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  • Writer's pictureamanda

Sailing, Sailing on the TCM Classic Film Cruise

The twins - Professor Carrie and actor Cecelia - and I went sailing. We were among the many classic film fans who glided by a fog shrouded Statue of Liberty on October 22nd bound for Bermuda and four days and nights of classic films. The TCM Cruise is not a new event but we were first timers having always attended the Los Angeles based festival on dry land.

For those of us who are into the great old films of the thirties, forties and fifties - with a bit of sixties, seventies, and even eighties thrown in for seasoning - it was a feast for eyes and heart and, yes, now and again great meals for real in the ships many dinning rooms. We enjoyed just enough rough sea the first night for bragging rights, otherwise it was smooth sailing all the way to Bermuda and back again. It is an even older crowd than in LA but the enthusiasm runs high and it was obvious that a good time was being had by all.

It always surprises me when I find that as many of the festival goers are there for the interviews, events, and special showings as are there for the films. I am a movie, movie, movie person when it comes to festivals. The only event I participated in whole heartedly was the, "So You Think You Know The Movies" trivia - our team came in second and that is worth crowing over, since the questions were difficult and the competition was knowledgeable.

A high light for me was a purely accidental event (accident being an operative word). Having taken the ferry to the other end of the island for lunch at the Lobster Pot - good food! - we took the local bus back to the port. Not only do the Bermudian bus drives rival drivers I have ridden in Switzerland and Guatemala for sharp stops and speedy transit on narrow lanes, our driver did not so much as slow or comment when instead of another of the near misses of on coming cars we were faced down with an on coming truck - a large truck. We all breathed in and I thought hopefully of the Night Bus in Harry Potter that shrinks in to allow safe passage. We did not shrink, we scraped, metal screeched, and we kept on going, both our bus and the very large truck. No one stopped to check for damage, no "Oops", we sped on to the next sudden stop to pick up a passenger and a leap back into forward motion. Nor was the thrill of the ride over when we were safe back aboard the ship. That evening, watching That Touch of Mink, I was amazed to be able to recognize houses and views from our bus ride as Cary Grant drove Doris Day to the resort.

I suspect those who do the cruise festivals have a different expectation than those who go to brick and mortar theaters, or perhaps it is a different mindset. A lot of the regular cruise experiences were tangled nicely with the film festival. Great sit down dinners instead of the quickly grabbed burger or energy bar I am used to subsiding on during a festival. More partying, more costumes, even the events were more front and center (there was no Bingo that I remember in LA). Trivia was offered in multiple settings.

Sailing past the Statue of Liberty and the wild bus ride whose memory will forever be triggered by That Touch of Mink, were the high lights. I am always happy when I can spend days at a time watching fine films on the big screen. I got some Fred Astaire, hooray (alas no John Wayne), and lots of smiles and laughs and even a tear or two.

I suspect I will not take a festival cruise again unless they do one on the west coast - the long air trip, ocean to ocean, is very wearing - but I am glad to have gone. What the twins got from the experience they will have to say for themselves, but I had a lovely time.


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