Diary Entry Margaret Mary Stephen: We boarded the Russian cruise ship Adsharia at Piraeus disembarking at Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia. We were delightfully surprised by the large cabin, air conditioning and a porthole. As soon as we boarded we were requested to go for lunch in the dining room which was painted a cool green with women in white blouses and black mini skirts serving the meals. All the girls were Russian and the food was good. After lunch we went to examine the ship. It has the capacity for 750 people but there are only 37 passengers aboard as this is the first cruise of the season. The ship is gleaming white with a blue trim. There are plenty of comfortable deck chairs, a swimming pool and plenty of stewards about with most of them being women. Robert spent most of the afternoon in the pool. While having afternoon tea at the pool we met a man my age called Fritz Fritzel from Germany. As he was travelling alone he asked if he could take his meals with us. We played cards after dinner until the band started playing. At intermission the band members would drink vodka and eat caviar out of tins with a spoon.
June 17: Up at seven and was very hot outside. Robert has not been well and I think he spent too much time in the sun. The ship doctor examined him. Poor kid. We were supposed to spend the day in Corfu so instead I washed my hair and half an hour of sun after. Robert is asleep and I am sorry for he was living every minute. Breakfast was good with berries and an omelette. Each meal ends with a fruit and cheese plate. The ship has a big library with most books in Russian but there are English books with writings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. The newspapers are all in Russian except the Moscow News is in English. Most of the staff speak decent English but the ship doctor speaks little. After dinner Fritz asked me to go into Corfu for a couple of hours. Robert was a bit queasy and shivery so he decided to stay in bed. He hasn’t eaten all day and how thoughtful a steward brought him some soup and mineral water saying it would be good for his stomach. All without being asked. We have been taught for so long communism is so bad but like us they can be just as caring. We took a carriage ride in Corfu as we had only two hours. We came home and danced until the band finished. Fritz is a good dancer. We had so much fun. I kept checking on Robert and he is burning at both ends. But his fever is lessening. I think he’s OK now.
I am not well today. I threw up in a bathroom deck all over my legs and it went into my shoes. I am burning up and shivering and thirsty. I try to get warm under the covers and that works then I start shivering. The doctor and Mom think it was sunstroke. Last time I was in Greece I was spending many hours outdoors but that was the ending of my trip. I started off this trip pasty white and ignored my Mom’s warning last year of being very cautious in the sun. You think we have learnt our sunburn lessons!