“Every day’s a holiday and every meal’s a feast.” That’s what life is like on a World Cruise on the Amsterdam. Long cruises like these remind me of the movie Endless Summer.
Today is Sunday which means no Tai Chi in the Queens Lounge, but there will be the special Sunday Brunch in the main dining room. We have to make a point to go to a Sunday Buffet sooner than later because the days on a world cruise have a way of slipping by and activities you plan to do later (because it’s such a long cruise) may be put off forever. We don’t want to be three days from Fort Lauderdale and realize that we never went to the Sunday buffet or we never did this or never did that. My advice to all is to sample everything early in the cruise so you can find out what you like or don’t like while you still have time to adjust your routine.
I stopped by the Explorer’s Lounge to catch the Coffee Chat with Cruise Director Hamish. The guest today was Abby from America’s Test Kitchen. She gave a wonderful interview and it was great to learn more about her background and what activities she was planning for this cruise.
If it’s 10 AM it must be knitting in the Crow’s Nest. I am continuing to go every day and I am making slow but steady progress. I emphasize the word slow but I am making progress. My knitting instructor, Judy, is encouraging me to start purling but I don’t feel I’m ready for that yet, maybe tomorrow. I did learn how to cast on some extra stitches today so now my project is a little bit wider. Meanwhile the other two new knitters, Dawn and Margaret, are racing ahead with their projects and they are already purling. I am, however, far ahead in the men’s knitting division.
Judy gave a brief demonstration of weaving in ends. She will give a more in-depth lesson tomorrow.
After knitting I headed down to the casino for the first of the day’s two games of Texas Hold ’em. I lost the first game, but won the second game with amazing hand where I caught a third king on the river. I probably should have folded earlier when my opponent raised after the flop when a pair of eights appeared. I felt lucky because I continued to bet my pocket pair of Kings and was rewarded on the river. It’s always risky to bet feelings rather that facts, but today it worked out.
One of the nice benefits of playing Texas Hold ’em on a world cruise is that the stakes are low enough and the games frequent enough that you can afford to experiment with certain plays you may not make otherwise. It’s all in good fun, and the regular players are coming together in a nice social atmosphere and we are all having a great time.
Crossing the Equator
At 10:21 AM we crossed the equator. Captain Mercer mentioned that we will cross the equator a total of four times this cruise with traditional ceremony delayed until the last crossing off the coast of Africa.
Pod of Dolphins
We are in our cabin this morning when the bridge announced that there was a pod of dolphins off the starboard side. When we went to look we couldn’t see any and we later heard from other passengers that by the time they made the announcement the dolphins were already behind the ship and not visible to people looking immediately off to the side.
For lunch we sat by the Lido pool. I enjoyed a grilled tuna steak while Judy had another Turkey & Swiss Cheese Panini. All our food continues to be exceptional and the sandwich maker is a nice touch because Judy can get her sandwiches exactly the way she prefers them.
While I was playing cards in the afternoon, Judy was at the drawing class in the Wajang theater. Today they had a live model: Connor – who plays keyboards with the Amsterdam orchestra. Although he was fully clothed, several of the ladies were offering tips consisting of Grand Activity Vouchers (worth 10 cents) if he would remove his shirt. His shirt remained on.
Judy is enjoying the drawing class and while the room is mostly full, it is one of the activities that doesn’t require you to get there early to get a seat.
Crafts Continues to Sell Out
The drawing class goes from 1:30 PM until about 2:15 PM, but by the time Judy gets to the Lido Market (where crafts starts at 2:30 PM) she is often too late to get one of the 100 craft kits allocated per day.
Most of our tablemates assembled this afternoon for the 5 o’clock pub trivia held at the piano bar. We had a great time but probably finished in the bottom half of the groups. No one was able to correctly identify the name of Capt. Hook’s ship of Peter Pan fame. The correct answer is the Jolly Roger.
Dinner continues to be one of the highlights of the day. Our waiters, Deden and Billy, continue to exceed all expectations. A few days ago I received a comment on my blog from the previous occupants of table 303. I passed on their best wishes to Billy and Deden who were pleased to that their previous guests had such fond memories of their wonderful experience.
We always say that you must be careful what you ask for on a cruise ship, especially on the Amsterdam, and especially in the dining room. If you have any special requests, or if something is not quite right, all you need to do is let someone know and 99% of the time the crew will do whatever it takes to exceed your expectations. On our previous World Cruise in 2016 we enjoyed a dessert called the Cappuccino Bomb. While we are sure that it will appear on the dessert rotation eventually, yesterday we asked if we could get the Cappuccino Bomb this evening as the dessert does take a little lead time. As soon as we started to ponder our desert menus, we were pleasantly surprised as Deden and Billy appeared with Cappuccino Bombs for everyone at the table. It was as delicious as we remember and I’m sure the rest of the dining room will enjoy it when it appears as an option during the regular rotation. A special shout out to our good friend Linda for introducing us to this special treat in 2016.
Robbie Howard was the headliner in the Queens lounge this evening. He is a veteran of Las Vegas who had a show there for 11 years. He’s a wonderful singer who puts on a one-man rat pack show where he sings hits imitating Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jim Morrison, Wayne Newton, Johnny Carson, Joe Cocker, Andy Williams, Elvis and more. The late show crowd always makes up with enthusiasm what it may lack in numbers. Everyone loved Robbie’s show and we hope we will have a chance to see him again before he leaves the ship.
Tomorrow will be another great day at sea and will be our first Gala Ball with a black and silver theme and masks. Masks will be provided if you don’t have one.
Community Bulletin Board
There is a community bulletin board maintained behind the librarians desk in the library. Here is a picture showing the location along with another that zooms in on the current bulletin board.
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