Early this morning, around sunrise, we passed the tip of the Cape York Peninsula and headed west towards Darwin thru the Torres Strait. The numerous islands of the Great Barrier Reef became more sparse and finally disappeared altogether, replaced by the ocean’s endless horizon. I was walking the promenade deck at the time we made our turn and watched as the ship’s wake, arrow straight all morning, became a gentle curve. After a few minutes, the wake straightened once again as the ship steadied on her westward course.
When I started my 2 mile walk the sun had just appeared over the horizon and the temperature was quite pleasant. As I was finishing my walk, the sun was higher, along with the temperatures and it was good to retreat into the cool interior of the ship.
I always wondered how early people arrived in the Wajang Theatre for the Good Morning Amsterdam show that starts at 9:30 AM. Well at 8:45, I stopped by the theatre and it was already ½ full. But I guess you can sit in the Theatre and read for an hour, just as well as you can read anywhere else, so when you look at what other options there are at that time it is easier to understand. NOTE: The daily “On Location” guide is posted on the blog under the world cruise reference section. The guide for every day of the cruise is posted next to the date on the schedule when it occurred along with that days Main Dining Room Menu.
Gary Guthman was the guest this morning on Good Morning Amsterdam and boy could he talk and talk and talk. Gene asked him to tell us a little bit about himself and 15 minutes later he was just wrapping up his answer. Gene only had time for one more question before he had to wrap up so we would not bump into the 10 AM talk on shore excursion in the Queens Lounge. Gary currently lives in Warsaw with his Polish wife, who plays the Harp professionally. He provided some interesting insight into the challenges of translating English lyrics into Polish because finding words with similar meanings and the same number of syllables was difficult.
The Shore Excursion Manager lead the presentation on available HAL sponsored shore excursions from Indonesia thru Singapore. They provided useful information about how much walking was involved in various excursions by converting the distances into lengths of the ship. Even if you had no interest in the ships tours, these presentations provide some useful insight it what is available in any particular port and in many cases you may be able to book a similar excursion after arrival on your own. They emphasized that the traffic in Semarang and Jakarta was so horrendous that ship tours hire police escorts and will still often be 1 hour late returning.
We enjoyed the Mongolian BBQ (Stir Fry) that was set up today next to the Lido pool for lunch. They do a good job with this meal and we always look forward to it when we see it on the schedule.
Jacque, the Cellar Master, created an interesting event today: Speed wine tasting. For $7.50 they lined up 5 wine glasses in front of you that were filled with 3-4 ounces of various red and white wines. If you finished all 5 glasses in FIVE MINUTES, they would pour another 5 glasses. The rules were pretty loose and a few people teamed up to finish off the 5 glasses together and a couple people finished all 5 by themselves! There were probably about 25 people taking part and they had a blast. I have never seen a speed wine tasting prior to this.
Another good day on the Texas Hold’em table. The tournament starts with everyone getting $4000 in play chips. At one point after I lost an “All In” bet, I was down to only $300 in play chips. I went on to win the next 4 hands in a row. My luck continued and I ended up winning the tournament.
Prior to dinner, Emily Yates, one of HALS house singers, wowed the crowd with her Spotlight performance that starts at 7:30 pm and ends at 7:55 so both early and main seating can enjoy the show. Her high energy show ended with a rousing rendition of Proud Mary – Tina Turner style followed by her final number: The Whitney Houston arrangement of “I Will Always Love You” – by Dolly Parton. She received thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the full house.
For tonight’s dinner, most of the people at our table enjoyed the Monkfish, which was quite good. Our table had a great time trying to predict the Elton John play list for this evening’s performer.
Greg Andrew, billed as the Elton John Experience, opened his 10PM show with an exciting rendition of I’m Still Standing. He worked thru 10 other popular Elton John hits before he closed the show with “Crocodile Rock” We got about ½ the songs correct during our dinner guessing session and one person correctly predicted the encore.
Tomorrow is our last sea day before Darwin, our final Australian port.This entry was posted in Uncategorized