The IGEL-Team wins a cruise. The four children look forward to spending the holidays on the ship and sailing across the Mediterranean Sea. However, the relaxation will be disturbed because a theft is on the ship. That forces the children detectives to action. They investigate this case and follow the thief. At this moment, they still have no idea, which adventure will come their way.
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1. The departure
“Come on else we go without you, Lisa!” exclaimed George out of the car.
Lisa brought her bag into the trunk of the car. “I'm already there!”
Father, Mother, George, Ingo, and Enzo already sat in the car. Mister Seifert sat behind the steering wheel. He turned around and glanced back. “Are everybody there now? Let's go!” he shouted happily and drove off.
Lisa leaned forward and said, “Thank you for this trip in the Easter holidays, Ingo.”
Ingo waved off modestly. “We have to thank you, Lisa. If you wouldn’t have sent the solutions, then we had not won this cruise!” he said.
George turned to Lisa. “Yes, he's right. Enzo and I thank you both!”
“I thank all of you that you take me along!” said Enzo happily.
“That's all right, Enzo!” replied Ingo, “You are like a member of the family.”
“Yeah, you are like we. The one difference is your food cravings,” Lisa teased.
Enzo licked his lips unconsciously and asked, “When we’ll have our first break?”
Ingo laughed and said, “It's about 700 kilometers to Genoa. We'll drive about 8 hours and it's still a long time until a break.”
Ms. Seifert turned around. “We take a break every two hours, children. I’ve planned two short breaks and one long break,” she said.
Enzo blew his cheeks out. "We’ve still to wait two hours?" he asked.
“I've enough muesli bars for you, so you'll not starve,” said Ingo.
Enzo breathed in relief. “Thanks, you are fine, Ingo.”
Ingo always took along muesli bars for Enzo because he knew his hunger attacks too well. Enzo was not able to take along bars for himself else he would have all eaten at once. One could say, Ingo was Enzo’s cereal manager.
The green flowering landscape passed by to them. It was a nice sunny and warm day. The air smelled of a spring-fresh scent of blossoms that flew through the open car window. The children were reading in their books. Lisa had a horse magazine, George a detective novel, and Ingo was reading an eBook on his laptop. He had loaded eBooks enough before the departure.
Enzo closed his eyes and dreamed from the cruise. He thought about the taste of the food, hoped for good weather there, and imagined how he would devour chickens with fries and spooning out a huge bowl of chocolate pudding. Enzo felt tired of the comforting warmth and the monotonous driving sound of the car and fell asleep. He awoke as he felt something cool and smooth on his hand. As he opened his eyes, he saw Lisa who smiled at him. “Take your fruit juice,” she said and put the juice bag into his hand. “Let’s go outside and stretch our legs!”
Enzo looked around and noticed that the car was standing in a picnic area. Ingo, George, and his parents had already got out and walked to a meadow.
“Year, we have finally a break!” cheered Enzo. He got out the car and marched with Lisa through the meadow.
George pulled a ball out of the trunk of the car, and then the children played football, while their parents performed stretching exercises. Ten minutes later, the children had romped enough and sat down in the meadow. Mother took a large bowl of apples, pears, and bananas out of the car.
“Let's have a picnic now,” she offered and bit in an apple.
Father and George also ate apples. Ingo and Lisa ate pears and Enzo a banana.
Ingo adjusted his glasses and cleared his throat. “Did you know that a pear has as many healthy ingredients as an apple?” he asked.
George frowned. “Doesn't apples are more popular than pears?”
Ingo nodded. “Yes, because apples contain more fruit acid, they taste more interesting as pears and that’s why apples are more popular than pears.”
After they ate their fruit and finished their fruit juices, the journey continued.
Lisa took the travel brochure from the compartment of the front seat. "Day one: Genoa, day two: Marseille in France, we're only at sea on day three. On the fourth day, we come to Tangier in Morocco and on the fifth day to Casablanca in Morocco. On the sixth day, we come to Cadiz in Spain, on the seventh day at Cartagena in Spain. On the eighth day, we come to Barcelona in Spain and on the day nine, we come back to Genoa."
George leaned back relaxed. “That sounds exciting,” he said.
“It's getting exciting,” insisted Ingo, “Casablanca is Spanish by the way, meaning white house.”
Enzo declared as a proud Italian, “Casa means house and Blanca means white!” Involuntarily, he thought back to the meal, “I hope they've food enough on the ship so that we can survive nine days at sea.”
Ingo laughed. “No worries, there will be replenishment on each landing! There are about 2300 hungry mouths to stuff.”
Lisa was astonished. “2300 passengers, how many rooms are on the ship?”
Ingo said, “There are 1050 cabins on an area of 2400 square meters.”
George wanted to know, “How strongly is an engine that can carry such a load?”
Ingo also informed here. “The engine has a capacity of 25,000 kilowatts, which equates to 34,000 horsepower,” he said.
