CRUISE FOUR
THE SEQUEL TO
THE MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE
PART ONE
THE WHEATEN PRINCESS
SAILS AGAIN!
As this Cruise is a sequel to the previous Cruise to the Mediterranean, it will be necessary that readers begin with that Cruise before going on with this one.

Presuming that you have all refreshed your memories, we shall consider how the last Cruise ended.

Sister Killian  had told Tuckerotti,  the Italian Operatic Tenor, that she would notify him of her eventual decision regarding his offer to be her voice trainer and mentor.

After much prayer and soul searching the decision was eventually made. As a result of it, Killian left the Religious Order to which she belonged and, with great sadness to be leaving her sisters and friends at the convent, made the journey to Paris where the great man was booked on a tour.

He immediately took her under his wing and she trained with him until she reached a point where he could teach her no more.

She was ready!

She was to make her debut into the Operatic World with him, in the Puccini Opera,
TOSCA.

The place where this would happen, was none other than the TEATRO LA FENICE  in Venice, Italy.

Captain Guiness and Lt Abby, the Entertainment Officer, were discussing the forthcoming CAPTAIN'S COCKTAIL DANCE. Abby wanted it to be something different, and as their first  port of call would be MARSEILLE, she had some ideas about how to bring a French flavour to the night.

Oh, the passengers were going to be in for some OO - LA - LA!!!  
 Jimmy, the Lifeguard, was on duty at the pool, but he couldn't drag his thoughts away from the amazing fact that Tobey, who was marrying Miss Reilly, had asked him to be his Best Man at the Wedding which was taking place on the Cruise. Jimmy had never been anyone's 'Best Man' before, and he was tickled pink about it.

He would have to buy a new Tux when they reached Paris!

He smiled to himself, and went on with his work at the pool, making sure no one drowned themselves!

******
That evening in the dining room, our 'to be wed' couples, plus Tobey's sister, MacKenzie Jane, and Morgan's friend, Katie T, got together to discuss their plans when they arrived in Marseille. The girls, of course, wanted to go shopping. After all, this was FRANCE!  What better place to shop for Wedding Lingerie!

The boys were told they couldn't come. It was 'bad luck' to see ANY of the special little 'what-nots' that the girls were purchasing for their trousseau.

"Well", declared Cody, "we guys just might do some PRIVATE  shopping of our own!  Strictly NO  girls allowed!" He looked across at Tobey and winked wickedly. Morgan and Miss Reilly looked at each other and burst out laughing.

"They're probably going to shop for Top Hats!" Miss Reilly chuckled. 

"Or, for French Champagne more's the likely!" hooted Morgan.

The subject was left there as they tucked into their meal.

Sydney and Griffin
The next afternoon while Shadow, accompanied by his Band, was charming everyone in the lounge with his brilliant piano playing, Special Agent Guinny had received an urgent telephone call. He returned to tell Agent Dasher and Agent Bailey about an alert he had received from headquarters. It was serious.

There had been a tip-off that terrorists were aboard the Wheaten Princess!

Whether they planned to do something on the ship, or were using the Cruise ship as an innocent mode of transport to some other unfortunate destination was not known.  But it was the duty of the three FBI agents to find out - and QUICKLY!

Guinny and Dasher looked at Bailey with concern. It was Bailey's first case. He had just completed his training and this was a MUCH bigger assignment than the one involving the Art Forgery Ring in the previous Cruise. This was extremely dangerous and possibly 'explosive' - in the literal sense of the word.

What a formidable task lay ahead of them!

After some discussion, it was the mutual decision of all three to call in the added assistance of the famous French-Canadian Sleuth, Inspector Griffin and his companion Major Sydney.  They needed all the help they could get!

While enjoying a drink, they were joined by a young fellow who showed a great interest in them, and actually appeared to know who they were. Well, it wasn't really a secret. They had been pointed out on board as the men who had busted the Art Forgery Ring.   It wasn't until the young man (who introduced himself simply as 'Cooper'),  later revealed that he was a Reporter, that Dasher lost his cool! 

A REPORTER!

But Bailey and Guinny pointed out that this could be to their advantage. Reporters were renowned for sniffing things out, and right now, they could make good use of his nose!
Riley M, the new boy with the band, was enjoying the sun. He had secured a comfortable deck chair and was watching all the sun worshippers who, like himself, were making the most of the warm weather. As they crossed the Atlantic, that could change at any moment and he wanted to get in as much natural Vitamin D as he could. You see, Riley M suffered with asthma, and working on a Cruise Ship was as much for his health as for his pleasure.

He was soon joined by Seamus, the New York Banker, who was looking for his friend, Queenie. He guessed that Queenie must be off at the Beauty Salon having her hair done. (She was a 'Regal lady' and very conscious of her appearance.)

