Monday, January 15, 2018

Report # 15 Day at Sea January 14, 2018 Sunday Partly cloudy & 77 degrees

Well, if it is Sunday, and we are “at sea”, then it is Sunday Brunch Sampler from 11am to 1pm.  Although we did not go, our buddy, Barb, seems to enjoy it.  There is a 3 course menu beginning with seven small starters, followed by six little mains, and three desserts.  You get it all.  Her favorite was the deviled egg with the good caviar.  She likes it so much, that she convinced her tablemates to donate this item to her.  She traded perhaps the sushi for the caviar. A winner for everyone, we heard.  And to keep with the elegance, gala seat covers had been added for the brunch.


Today we crossed the Equator, but did not mark the occasion with the King Neptune Ceremony.  However, we did hear something happening in kiddie land on deck nine aft.  We do have a small population of kids on this trip.  Two of them belong to the head chef, Petr, so they will probably be on a segment.  The HAL club leader conducted a mini-Neptune Ceremony for them, which must have been fun, because we could hear them cheering and clapping.


We noticed that the TV reception has become more spotty as we travel the vast Pacific Ocean.  There was an explanation in the newsletter stating that satellite outages could occur all the way to the Marquesas.  The only channels that come and go are the news and network stations, as well as the sports channels.  For sure, the sports-loving fans are not happy that they might miss the football playoffs.  But this is life at sea, and has been this way for as long as we can remember.


It was another good day for lectures.  Barbara H educated the folks on Avatoru, Cook Islands.  Michael Chriss continued his series on the watch that mapped the world.  Tim Calvert spoke about the voyages of Columbus.  We have not checked to see if these talks are repeated on our room TV.  Barbara’s lectures are, since they are linked to the exc program (Explorations Central). 


As far as the weather is concerned, it has been surprisingly mild for this part of the world.  Usually hot and humid, it has been comfortable and less sticky.  In fact, while at the pool today, a breeze popped up and it almost got cool.  Still, the sun can burn you quickly, even more so, because you don’t feel it.  The pool is fully functional after the fix.  We heard through the grapevine, that it had been leaky, flooding some cabins on deck seven below the pool.  That was the “emergency”.


The aft pool was a good place to be, because ever since early this morning, we passed by several schools of dolphins feeding in the distance.  Not the type that jump high, they were hard to see as they skimmed the surface.  It did keep many guests on their toes as they searched with binoculars and cameras the rest of the day. 


We’ve been going to the Lido for a sandwich around 3pm.  The pizza/sandwich station is opened until 4:30pm, but when we go there, it seems that they have been running out of the makings.  The ciabatta rolls we like were gone, and the roast beef was depleted.  Any other cruise, the waiter would go get more.  But not this server, who does not appear to enjoy her job.  Perhaps we will have to start coming a little earlier, or see what we can do to keep the bar fully stocked and presentable.


Later in the afternoon, we made a stop at the future cruise desk.  Now we see their sign says Make an Appointment with a message underneath that saying Not Mandatory.  Hmmm, some people have been complaining we assume.  And today, they used both desks, since Barbara H was not there.  That way the passengers who are looking to put cruises together can go to the lady, while people like us, who know what they want, can go to the man.  They seemed nicer today, but did say they were swamped with invoices.  Good for them, but we don’t think they should advertise that they were having trouble processing it all.  But that’s just our opinion. 


All of us showed up for dinner tonight.  Martha attended the first of the sommelier dinners in the Pinnacle Grill  last night.  This several course meal begins at 6:30pm, and is accompanied by different wines with each course.  The price is $79 and the evening is by reservation for a small number of guests.  On this and every other grand voyage, these specialty dinners are usually fully booked well before the trip begins. 


Anyway, we ordered the carne asada entrée, and it was quite good.  Seems that there are new items popping up on the menu lately.  Usually we stick to what we know we like, but one of our tablemates likes to experiment.  Sometimes she will order a new item, then have Slam bring one for the table.  A chicken tikka plate was passed around for all of us to taste.  Good idea.


A night of classic Las Vegas featured a fellow named Robbie Howard.  Not exactly sure what he does, but we did not go.  So far the best comments have gone to the singers and dancers.


Wonder if the weather will change tomorrow as we head closer to French Polynesia?  It’s inevitable.


Bill & Mary Ann