Saturday, April 26, 2014

Report # 118 Sailing Towards Ft. Lauderdale, Florida April 26, 2014 Saturday Partly cloudy, 79 degrees, rain

It was a fairly quiet day for us as the Amsterdam headed northwest towards Florida. Breakfast as usual, followed by a morning stroll on the promenade deck. After four days in port, it felt good to be out at sea once again. The weather has remained warm and slightly humid, although we would not be surprised to see some rain later in the day.

There were some activities going on onboard today, but we suspect most of the passengers were packing for most of it. Many sales were taking place in the photo gallery, the Park West Gallery, and Signature Shops. We even had a private invite to an exclusive jewelry unveiling in one of the owner's suites on deck seven this afternoon. We are sure it is tied to the Merabella collection, since all they sell is highend. The spa was pushing salon packages for massages, facials, body scrubs, and reflexology. A hot stone treatment, combined with any of the previously mentioned treatments would cost $109. Guaranteed to take the stress out of the chore of packing.

We caught up on emailing this morning, since we had been shut out yesterday. Guessing that the internet was turned off for the ship's team to work on it, we found out later on that it was deliberately shut down by order of the local military in St. Maarten. They had blocked it. We only have a couple of days now to recoup minutes lost for the system's shutdowns and cutoffs. Every time we have had problems logging off, or sending and receiving emails, we have applied for lost minutes. As long as their records show that during the times we have had these problems, they also did, we have had no trouble getting them re-instated. This will end with the world cruise on April 28th when most everyone leaves. We will try our best to keep the blog going, as long as the usage onboard is low with the newly-embarked guests.

We spent the afternoon at the aft pool, chatting with friends, and catching up on reading. The sun had been out most of the morning, but eventually clouds took over. By 3pm, we started to feel light rain starting, so we left. Since everyone else was packing, we decided to get a headstart on some of it ourselves. Gathering up all the breakables, we were able to fill two duffels. Most of the delicate things were the gifts given to us by the staff. On this trip, most of the souveniers we purchased were made of wood, like masks, bowls, and a small elephant. They are not necessarily breakable, but bulky. They usually travel well, packed in between lots of clothing.

Tonight was the Captain's Farewell Champagne Reception and Presentation in the Queens Lounge at 4:30pm and 7pm. Complimentary champagne, wine, and soft drinks were served followed by a recap of the ports of this 2014 world cruise. Although we did not attend, we heard Gene sang during his part of the celebration. We are not going home yet, so we will go to another one of these in 16 days from now. And besides, it should be on TV tomorrow, all day long.

Dinner tonight was supposed to be formal, but was voted down during the Stein Kruse visit. It should have also been the Baked Alaska Parade for dessert. But, even though Baked Alaska was on the menu, there was no parade with the waiters and kitchen staff after dinner. Years ago, the candles were banished, then the sparklers, and now, the whole thing. Guess that is another tradition to bite the dust. It seems that nothing stays the same forever in this business.

The entertainer this evening was Rita Rudner, a comedian and a television personality. She has been a headliner in Las Vegas since 2000, and is currently performing at The Venetian. We don't know why, but some of us have never heard of her. Half of us at our dinner table do not know who she is, because we do not all have cable TV, or access to satellite TV. For several years now, we have been limited to one network station and several PBS stations. Truthfully, there was a better movie on our room TV, so we skipped the 10pm Queens Lounge show to watch "Erased", a cliffhanger about a CIA thriller. Will report on the comedian show tomorrow.

We also had the surprise of two magnet Delft tile refrigerator tiles waiting for us after dinner. Good thing they are small and easy to pack, or else the folks will be complaining.

One more lovely day at sea, and we will be back in the good old USA. At least we hope the weather will be nice, because it was raining pretty hard around 9pm tonight.

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