Friday, March 7, 2014

Report # 68 Sailing Towards Singapore March 7, 2014 Friday Partly cloudy, mostly sunny, 80 degrees

Not a surprise, it was hot and sticky today as we headed directly south and closer to that Equator line. What we have found surprising is the constant little bits of garbage we have been seeing floating by the ship day and night. We are miles away from the coastline of Vietnam, but this trash must be coming from rivers that dump into the ocean. And here on the ship, we are horrified when a cocktail napkin or daily newpaper flies overboard. The "green police" of the world should be here to see this trash. On one trip, we remember rafts of paper and plastic garbage floating by the ship. Totally unbelieveable. At that time, we may have been sailing in between islands of Indonesia, and the garbage rafts must have washed downstream from powerful rain storms that hit there. We wonder if this affects the abundance of fish we have been hoping to see? Small or large, we have seen little these days at sea.

We had to turn in the arrival and departure cards for Thailand this morning. While there, it was a good time to pick up our passports, which we will need to take with us when we leave the ship tomorrow in Singapore. It is one of the few cities in the world where you need to have proper ID with you at all times. A drivers license or a copy of your passport will not do. Even the newer passport cards will not be accepted, as some folks found out a few years ago. As long as one of us had to stand in a long line to do these things, it was a good time to buy some Singapore dollars as well. We could do this on shore, but why waste one minute of our time doing that?

After getting in some tanning time, actually going in the pool today, we went back to the room to watch a movie and have room service lunch for a change. Cool salads and club sandwiches hit the spot. The room service waiter called and said they had no potato chips and would have to substitute potato salad. Cannot believe there are no chips on the entire ship, since they restocked their stores while in Hong Kong. We hate to complain, but the room service is spotty. Remember the good old days when your tray came with a small vase of flowers? Well that only happened once. Good thing we saved the small salt and pepper shakers from our last room service, because those are seldom included either. Asking specifically for regular thousand island dressing, we ended up getting the diet stuff.....yuck. We will survive, and hope that sometime, they will get everything correct. Perhaps it is a problem with the language when ordering, who knows?

While eating, we watched a movie called Philomena with Judi Dench. It was excellent, and made up for the shortcomings of the lunch. Finally a movie that was not bloody violent or R-rated due to spicy potty language or nudity. It was based on a true story of a young single mother searching for her now adult son who had been sold as a child from an orphange in a convent. Sad story, but true.

We learned today that one of our room stewards is leaving tomorrow in Singapore. It will be the end of his 10 month contract. The team we have now has been so speedy cleaning our room daily, we surely will miss one of them. Hope the new guy is just as efficient and friendly. We are happy for him, since he is so excited about seeing his kids and wife very soon.

Guest speakers continued their series of talks today. Mr.Stoddart addressed the great city of Singapore's past and present. Melvin Foster spoke about legends and lore of seafaring sailors and the Seven Seas that they roamed. Celebrity chef Pranee whipped up an array of Thai dishes for the folks in the Culinary Arts Center. And Barbara H had a talk about things to do and see in Patong Bay in Phuket.

If we have not mentioned it yet, the bridge teachers, Karen and David, have given beginners and intermediate classes every sea day. And the Casino has had numerous activities daily such as Texas hold'em and slot tournaments. And of course, who could forget BINGO, which happens every sea day as well. Three cards are $15 and six cards are $25. Sometimes the drinks are buy one get one for $1 during the bingo game (select beverages only).

As far as the entertainment went last night in the showlounge, the four guy group Metro was rated as OK, but not exactly the type of singing group we usually expect on a world cruise. Perhaps they may have been more suitable for a Carnival cruise instead, according to our tablemates, since they would appeal to a much younger crowd. This was funny at the aft pool today. Three of the Metro fellows arrived to the aft pool for sunning and swimming. However, they made a huge mistake.....they came without footwear. Everyone knows that the teak decking has been replaced with the hottest plastic-type surface known to mankind. When the kids hit that floor, they ran like crazy to get to a chaise lounge. Bet they do not do that again. One day we are going to find a raw egg, and see if we can fry it on that decking.

This evening a musician by the name of Rustem Hayroudinoff should wow the crowd of guests. According to Maureen, the craft teacher who dined with us last night, said his show was one not to be missed. Again, we will let you all know tomorrow.

Looking forward to two marathon days in Singapore, or Singha Pura, the Lion City as it was once known.

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