We spent most of the morning in our cabin, venturing out to attend Good Morning Amsterdam where the guests were lecturer Kate Ross and entertainer Annie Gong, the accordion player from the night before. Kate discussed how she transitioned from being a high school history teacher to a cruise ship lecturer. Annie discussed how her father motivated her to learn the accordion and let us know that her current accordion weighs over 50 pounds.
As an aside, I also learned earlier that HAL has a fleet wide policy to not replay lectures on the ship’s TV. Apparently there was some concern by the legal types in Seattle that since the lecturer’s remarks are not prescreened, they may say something that would cause more concern if replayed multiple times. There is also a desire to encourage people to attend the lectures in person to avoid having them talk to smaller live audiences. This is not something under local control and probably stemmed from some incident that caused some difficulty at some point in the past. End of cruise surveys are probably the best method to share your opinion on this with the folks in Seattle.
We stopped by the Queens lounge to catch Kate Ross’s discussion of Angkor Wat and her virtual tour of the sites we had just seen in person. Despite a few technical difficulties with her slides, she gave us some interesting perspective about where we had just been and helped deepen our understanding of Angkor Wat.
Our next events were are not to be missed crafts and Texas Hold’em. The card table is filled with regulars and is as much a social event as a card game. Everyone wins often enough so no one is really losing much money.
In the Atrium on deck 5 they held a silent auction to raise money for a charity in Sri Lanka to help needy folks there. Many people donated watercolors they painted in the watercolor class that has been going on all cruise. The ship also donated a variety of items from a night in one of the suites (Pinnacle if available), to cook books, casino packages and an opportunity to have a drink with Gene, Henk and Mark, the event Manager. The final price for the drink package was $50 with the night in the suite going for $195. $2000 was raised to help the folks in Sri Lanka.
This evening our table went as a group to the Radio Show event they held in the Pinnacle Grill. A copy of the flyer describing the various acts is HERE and a copy of the menu is HERE. Gene and his staff prepared and performed several humorous skits modeled after radio show serials from years ago. Helping with all the voices were the Show Hosts, Jodie and Erin, the IT Manager and Barbara, the location guide. The HAL dancers were also there, playing other parts. After we were served a course and had time to finish, they would launch into a skit, taking about 10 minutes. The entire evening took about 2 hours and was a lot of fun and we enjoyed it very much. Each table had replica old time radios that we could take as souvenirs if desired.
Since Debby Bacon was also helping out with the Radio Show, they had the pianists, Connor and Michael, from the House Band fill in for her tonight in the Piano Bar. They played a wide variety of songs – taking requests – banging out the tunes on the keyboard simultaneously. They are quite talented and the show was amazing.
Tonight was Raffles night in the Main Dining Room. We stopped by to check out the decorations and see what the wait staff was wearing. The entrance to the dining room was decorated with a Singapore flag and some Palm trees. The wait staff had safari looking outfits complete with special hats and the menu featured items popular in Singapore.
Comedian Rich Shydner was on the main stage in the Queens lounge tonight. He was hilarious and everyone enjoyed his show very much. I was exhausted and missed the show but Judy attended and kept her perfect attendance going for the evening shows when we are on the ship. The entertainment on this Grand Voyage continues to be one of the many high points.
One of the acts we regretted missing while we were off the ship in Siem Reap was the inaugural show by the new troupe of HAL singers and Dancers. Our table mates raved about the quality of the dancing and singing and said the show was AMAZING. We are looking forward to seeing their next show.
We will arrive in Singapore tomorrow evening, arriving around 6pm. This late arrival time allows us to transit the very congested waters in the Straits of Malacca during daylight hours, making it a lot safer. While I was in the US Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV 61), in the darkness of the early morning on April 5th, 1979, we collided with the Liberian Tanker, MC Fortune, in the Straits of Malacca. The collision happened in a relatively less congested area as the Captain planned to enter the more congested areas during daylight, but we never made it that far. Fortunately no one was injured on either ship, but as the saying goes “A collision at sea will ruin your day” is absolutely true. You can see some pictures of the damage we sustained and listen to the Captains remarks afterward HERE
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