Early rising has become a necessity to get a speedy internet connection. Once most of the ship wakes up, the internet speed can slow to the point it is unusable. The best way to check the speed without running up your bill is to pull up the free New York Times website. If this site pops up quickly, then you are good to go. If the site is slow or never loads, time to try again later.
We continue south today toward Rarotonga, one of the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands are a Self-Governing Free Associated State – which means that New Zealand helps out with about ½ their budget and Cook Islanders are full citizens of New Zealand and they use the New Zealand Dollar. Rarotonga is as far south of the equator as Hawaii is north, so the temperatures are cooling as we continue southward.
The promenade deck was quick pleasant and I briskly walked my 7 laps, 2 miles, while listening to my current Audible book on my Ipod, using a Bluetooth ear piece. This is my third time walking the decks and I am beginning to recognize a few of the regulars, but everyone walking at this time – 7am – is looking to exercise and there is little chit chat as people move around the promenade.
While walking to Good Morning Amsterdam I stopped to observe the aqua aerobics class in progress in the main pool. About 10 ladies were moving to the direction of the show host, Jodie who was standing by the side of the pool.
Since Good Morning Amsterdam is getting more and more crowded, I decided to get there 20 minutes early to see how many people were already waiting. The Wajang Theater was already 80% full. I am not sure I want to find out what time the first people arrive. I had no idea that this show would prove to be so popular, especially since it is on TV later.
Two new guest speakers started their lecture series today. I attended the early afternoon session, it was an interesting talk about the history of French Polynesia by Joseph Kess. I heard good reviews about the morning session by Alan Wright who discussed the ever expanding universe.
I skipped crafts today and observed the Texas Hold’em tournament. The game has a $60 buy in with the winner earning about $350 with second place getting about $150. The games takes about 1 hour and is usually completely full on sea days. For the first time today, there was some action on the Roulette wheel. I will have to check on the bingo game at 4pm to see if they are actually getting to play very much. They need at least 20 people to hold a Bingo game.
One of my favorite paintings on the ship is called “Ships in front of 17th Century Amsterdam” by Peter Sterkenburg. The oil painting on honeycomb aluminum is located on deck 5, across from the Explorer’s Lounge.
I discovered a couple of sports memorabilia items in the sports bar – a baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio and a hockey puck signed by Wayne Gretsky. Sea days are great for exploring some of the nooks and crannies around the ship.
The basketball court was empty and gave me the opportunity to practice my mid court shot for a future Grand Dollar event. I still failed to make a single half-court shot, but did improve my free throw shooting significantly.
Despite the pleasant temperature, the Sea View pool was empty and the Lido pool was covered by a net indicating the pool was closed due to the ships motion.
The ships acupuncturist was our guest for dinner today. She was born in Iran, schooled in France and now lives in LA. Many of her relatives still live in Iran and listening to her stories about her visits to Iran was very interesting.
Tonight’s entertainment was an Australian duo called “Strings Alive”. This husband and wife team sang some songs, played piano, violin and guitar. The late show is only about 1/3 full and a few of their songs would have been better with a larger audience. They were very good and everyone enjoyed their performance.
Earlier in the day, the Captain let us know that the wind and wave conditions in Rarotonga may make tendering impossible. He mentioned he has a secondary spot to check out that may have better conditions, if the primary anchorage proves unsuitable. If we can’t get into Rarotonga, we will continue to New Zealand and tomorrow will be another sea dayThis entry was posted in Uncategorized