“Did you build this ship because you know all about it?” asked Enzo funny.
“No,” laughed Ingo, “Wikipedia makes it possible!”
“How fast is a ship with this power?” interested George.
“21 knots mean 21 nautical miles per hour, one nautical mile is 1.852 kilometers, which means a speed of 39 kilometers per hour," explained Ingo.
“I can't wait until we'll be there,” became Lisa impatient.
Two more hours went by quickly, even Enzo's hunger had not reported at this time. Mister Seifert drove to a rest area, where everyone went straight to the small lawn and spread the picnic blanket.
Ms. Seifert looked into the deep blue, cloudless sky. “What a nice weather today,” she said.
“Yes, we really have a lucky day, even the motorways are pretty low traffic today,” said Father.
Mother handed out paper plates with a hefty portion of pasta salad. The pasta dish looked delicious. The noodles, peas, carrots, mushrooms, pieces of paprika and hard-boiled eggs together gave a nice color contrast and a wonderful scent, which made the mouth water.
After eaten, Mother handed out the dessert. Everyone got a cup of homemade, deliciously fragrant vanilla pudding garnished with juicy tangerine pieces.
After the picnic, George pulled the ball out of the trunk from the car. The children then played football and romped out. Only when they settled exhausted in the meadow, their parents called to continue driving. Lisa, Ingo, George, and Enzo could barely wait for the arrival of the ship and got in the car quickly. Meanwhile, they had passed the half the distance.
Lisa was reading in her horse magazine again, George in his detective novel, and Ingo in his eBook reader. Enzo closed the eyes and followed his thoughts. Two hours later, they rested for a while, ate some more fruits, and played football before continued the journey.
George was very excited, and said, “That was the last break before we arrive at the ship!”
Enzo, Ingo, and Lisa could not think of anything else and looked through the window expectantly for don’t miss the moment of arrival at the port.
2. The harbor
Another two hours later, finally was time. They drove to the harbor and saw the huge cruise ship.
Lisa was astonished. “That's very high!” she said.
“It has ten floors, decks, so to speak!” informed Ingo.
Enzo asked, “What could cost this giant ship?”
Ingo said, “It costs about 330 million Euros!”
A parking attendant instructed the Seifert’s on a parking lot.
George wanted to know, “What does this cruise cost normally if one not won it?”
Ingo answered, “It costs about 700 Euros.”
Mister Seifert parked the car. They got out, went to the trunk, unloaded the luggage, and dragged it over the small staircase to the ship's entrance, where they greeted politely by uniformed crewmembers.
After a quick glance at the tickets, the female crewmember handed the Seifert's a note with the room codes. “Your cabins are on deck five,” she pointed down the hall, “There's the elevator.”
They had the elevator found quickly and took it to the fifth deck. They followed the narrow hallway full of anticipation and searched their cabin numbers. Enzo, George, and Ingo had a large room. Lisa had a single cabin and her parents had a double suite. All three rooms were equipped with a balcony and a bathroom. They could open the door with the numeric code, which they entered in the keyboard aside from the door. Lisa entered her cabin and was pleasantly surprised. In the room were a bed, a closet, and a dresser. In front, one looked through the large balcony door on the deep blue water. It glittered beautifully and looked like little lights dancing on the waves. The curtains, the bedspread, even the doilies, lampshades, the carpet, and the telephone were yellow. The boy's room was blue and the interior was the same as in Lisa's room. Added there were a matching blue velvet sofa and a living room table.
After inspecting the green bedroom of their parents, everyone retreated to their cabins and unpacked their suitcases. While the ship chugged out of the harbor, they took a shower. Afterward, Lisa visited the boys in the room next door. She sat down on the sofa with them, and they watched through the balcony door as Genoa moved away slowly.
George meant, “What do you think? Should we take a little look around the ship until dinner?”
All agreed with him with a nod. “What a great idea. Let's go to exploring,” said Enzo cheerfully.
Lisa said, “I go next door quickly and tell mom and dad, that we'll meet them for dinner!”
Lisa went to her parents' cabin and told them about the planned tour.
Mother looked at her watch. “We'll meet at 6:00 pm in the dining room.”
“Okay Mom,” Lisa answered and the four children went off the way through the ship.
3. The gold chain
The children detectives walked through the narrow corridors, which walls were made of bright wood. They passed by at dozens of doors and entered a side corridor. After that, they came out onto the deck. There was a pleasant warm wind and the air tasted salty.
George pointed to the silvery railing, which surrounded the deck. “Let’s go to the railing there.”
They stood at the rail, and enjoyed the view over the lower floors of the wide, light blue sea and listened to the gentle sound of the waves.
Lisa leaned over the cool, silvery railing pole. “Wow, that's just fantastic.”
“Yes. It's heavenly here,” George agreed.