A conversation got underway and Seamus was most interested in Riley M's musical talents.

After a while, the lovely lady turned up and joined the discussion.


CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT IT!
The day before the Captain's Cocktail Dance a group of friends had gathered in the Continental Bar to catch up on everyone's news!

Jimmy was there with Nelly, Boogie and Scooch. Nearby were Buddy, a Trainee Chef, Kansas, and Brandy G, who was one of the Ballerinas on board. They were swapping gossip snippets when Max, the replacement in the Passionate Pooches singing group, came up to join in the conversation.

The subject of their first port of call arose, and Max was concerned that he might not understand the language in Marseille. What if he got lost in the big city and no one could understand him?

He asked if anyone present could speak French. (He was thinking that he'd tag along with them!) He received some interesting answers!
 
Cooper
 
Sister Ella was on her way to the dining room, and was looking for her companion, Katie S. Katie was Killian's younger sister and she had agreed to accompany Sister Ella on the Cruise, and also escort her to the Concert Hall where Killian was to make her Operatic debut.

Keeva (who was the runner up to Miss Wheaten World) met her, along with Darcy (one of the ballerinas) and expressed great delight at meeting Sr Ella again.

Young Katie S was in conversation with young Finn G,  who was Cody's little brother - and he found it hard to believe that he was talking with the sister of an Opera star! WOW!
Meanwhile, our two dizzy blondes, Lexi and Tess, were consulting with Stella the Fortune Teller, hoping to find out what excitement might be in store for them on this Cruise.  It seemed that lots of surprises were in store, but 'Madame Fortune Teller' wasn't telling!
At Dinner, 'Khaki   the curious' was trying to find out what the mystery was surrounding Emma,  a very secretive passenger who was always wearing sunnies, or hats to hide her face. Perhaps she was a fugitive from justice!

Brandi B, the sweet girl who was painfully shy, was ignoring the conversation taking place at her table because her eyes fixed on the boy at the nearby table.

Teddy  was a very shy lad, but he just couldn't take his eyes off the pretty girl at the next table. But he didn't have the confidence to go over and speak to her. Ah, perhaps later, if he met her in less difficult circumstances at the Captain's Cocktail Dance.  He might even pluck up courage to ask her to dance with him!
This was the night before the Captain's Cocktail Dance, and many of the young ladies were trying to make up their minds what to wear. They all wanted to make a good impression.  The next day they would be busy getting their hair done and all the things girls like to do before a formal occasion.

The boys weren't nearly so fussy. They simply unpacked their suitcases and hung up their formals without a second thought.  EXCEPT 'Mr Personality', Hurley!  He'd forgotten to pack his formals and had to hire a Tux from the Novelty Shoppe!

After the last sitting was over, passengers began to make their way to the Grande Lounge, where the Ship's Band and the singing group, THE PASSIONATE POOCHES, were entertaining them with a variety of music and popular songs.

Shadow was in his element, and those who had been on the previous cruise were again impressed with the musicianship of this young pianist, who some said looked a lot like "Beethoven"! They looked forward to hearing his recital in Marseille.
So the Cruise had begun. So far, the seas were calm and everyone was looking forward to the Captain's Cocktail Dance which would take place the following night. Only Griffin, the French-Canadian Sleuth, felt an uneasiness creeping up and down his spine. Something was not right, but he tried to dismiss it from his mind as he headed back to his cabin. Major Sydney sensed it, too. It reminded him of the cold feeling one got in one's bones before a battle.

But for now, all was calm, and they both hoped that would be how it would remain.

                                                                                   ~~~~~~~
In another part of the world, other plans were being made.  Killian, Tuckerotti and Brady were discussing concerts!
 T
One of the mystery passengers entered the bar with the ship's Doctor, Charlie, and they joined in conversation with Murphy M  and his lady companion, Keeleigh, who were awaiting some pre-dinner cocktails.

It turned out that the mystery gentleman's name was also 'Murphy', and they joked about what a good old Irish name it was!
There is always at least one rich playboy on board these Cruises, and this Cruise was no exception. The dashing young lad named Hurley  was already making a hit with the ladies. As well as his 'drop dead' good looks, he also had a winning smile and a great sense of humour, and here he was now, sitting in the bar surrounded by lovely damsels who were hanging on his every word. One admirer nicknamed him 'Mr Personality' - and it was a title he certainly earned!

One would hope he was good at keeping record of all the girls he'd arranged dates with, because he had already promised to accompany THREE to the Captain's Cocktail Dance! He was going to be a VERY busy boy when that time arrived!
There were a few of the champion swimmers making the trip again, and one was a handsome young stud named Rudy. He had done well since his magnificent performance in the World Championships and now he was 'surfing the sun deck', checking out the ladies with an appreciative eye. (Fortunately for him, Nurse Scooch, his lady friend, was busy in the Clinic and did not see him flirting!)

