Today is the first of 8 sea days as we head across the Pacific Ocean towards our next port of call in Nuka Hiva. We like sea days a lot, and if you’re not a big fan of sea days then you really must consider whether a world cruise is something you would find enjoyable. This cruise has 48 port days and 65 sea days.
Sometimes you use a cruise ship as simply a means to get from one point to the other and your focus is the land portion. We enjoy the experiences on a cruise ship as much as seeing the various ports so the activities available to us during sea days is very important. A Grand Voyage, as compared to a normal Holland America cruise, will have a lot more choices of things to do during a sea day. You really must read the daily program each evening to make sure that you don’t miss anything you might find interesting. You can’t assume that a certain activity that took place at a certain time on the previous day will take place every day at that same time.
Tahitian Seashell Lei Making Class
This morning at 9 o’clock was the Tahitian Seashell Lei making class. This is a very popular activity, so we arrived at 8:30 AM, 30 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time. By 8:45 AM all the available seats were taken. As a rule, if you want to guarantee a seat at any activity during the world cruise, it’s best to arrive 30 minutes early to ensure the that you will have a place.
The Polynesian location team consists of two men and two women who will teach a variety of classes and lead activities throughout our eight-day transit to Tahiti.
There were about eight tables of eight set up for the class. Before the class started the people from the location team put about 80 small shell rings at each place setting. We also received a ribbon about 17-18 inches long with a twisted wire connected to the end to use as a needle to string the shells. Once we had all the equipment making the Seashell leis was basic and self-explanatory. The class was over almost as soon as it started because the actual process of making the leis was so elementary. For the rest of the day, you could tell who was in the seashell class, because everyone was wearing their creations.
My knitting lessons continued at 10 o’clock in the Crow’s Nest. There were about six or seven other ladies working on projects and two women learning how to knit. Under Judy’s expert guidance I managed to complete three rows. It was still slow going for me and I’m gradually catching on but it’s taking longer than I expected.
I went down to the Texas hold ’em game at 10:30. I had a good day today winning my first tournament outright. The game came down to my table mate and Texas Hold’em mentor, Rick, going head to head. I had position and the cards were friendly and was able to use the tactics that Rick taught me earlier to good advantage much to his chagrin.
We played two more games, but my luck was gone and I didn’t finish in the money.
Twenty five people showed up for the Cruise Critic slot pull today in the Casino. Jerry and Kathy (LuvsACruise) did a marvelous job of organizing a wonderful event. We ended up getting back $11 out of our $15 investment.
I was busy with Texas Hole’em so I missed the start of the Ukulele Class and all the Ukuleles were already distributed by the time I arrived. Judy was there in time to grab one and continued with her progress toward becoming a Ukulele virtuoso.
Ukulele class in the Crow’s Nest
While I was playing Texas hold ’em, Judy went to the drawing class in the Wajang theater. She reported that the theater still had a few seats empty when the class started. Ben Sack, a professional artist from the Washington DC area, is the instructor. He will be teaching drawing using art pencils and he passed out sketchbooks which the students would keep but the pencils had to be returned after each class. He announced he is going to do a 4 foot x 4 foot drawing during the cruise with portions of the drawing featuring each port. At the end of the cruise he will hold an art exhibit where he will sell copies.
Most of the first class was spent discussing the procedures the class would follow in addition to some history of drawing and art. Judy had a great time and she’s looking forward to going every day.
While I continued to play Texas hold them all afternoon, Judy went on to the craft class at 2:30 PM in the Lido market. Today she made a small cloth pouch to hold your cruise card. There were about 80 people taking part.
We had a special guest for dinner this evening, Sarah Chandler. She is a guest entertainer who plays classical music with a saxophone. We saw her perform on the 2016 world cruise and enjoyed her shows very much. She’ll be performing for the first time this cruise on January 16 and we expect she’ll probably do a second show before she leaves the ship in Tahiti.
Our table is a 10 top but we can squeeze in one more chair for a maximum of 11 when we host a guest.
Sarah is a wonderful dinner companion and everyone at the table enjoyed hearing about her background and we were especially pleased to learn that she was recently engaged. We even got to see a picture of her beautiful wedding dress.
Our dining room waiters DeDen and Billy are fabulous. Before each meal they give us a quick overview of the menu with their recommendations which prove helpful. The timing of all our dinner courses has been perfect and they remain attentive throughout the evening without being overbearing. The entire dining experience has exceeded our already high expectations.
Martin Beaumont, a comedian, was the headliner this evening and was very funny. He had an excellent delivery with well written material and being from England he brought an interesting perspective to many every day events. Despite the smaller turnout at the late show Martin did a wonderful job keeping the audience engaged.