gold chain around their neck, often supporting a large medallion which snuggles into their chest hair; a large gold chain around their wrist; a huge, ugly ring often with some garish stone on their pinky finger, and a wedding band. Whatever the jewelery is, it has to be large and has to be gold and it has to be very shiny. Englishmen wouldn’t be seen dead wearing any jewelery. Only poofs where jewelry.
American men wear golf shirts and shorts, preferably with a designer logo, and often in pastel colors. They wear slip on shoes with no socks . Their entire wardrobe has been purchased by their wives at either Nordstroms or a designer outlet mall. Englishmen wear plain shirts and shorts in navy blue or grey. Only poofs wear colors. They wouldn’t be caught dead without socks, which are always black, even when worn with white gym shoes and shorts. All their clothes were bought by their wives at Marks and Spencer or British Home Stores, preferably in the sale.
Now it has to be said that my comments only apply to the older generation. The younger generation all dress like Americans, regardless of where they come from. Young Englishmen spend so much more money on their appearance than their parents,. They have facials, get their teeth whitened and go to the gym. Soon you won’t be able to tell them apart from the Americans.
And that is not necessarily a good thing..
There are only a handful of English on board Nautica, and they are much harder to tell apart from the Americans. It is a much more genteel crowd than on Celebrity, as witnessed by the mornings activities which starts with “coffee, chat and needlepoint with our entertainment Hostess, Margaret” at 9.30.
Somehow, I resist the urge to attend. I am saving my energy for a day in Malta which is next on the agenda.
"Oh to be an English Man" a tribute to Gilbert and Sullivan. But we know what you mean