He had noticed an attractive young lady by the name of Katie T.   (Katie was Morgan's best friend, and had agreed to be her Bridesmaid - all expenses paid! Nice work if you can get it!)

He moved from his position and slowly approached, - taking the liberty to sit down in a chair beside her.

"Hi there, Honey!" he said in his smooth, sexy voice. "Are you enjoying the Cruise?"

She gave him a shrewd look and sized him up in an instant. He was HANDSOME - his manners were polished and, he looked successful.

Smiling sweetly, she nodded her head and they were soon chatting happily.

"Gee, some fellas are fast workers", said Sweetie as she watched from her seat nearby.

"Just wait, though, until Scooch finds out he's chatting up another girl. I wouldn't want to be in HIS shoes then!" said Clancy.

Cassie was amused and told them to 'watch and learn'!

They all knew Rudy had certainly polished his style (and not just in swimming!) since they were together last. It was all in the technique. Yes! -Technique!

Young Brandi B,  a very shy girl who was cruising for the first time, watched wistfully as she reclined in her deck chair. This guy certainly was handsome. She was a little sad though that he had not noticed HER! 
 
                                     And so another Cruise to the Mediterranean began.

One little girl almost missed the ship as it was about to depart from New York. She came running along, dragging her suitcases behind her just as they were raising the gangway! She need not have worried though, because there were soon several eager sailors at her side, grabbing her cases and bundling her onto the Wheaten Princess in the nick of time. Well what sailor could possibly ignore a pretty blonde 'damsel in distress'?

It was a wonderful reunion for those who had travelled before. There were also two new members of the Band and the Passionate Pooches singing group.

They wasted no time in catching up on all the news of what everyone had been doing since the last Cruise.
This was also a very special experience for Shadow,  the leader of the Ships' Band.   He was a brilliant pianist and Tuckerotti had recognized his talent and arranged a Concert Recital for him in Marseille. It would help Shadow to be known in Europe. A great career opportunity!
On the previous Mediterranean Cruise, two couples had announced their engagement, and they decided that the place to be married was on the Wheaten Princess  where they had first met and their romance had bloomed.  Cody and Miss Morgan, and Tobey and Miss Reilly  were the lucky couples . They had invited their family and friends along, so it would be a wonderful way to celebrate their weddings.
                          And so it was about to begin! 
             THE FOURTH CRUISE OF A LIFETIME!
The great French-Canadian Sleuth, Inspector Griffin, and his companion Major Sydney  were the special guests of Tuckerotti, and other 'Legal Eagles' were invited too, such as the FBI - in the persons of Special Agents Dasher and Guinny, and - and - AGENT BAILEY!  YES!  Bailey had heeded their advice and joined the FBI! 

Dear Sister Ella, who had accompanied Killian on the Mediterranean Cruise, was determined to see and hear her little friend sing in her Operatic debut, so Killian arranged for her younger sister, Katie S, to accompany her on this Cruise, and see that she was well cared for.
There were some interesting new passengers travelling on the Wheaten Princess this trip. Among them were three lovely ladies who were Ballerinas, and cruising to France for auditions in Paris. They moved with such grace that other passengers could not help but notice them.

The relatives and friends of the couples to be married were delighted to be on board. They were all looking forward to shopping in France!

As Cody was one of the lucky fellows going to be married, he was training up a young Bar Attendant to take his place. His name was Guinness N  and he showed great promise, (and also attracted a lot of young ladies to the bar!)

Stella the Fortune Teller  was back with her crystal ball, and she already had several bookings for readings. News got around fast about her 'spot on' predictions.

Our two 'Dizzy Blondes' Lexi and Tess, were back as guests of Morgan, who was Miss Wheaten World 2008. They were travelling alone, but ah, for how long?

Hurley  was a handsome rich lad from Philadelphia. He was a great Opera fan, and a guest of Tuckerotti. He was really quite modest, but his reputation as a 'playboy' had preceded him. His picture had been in the paper a great deal for making large financial gifts to Music and the Arts, especially to struggling performers.

However, there were a couple of mysterious passengers that no one knew much about. One was a quiet man who kept very much to himself, and the other was a young lady who took great pains to disguise her face. I wonder why?!

Griffin had not lost his touch for sniffing out criminals. Even as they sat quietly in one of the bars, Griffin stiffened as two humans walked past. He sensed trouble.

"Mon Ami," he whispered to Sydney, "I smell something very dangerous about those men."

Sydney, who had been a Major in the Grenadier Guards in London before moving to Canada, agreed that they seemed very shifty.
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Copyright - A P - 2009-2010