Day 24 – At Sea – 27 January
Another sea day was welcome after our long day ashore yesterday.
I went down to the Explorer’s lounge around 9 AM to watch Hyperion Knight practice before his interview with Hamish at the 9:30 Coffee Chat. One of the many features I enjoy about cruising in general and Grand Voyages in particular, is the variety of outstanding live performances available. A special bonus is the opportunity to talk with artists afterwards and gain a greater appreciation for their incredible talents.
Hyperion played for about 20 minutes, only stopping when it was time for the crew to set up for the 9:30 show.
Hamish always does a wonderful job interviewing his guests on Coffee Chat. He asks the questions that are on everyone’s mind and then gives the guests plenty of time to expand on their answers.
Hyperion showed talent for the piano when he was a small boy and received a lot of support from his family while growing up. He ultimately attended the Julliard School where he was able to hone his talent. After graduation, he discovered that earning a living as a musician required perseverance and a willingness to adapt to what the market was will to pay for. His first job was with a restaurant associated with the Cleveland Clinic where he played with some string instruments in almost an Adagio type of setup. It was here that he realized that he needed to expand his range to include more popular tunes that the audience was always requesting. He still practices 6 hours daily to stay sharp and work on new material.
After a few years of honing his skills in satisfying audiences, he had an opportunity to work as a substitute for an ill cruise ship pianist on short notice. Years later, Hyperion is a fixture on Holland America and other cruise lines in addition to maintaining a busy schedule playing with orchestras ashore.
Playing the morning Texas Hold’em games requires you to arrive at the Casino cage 40 minutes in advance. I arrive when they are open and take whatever games are is left, which is the 3:00 PM game and sometimes the game at 1:30 PM. I played twice today, finishing in the money once.
Not playing in the morning Texas Hold’em game gave me more time to work on my knitting. I did about 8 rows today – slowing progressing toward finishing my first ball of yarn.
Afternoon around the ship
Judy and I met for lunch by the pool, where I enjoyed a bowl of Hot and Sour soup and some sushi while Judy continues to get her turkey and provolone panini.
There wasn’t any drawing class today because the Wajang theatre, which is also America’s Test Kitchen, was being used for a baking class for the children in Club HAL. This allowed Judy to get to crafts 30 minutes early which she discovered wasn’t really early at all, as most people are now getting to the craft area, which is in the Lido Market, port side, aft, a full 2 hours early to eat lunch and then linger until class starts. Nevertheless she did manage to snare one of the available crafts which involved making a paper bead and stringing it on a bracelet.
Pub Trivia at 5 PM continues to be a lot of fun, but we have never finished in the top tier.
Dinner continues to be amazing. The selections are always outstanding and the service is incredible. We are seated at a 10 top but still manage to finish by 9:30 and only stay longer when we choose to linger over coffee or tea.
Frank King was the headliner in the Queen’s Lounge this evening. I have seen dozens of cruise ship comedians over the years and he in one of the best. He show is titled “Comedy and Conversation” with Frank King which set the expectation that he would engage with the audience more than you might expect from a comedian. The house lights stayed up as the show opened which was a sure sign that audience participation is sure to follow.
Much to my pleasant surprise, Frank didn’t wander into the tired terrain of commenting on the size of the late-night show nor calling out audience members who wandered in a few minutes late. Instead he launched into a very timely series of jokes commenting on the recent situation aboard regarding tender tickets and how he may be in the middle of a black market selling tender tickets from his stateroom. His other observations about cruise ship life and life in general was refreshingly original and quite funny. On the few occasions he engaged with an audience member he skillfully elicited numerous humorous interactions without insulting anyone or resorting to other gimmicks. He concluded his show with an amusing narration of a slide show showing various signs that he as accumulated over the years.
Frank King is an outstanding comedian. If you have the chance to catch his show – it is a must see.
Here is the LINK to Frank King’s websiteThis entry was posted in Uncategorized