The excursion was threatened by the possibility of difficult waters of several varieties. We set out last Sunday for a week's cruise to Jamaica and a few other Caribbean ports, aboard the Carnival Dream with more than 4,000 other passengers.

Parts of the Crescent City had seen severe rains and flooding on Saturday, and we were not sure until friends dropped us off at the riverside port whether those floods might block our access.

They did not, and neither did we experience any difficulty navigating the river, even though we heard that other ships from the Carnival line had been delayed as an earlier tropical disturbance went ashore on the coast south of Texas.

Our route took us southeast instead, near the western tip of Cuba; two days, non-stop, to Montego Bay, Jamaica. All the way, we monitored the progress of the west-bound disturbance that crossed the Yucatan Peninsula and finally sputtered out in a second Mexican landfall Thursday as Franklin. Our paths did not cross, but Wednesday night, we could feel the slight rough movement of the ship as it plowed through waves generated by the distant disturbance.

After Jamaica, we visited Grand Cayman Island with its left-side, British-style driving and a special sea turtle refuge and farm. The next stop, Friday, was Cozumel, too late to be reported here.

Still another tropical disturbance did not materialize quickly enough to cause problems for us and our return trip up the Mississippi to New Orleans.

Maintaining cellphone service aboard is possible, but rather expensive. We did not bother.

I did overpay Carnival Cruise Line for the chance to see all my email through Thursday night. Urgent messages were available for this column. I will handle later ones in time.

Pampered afloat: Seven days aboard a fancy floating hotel, food, lodging, entertainment, everything but gifts and drinks all prepaid. And no need to move loads of luggage in and out of a series of lodgings, day after day. Probably a travel bargain.

We should be back at home by the time you read this. I will begin catching up with phone calls I may have missed.

Trivia: With any luck we should be home in time for the monthly Friends of the Library trivia competition, Terrebonne Parish Main Library, 151 Library Drive, Houma, 2 p.m. today. The public is welcome. The modest fee is waived for Friends members.

Tuesday market: Don't miss the downtown Houma market, in the parking lot of South Louisiana Seed Store, Main and Naquin streets from 3-5:30 p.m. Cajun food, tamales and oriental food, hot and ready to eat, or frozen for home use. I plan to sell canes again, and the “bread lady” may be back. It's still too hot for vegetable vendors.

August Round Table: At the Terrebonne Main Library at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Regional Military Museum Executive Assistant Dexter Babin will discuss the "American Mafia's Involvement in WWII." It's free and open to the public.

Science Rocks! At the Terrebonne Main Library on Aug. 27, students can get science fair advice from experts. Science teachers, with biologists, chemists and engineers, will be available to assist them. Students aiming to enter into their school’s science fair this session are encouraged to bring the questions they may have. It's 2-5 p.m. Registration is not required. Information: Naomi Magola at 876- 5861. 

Calendar Note: On Sept. 17 at the Regional Military Museum, the South Louisiana Community Orchestra will present its patriotic concert, "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory." Details, as available.

Responding? Contact Bill Ellzey at 381-6256,,, or c/o The Courier, P.O. Box 2717, Houma, LA 70361.