Overcast skies greeted us this morning, but there were a few blue spots peeking thru holes here and there. Water temperature is quite warm at 82 degrees F and with the humidity increasing you can tell we are starting to approach the tropics. The sea was churning and as I walked around deck 3 early in the morning, the occasional salt water spray reached above the railings on the promenade and misted along the railing. The stabilizers were doing their jobs quite well as there wasn’t any roll, only the steady rise and fall of the bow and stern. As you came around the stern on the starboard side, the promenade deck narrows and there was a significant venturi effect creating quite a breeze for about 30 yards until the deck widened again. There were a couple people walked clockwise, counter to the arrows directing counter clockwise flow during “High Traffic” periods, but the traffic was very light . I don’t think you could call this “High Traffic” but I did wonder what the point was of going counter flow as you could always bump into someone going around the corners.
The Australian Life Guards, Anthony and Sam, were the guests on Good Morning Amsterdam which has been standing room only – and almost running out of that – since we left Sydney. They elaborated on life on Bondi beach and cleared up the pronunciations of various place names: Mooloolaba – MOO-LOO-LA-BAH, Cairns – CANS, Bondi – BOND-EYE. A question from the crowd inquired if they were wearing their Budgy Smugglers, which is apparently an Australian brand of a Speedo style swimsuit. Life Saver Sam said that any true life saver will always be wearing their Budgy Smugglers.
Today’s cooking demonstration was hosted by – who else: The Australian Lifeguards Anthony and Sam. Apparently Anthony’s younger brother, Giora, wasn’t feeling well and was in his cabin. They prepared some crocodile and kangaroo meat along with other Australian delicacies. In-between their banter about the cooking, they answered more questions about their background and experiences on Bondi Beach.
During the Captain’s noon update he announced we would be visiting Townsville, Australia instead of Mooloolaba. Townsville is a pretty good sized city, about 180000 people or so and we will not have to tender. It looks like we will need a shuttle bus to town as it may be too far to walk. We should be getting more details on Townsville tomorrow as we saw Barbara at her desk pouring over literature researching the port. I spoke with her briefly and she said that she had never been there before and would probably tape a port lecture since the Queens lounge is booked up for all of the Executive visits and presentations.
We decided to get a burger and hot dog from the Dive-In for lunch. This is a walk up grill next to the Lido pool. In addition to the hot dogs, burgers and fries they have a Mexican food bar where you can make your own tacos, burritos or nachos. The food is cooked to order and there is always a wait – today was about 10 minutes. They give you a pager so you don’t have wait by the Dive-In but can hang out pretty much anywhere in the pool area. The food was quite tasty and cooked just right and very convenient for when you want to hang out by the pool or if you are too late for lunch in the Lido.
The oven roasted beef tenderloin available for dinner was outstanding. Very tender and cooked just right. Night after the night, the food as been truly exceptional. Judy brought some Tim Tams – the Australian Cookies – to dinner tonight to augment the dessert offerings. These treats were new to many people at our table and were a big hit.
Ventriloquist Patrick Murray with his sidekick Matilda (Jamaica’s #1 Comedienne) performed at 10:15 instead of 10:00 (always pays to read the On Location as there are changes occasionally). He put on a great show, funny jokes with outstanding technique. He ended the show singing a song where for the final bars he and Matilda were singing simultaneously. It was a nice effect and we weren’t sure if he pulled this off live or used some sort of stage magic.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s day with a big Gala in the Queens lounge at 9:30PM – a little late for the early seating crowd so we will see who shows up. Orlando and the other execs are hosting many Mariner events tomorrow as this is their last day before Townsville and Cairns and their departure from the ship. If you look at the On Location guide for tomorrow (posted under world cruise reference) you will discover that many of the regular events – Tai Chi and Good Morning Amsterdam have been cancelled to support all the special events.
Please note: I have added photo’s of all the Grand Voyage “Pillow Gifts” under World Cruise Reference – Reference ItemsThis entry was posted in Uncategorized