Out last port of the world cruise is behind us and we have now started our 7 sea days until we arrive in Fort Lauderdale. We will be continuing on to San Diego along with 33 other world cruisers.
So while others are getting their disembarkation questionnaires we have been spared that final form for a couple more weeks.
The ship continues to move constantly as we plough thru the Atlantic swell – fortunately neither Judy or I are prone toward seasickness so the deck motion isn’t impacting us very much.
The four members of Abba Fab were the guests at Good Morning Amsterdam this morning. They were the first guests of the cruise who actually plugged their own appearance during the final minutes of their show the night before. We have learned that all guest entertainers future bookings on HAL depends in a large part on passenger surveys so everything they can do to help create passenger goodwill only help people remember them fondly during survey time.
Abba Fab was formed in Phoenix to help two of the members drive more business into their struggling restaurant. Their act turned out to be so successful they have been able to form another Abba Fab which tours independently. They also developed a business as an agent for other guest entertainers to find them work in Branson, MO, and other land venues to help them stay busy during their time ashore.
The first art auction was this morning in the Explorers Lounge. They had about 20 people register and after a 30 minute introduction to art and the benefits of buying art on ships they started the auction. I didn’t register, but you could have as much champagne as you could stand if you were anywhere in the area. The Explorers Lounge was completely filled with art so the Crafters Group was moved to the Crow’s Nest.
They started the auction with art that had a starting price of over $5000. Each piece was briefly described and then the auctioneer announced the starting price. If there wasn’t any interest, he gaveled the piece off the stage on brought up the next piece. I watched for about 20 minutes and not a single person said a word the entire time, but the champagne continued to flow. I suspect that this was really a practice run to work out the kinks in moving the art on and off the stage before they hit the prime market starting April 30 with the Panama Canal Cruise.
As I left the area, I noticed the future cruise consultants staring at their computers trying to concentrate during the steady banter of auction chatter only 40 feet away.
The main event for today was the Indonesia Crew Show. Scheduled for 3pm and we arrived at 2pm to get a good seat. There were probably 20 people there already. While it may seem crazy to get to someplace so early it’s really not so bad because for the most part people will be either knitting or reading somewhere else so you can just as easily knit or read in the comfort of the Queens lounge as anywhere else. It’s not as if you have to take off work to get there early.
The show consisted of 8 separate acts that were all pretty good. No one will be mistaken for a guest entertainer, but we all enjoyed their energy and enthusiasm. Everyone on the stage and in the audience had a good time and many of the skits were humorous and performed slightly tongue in cheek.
Before dinner, at 7:15, there was a special Spotlight show by the two amazing artists who make up Adiago. They normally only play to small audiences in the Explorers Lounge. Due to popular demand, Gene gave them a slot on the main stage for a spotlight show. They played in front of the HAL band and put on an amazing show. For those who have ever travelled to Prague, you can’t walk 50 feet without having a chance to see a string quartet, trio or something. These guys were fantastic and were every bit as good as anything we saw during our visit to Prague a few years back.
After another wonderful meal, I had the Fresh Catch Hake Sautéed in Olive Oil and Judy enjoyed the Beer Braised Pork Shank, we all headed back to the Queens Lounge for a wonderful performance by Grammy Nominated Jazz Pianist Judy Carmichael.
Judy Carmichael was spectacular and if you like Jazz you will love Judy Carmichael – don’t miss her if you have a chance.
She has a great voice and plays a mean piano. A wonderful entertainer.
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