Settling into a routine
The eight days between Panama and Nuka Hiva will be the longest number of continuous sea days for the entire World Cruise. We enjoy sea days a lot and this long stretch coming early in the cruise gives us a chance to settle into our cabin and a daily routine. This is also a great time to meet new people and renew old acquaintances. Once we start hitting ports with more frequency, sea days can turn into a recovery day after a long day ashore.
The weather for our transit continues to be fantastic. The humidity and temperature are perfect with calm seas and light winds. We are hoping that the good weather will continue throughout our visits to the various Polynesian islands. Time will tell.
Judy is continuing with her Tai Chi class while I attend the “Coffee Talk with Hamish” when scheduled. I also have to be at the casino cage a few minutes before 9 o’clock to get spots in the daily Texas Hold ’em tournaments. The tournaments are proving to be quite popular, so they often fill up as soon as the casino starts taking names.
Read the daily program
I should learn to follow my own advice about reading the program carefully every evening. I did scan the daily “When and Where” yesterday but I missed the event to make a Polynesian fiber and seashell bracelet. We didn’t realize this was scheduled until we were at knitting and people arrived proudly displaying their new bracelets. We’ll scrutinize the daily When and Where more carefully going forward.
My knitting education continues at 10 AM daily in the Crow’s Nest. The knitting group ranges from between 6 and 10 people. I’ve learned to purl as well as knit but I’m taking it slow. Judy inspects my work after every row so if I do make a mistake I don’t get too far before I have a chance to correct any errors.
Texas Hold ’em
I lost the morning game as well as the afternoon game. During the afternoon game I suffered what’s called a “bad beat”. I had a pair of Kings with another King and two Fives appearing on the Flop and went All-In. My opponent had a Ten and a Five but another Ten appeared giving him a Full House and beating my Three of a Kind.
The weather has been so nice that Judy and I are taking lunch by the Lido pool under the umbrellas near the bar. Judy got another custom-made sandwich while I enjoyed a Dive-inn burger and fries.
During today’s drawing class Judy learned about spheres, ovals and volume.
Judy made the craft cut today. She arrived a few minutes before the scheduled starting time, which normally means you will miss out as they will have normally run out of kits by then. Attendance was down slightly today and she was able to get a kit. She ‘mod podged’ a section of map to the back of a small clear plastic Cabochon that was glued to a finding as a pendant to wear with ocean colored beads.
Black and Silver Gala Night
Tonight was the first Gala Ball of the world cruise. The theme was Black and Silver with masks that were provided. The ball took place in the Queens lounge from 9:30 PM till 10:15 PM. At 10:15 PM they advertised there’d be a chocolate surprise with the details being kept secret. Having a ball at 9:30 PM required some adjustments to the normal evening schedule. The evening’s entertainment usually takes place at 8:15 PM and 10 PM, but tonight the two shows are scheduled for 5 PM and 7:15 PM. With our fixed dining time at 8 PM we decided to go to the 7:15 PM show and arrive a little bit late for dinner. We weren’t sure how the crowds would play out for these new times, so we arrived a half hour early to ensure that we get a seat close to the front row.
Sarah Chandler, the saxophonist, and our dinner guest from a few days ago was the entertainer. Whenever we host one of the performers at dinner, our group will sit in the front row of the lower section as opposed to the front row of the upper section. We always like to support the entertainers particularly during the late show when the crowds can be a little lighter.
Sarah Chandler put on outstanding show, opening with an incredible rendition of Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty. She continued playing tunes from a variety of genres and demonstrating her talent on the soprano saxophone, the alto saxophone as well as a flute. Her final song was a powerful performance of the theme song from Riverdance. Sarah started out playing the flute and then finished on the Soprano Saxophone. The crowd erupted with applause at the conclusion and gave her a well-deserved standing ovation.
Tonight’s dinner featured Alaskan King crab legs, Filet Mignon with Lobster Ravioli and a Roasted Rack of Lamb. As expected the food and service continue to be fabulous. The dining room was decorated with a black and silver theme and each place setting was adorned with a mask. As always, the menus for all the dinners are posted on my blog.
The Masked Ball
We finished dinner about 9:45 PM and headed down to the Queens lounge for the Black and Silver Ball. Hamish, the cruise director, greeted us by the door and posed for a few pictures. The party was in full swing by the time we arrived. The orchestra sounded great and the dance floor on the lower level as well as on the stage were full of enthusiastic revelers. We caught a glimpse of Henk, the hotel director, cutting the rug with one of the guests. The Queens Lounge was almost full but there were still seats available around the edges and we found seats together for the people from our table. A few of us took to the stage to dance a few tunes but for the most part we sat and chatted and soaked in the ambiance.
Promptly at 10:15 PM, waiters streamed into the Queen’s Room with the Chocolate Surprise. They were carrying trays full of an incredible variety of chocolate delights. We sampled a few but there were so many different kinds we didn’t get a chance to taste them all.
The party continued well past the scheduled ending time of 10:15 PM and was in full swing at 11 PM when we decided to head back towards our cabin. Our first Grand Ball fabulous success.
Pillow Gift GrandVenture
Back in our cabin we discovered that we had another pillow gift. This time we received two boxed board games called “GrandVenture”, a “Fast Dealing Property Trading Game” which is a Monopoly type game tailored for the 2018 World Cruise. All the properties on the board were the various ports that we will visit with Baltic and Mediterranean replaced by the Cayman Islands and Costa Rica, Boardwalk and Park Place replaced by San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Dakar, Senegal. I’ve always enjoyed playing Monopoly, and I’d like to give this game a whirl, but it will take some convincing to get Judy to go along, as she is not a big fan of Monopoly.
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