Only one more day at sea before we start a string of port visits through the French Polynesian islands. The weather remains remarkably mild and we are hoping it will stay this way during our upcoming port visits.
We are fully settled into our daily routine. Judy starts her morning with Tai Chi, followed by knitting and lunch then drawing class and arts & crafts. I start my day by attending the coffee chat when scheduled, then I join Judy for knitting in Crow’s Nest before I head down to the morning Texas Hold‘em game at 10:30 AM. We have been having lunch by the pool and Judy usually hits the sandwich bar while I move around between Dive-in burgers, the Ramen Noodle bar, or whatever may look good on the buffet line.
During Tai Chi the instructor is continuing to introduce the 24 steps. Today the instructor introduced the move called “Stroking the Pheasant”.
While Judy was at Tai Chi, I stop by the Explorer lounge for Hamish’s Coffee Chat. Today’s guest was Helen Wilding who performed a few days ago for the first time and will perform again this evening. Hamish does a wonderful job interviewing the guests. It’s always interesting to learn more about the background of the various entertainers.
Helen is a Mezzo Soprano and she explained that female vocalist’s voices may change in their mid-20s which makes it difficult for women to train as a Mezzo Soprano before that age.
I had a good day with Texas Hold ‘em; losing in the morning but finishing second in the afternoon. Our group of regular Texas Hold ‘em players are very collegial and we’re having a lot of fun.
I’m still waiting for my knitting to get relaxing. My progress is slow, and I emphasize the word slow, but I am getting the hang of it. I am going to have to do more than four rows a day to ever finish this project.
The piano bar singer, Jamm, was the featured model during the Drawing Class this afternoon.
Before my second Texas Hold ‘em game this afternoon I took part in the first Blackjack tournament of the cruise. The Blackjack tournament consists of several qualifying rounds with each player starting with $1500 in tournament chips and playing seven hands. The total value of your tournament chips is recorded on a board and after all the qualifying rounds, which take place over three days, the people with the seven highest cash totals will reassemble for the finals. I was second highest after the qualifying rounds with $4800. During most cruises you usually need $7,000 to $8,000 to make it into the finals. Due to the light traffic in the casino this cruise, the amount of money needed to qualify was much less than normal. I expect that this will pick up as the cruise continues and we’ll see more participation during future tournaments. I finished second during the finals which earned me a consolation prize of a “Club 21” T-shirt. The winner received $500.
Judy was able to make it to Crafts in time do the project. Crafts attendance remains high. Today she made bracelet out of climbing rope that she macraméd to a plastic clip.
I had a chance to listen for a few minutes to a wonderful duet that is very popular on Holland America Ships: Adagio. Adagio consists of a violinist and pianist as the featured performers in the Explorer’s Lounge at 6:30 PM, 7:30 PM and 8:45 PM. They are incredible musicians and play a wide variety of classical tunes.
Moulin Rouge Dinner
Tonight, the main dining room featured the Moulin Rouge dinner, which was advertised as French infused and seductively styled. The dining room was decorated in a red and black theme with each table place set with a black or red hat. The waiters were also dressed to fit the theme with red and black outfits. The menu was filled with a variety of very tempting French dishes. You can see the menu with all the choices on the blog where the menus for each day are posted.
Helen Wilding was the featured performer in the Queen’s Lounge this evening. This was her second performance this cruise. She again dazzled the crowd with her incredible vocals. My favorite was a very moving rendition of a Les Misérables classic “On My Own.” She shared an interesting story with us about her visit to a small village in the Amazon rain forest while she was on another cruise. She met some young girls who love to draw a have a difficult time getting colored pencils. Helen remembered this and on her subsequent visit to the Amazon she brought 54 kg of colored pencils and other school supplies to give to the children of the village. She sang a beautiful song while photographs of her visit were displayed on large screens.This entry was posted in Uncategorized