With the departure of 200 guests in Hong Kong and about 80 checking in, there are some new faces around the ship and the absence of some of the old. We have heard that when more people leave the ship in Dubai we may finish the final segment of the cruise with around 800 guests. We’ll see what actually occurs as there are many rumors about this or that around the ship and some are true, while others are not, like anywhere else.
We had a new crop of guest lecturers arrive in Hong Kong: Kate Ross and Revell Carr. We met Kate last night at dinner and Revell Carr was the guest this morning on Good Morning Amsterdam. Revell shared with us that he used to be in the Navy back in the 60’s and promised to show us a photo of him with his ship in Hong Kong when he was here back in 1963. Kate and Revell will be presenting 11 lectures each and are scheduled to leave the ship in Dubai.
The weather was remarkably pleasant today, but we spent most of the day inside resting and getting ready for our next two port visits in Vietnam where we will be travelling overland independently.
Our third cruise critic meeting was held today to welcome our 2 new couples joining the ship. Attendance has fallen off dramatically and we are now probably down to the hard core group of maybe 35 people. For future cruisers here is how the numbers worked out. 195 people signed up for the roll call prior to departure. 150 were present at the first Meet and Greet, 75 at the second and 35 at the third. I suspect that this attendance pattern is probably about average and I would use these percentages in the future when estimating RSVP’s for the ship. We have two more meet and greets and I suspect we may get a little bump for the last one a few days prior to the end of the cruise.
The categories for the third photo contest have been announced: People, Colors and Flowers.
Kate Ross did great job with her first lecture on Vietnam as she presented a broad overview of the country and a little of the history. She shared some of her photos and personal experiences from her previous trips to the country that really helped give us additional perspective prior to our own visit starting tomorrow.
Revell Carr presented an interested lecture in the afternoon about how the search for spices was a driving force behind much of the very first sailors expeditions. He provided one of the simplest explanations of celestial navigation that was very interesting.
The theme for tonight’s Gala dinner was the Red Lantern Dinner where we were encouraged to wear our oriental wardrobes. The dining room was decorated with red lanterns and the wait staff wore red oriental style jackets and hats. Most of the men wore their red ties from Valentines day while most of the women wore something oriental. We had the Beef Tenderloin with Grilled Shrimp – again very good. Our tablemate, Susan, missed dinner as this was her turn for the Captain’s dinner. She stopped by afterwards to rave about the meal. She stayed with us thru our dinner and enjoyed a glass of wine while we all shared our Hong Kong adventures.
Soul Mystique, an Australian couple billed as world renowned quick change artists, provided this evening’s entertainment. They were very entertaining at the beginning of the show as the couple dazzled the audience with an amazing display of quick costume changes that were almost magical. After that they performed some rather routine dances and skits and took time to show a video that presented an overview and history of quick change artists. Normally videos like this are shown when the artists give a “behind the scenes” show after their initial performance, but this video seemed out of place and disruptive. However they ended strong with another amazing quick change as Lydia’s costume changed one last time during a glittering confetti shower.
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