Saturday, April 19, 2014

Report # 111 Sailing Towards Bridgetown, Barbados April 19, 2014 Saturday Partly cloudy, 77 degrees, muggy, but no rain

First things first: Happy 46th Birthday to our eldest son, Bill ! Wish you many, many more........

Another day at sea, finds us more than halfway across the mighty Atlantic Ocean after noontime today. Things have been pretty quiet on the promenade deck as we took our normal walk. Bet many folks are packing by now, instead of reading or relaxing on the teak lounges. With one final formal night, certainly all of the fancy threads can be stashed away until the next cruise. Not for us, though, since the next cruise begins April 28th, and we still have five formal evenings left until May 13th.

The new speakers took turns in the Queens Lounge this morning. The first one, Jill Eyers spoke about volcanoes in the Caribbean. With images up on the big screen, she was able to show real volcanic activity footage of St. Vincent, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and Monserrat. We have sailed around the island of Monserrat and saw the damage up close and personal. While on another smaller luxury cruise vessel, the cruise director gave a commentary as we circled the island, while he pointed out his home, or what was left of his home after the lava of the volcano had destroyed it and everything in its path. Very sobering and memorable as we will never forget what we saw that day.

Tom Goltz spoke about Bartolome de las Casas, an early reformer, humanist, and defender of the natives he protecteded against the excesses of Columbus and the Spanish colonizers. Now that is a different approach to the man we know as the famous discoverer of the New World.

Paulette M. gave a demo on scallops, salsa, curried shrimp, and tropical fruits incorporating spices and herbs from the tropical islands. Did we mention she was the author of 13 cookbooks? She does work that fact into her many talks and lets us all know where to find them on the website of course.

The Filipino crew show was held at 3pm in the Queens Lounge. Even though their numbers are far less than their fellow Indonesians, they were not to be outdone by their rival's earlier show. As well as the usual acts, Nestor, our favorite wine steward gave a performance of the man/woman act, where his costume is split in half, and so is his face. That is one side is typical Nestor, a man, but the other half is made up like a woman. He does it well, and always get a big applause for his efforts.

The weather was slightly warmer today than yesterday. Sitting at the aft pool was almost hot at times, despite the overcast. Captain Jonathon mentioned in his talk that this system will stay with us until we reach the Caribbean. At least it is not raining during the daytime. We would welcome rain at night, since it would cool things down. It has remained quite muggy with little or following winds.

We watched an afternoon movie, Turning Forty, a comedy about duh....turning forty. Not that 40 is old. Far from it, many folks on this trip are double that with as much energy as a forty year old. Anyway, the movie was funny, even though they all had potty mouths. Seems to be the norm for today's flicks.

Sunsets are getting later everyday, so we missed it this evening. Maybe tomorrow we will watch it, since the clocks go back another hour tonight. That will put it at 6:30pm. There is a small group of us regulars that make it a point to see it from deck nine.

There were only six of us this evening at dinner. Thinking we had escaped the birthday bash, our waiters surprised us with a cake and the special song. Even though it was a day late, we were happy to take the cake to our room, since all of us had already eaten dessert.

The Amsterdam singers and dancers will give their final performance of the cruise tonight. They featured Irish music, but not the music of the old days. No, they will mix some old tunes with modern Irish with songs by U2, Van Morrison, and the Corrs. The promise is they will keep your toes tapping.

In answer to a question regarding the new cruise director, we can say that Gene has grown on most everyone over the last four months. Comparing him to Bruce would be difficult, because they are horses of a different breed. In our humble opinion, we find Gene much more visible, and by far, easier to talk to. He goes out of his way to chat with everyone, and actually listens when you have something important to ask or suggest. We understand that he will be returning on next year's world cruise, and we are pleased with the decision.

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