“What a beautiful view. It’s unbelievable“, was Ingo also enthusiastic.
Enzo liked the view as well, but his thoughts wandered off. “It's nice here, but the good air make really hungry! Let's search the dining room.”
“You may not eat so much, else the ship sinks in the deep,” joked Lisa, whereby the others laughed.
“The dining room is on deck two. I was reading a sign as we did come in,” George recalled.
Shortly thereafter, Lisa, George, Enzo, and Ingo entered the dining room.
Lisa got goosebumps and said. “That somehow reminds me of the Titanic.”
“Just that this ship isn't unsinkable,” pointed Enzo out, whereby Lisa to shudder.
Everywhere in the room were tables with white tablecloths. Above, a wooden balustrade with more tables surrounded the room. Well-dressed cruise guests staffed almost all tables. The men wore suits and the women wore elegant dresses and expensive-looking jewelry. The conversations of the guests formed a fabulous soundscape of voices, which accompanied by the violin music in the background. Between the tables whirled around black and white dressed men and women. These servants were responsible for the well-being of the guests.
“Should we going up or staying down here?” wanted Lisa to know.
Ingo pointed down one of the tables. “Looks, Mom, and Dad are sitting here,” he said.
Mother had already discovered the children and waved to them. Immediately, the kids followed the request and went to the table.
Mother leafed through the menu. “Hello. Did you look around the ship?”
“Yes, we saw the swimming pool, its one floor below our cabin,” reported George.
The children sat down at the table, took the menus, and examined the offers.
Father put down his menu. “I eat the fish dish,” he casually mentioned.
“Fish is well, but I'll take the potato casserole,” Mother decided.
Enzo, Ingo, and George opted for fries, chicken, and a big salad. Lisa took croquettes with chicken and a big mixed salad. After ordering, the food was soon on the table.
While eating, Mother asked, “What are you doing this evening?”
“We could go swim and take a closer look at the other decks,” announced Lisa.
Enzo, George, and Ingo nodded in agreement with her.
Mother smiled and turned her head to Mister Seifert. "We go dancing tonight. If you should look for us, we will be in the ballroom on the lower deck.”
“Wow, great,” said Lisa and was happy for her parents.
For dessert, everyone ate a sundae. Only Enzo took a good portion of whipped cream over the sundae. After dinner, their parents drank red wine, from which they had ordered a glass carafe. The children watched the carafe nervously and hoped it would be soon empty.
“Keep calm. You don't have to wait for us. You can go,” Mother said grinned the saving words.
A smile scurried through the happy children's faces. “Thank you, Mrs. Seifert,” rejoiced Enzo happily.
“Thank you, Mom,” said Lisa, George, and Ingo in unison.
The kids left the dining room hurriedly. Outside was already dark. They heard the waves crashing on the side of the ship and peered over the railing. The waves thundered and fountain of water splashed almost on the bottom deck. Lisa turned and looked through the window into the dining room.
“Hey, look to inside! What's going on there?” she said to the boys.
Three men in a blue uniform stood at the table with a pair and talked to the woman. The couple got up and escorted the police officers to outside.
“As I did come to the dining room, I still had the necklace on the neck,” the woman reported excitedly and her male companion nodded in agreement.
The police officer recorded the statement on his block. “When did you miss the necklace for the first time, Mrs. Hoffmann?”
Mr. Hoffmann hugged his wife consoling. “As we had waited of the food, my wife toyed with the chain unconsciously. While eating, she had noticed that was disappeared.”
“Who did come to you, while eating?” the police officer asked.
Mrs. Hoffmann shrugged. “I believe, only the waitress was here!”
The officer narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. “You think …?”
“Yes, otherwise, I didn’t notice anyone,” interrupted the woman.
“We'll take care of it,” the police officer promised, “Please follow us to the office, so we can record your data.”
The police officers crossed the deck with the Hoffmann's and disappeared down the stairs. The children had watched the event thoughtfully.
“What do you think about it, friends?” asked Enzo. “Did Mrs. Hoffmann lose her necklace or was it stolen?”
“I’m sure, this was a theft,” was George sure.
“Yes, it was stolen. Maybe could be a waiter,” voiced Lisa her suspicions.
“I think so too,” joined Ingo.
George stretched, started to smile, and turned to Ingo. “What is our mission, chief?”
Enzo and Lisa looked in hope of an adventure expectantly to Ingo.
“Hurray, a new case for the IGEL-Team detectives,” cheered Lisa.
“No way,” said Ingo, “The police are taking care of this case.”
“But we've to do something, we're the IGEL-Team,” said George a little disappointed.
“Yes,” agreed Ingo with him, “We've better options to tail the suspects because a uniformed police officer stands out more than we do it.”
George rubbed his hands. “It's very brilliant. What will we do now?”
“First, we go swimming. Tomorrow while eating, we observe the guests and their staff,” suggested Ingo.