The weather was remarkably mild today as we sailed thru the Strait of Hormuz. I had anticipated that it would be quite hot, but it turned out to be rather pleasant as I walked around Deck 3 inspecting the razor wire strung along both side railings and along the stern railings. They have also rigged some fire hoses pointed down that would be used to help thwart any would be borders. When I was in Dubai before the ship arrived, I logged onto shipfinder.com to check on the whereabouts of the Amsterdam. At first I was a little surprised when the site failed to show a single ship anywhere in the Arabian Gulf or northern Indian Ocean. I presume that the site blocks the location of all ships in these waters to not make it any easier for pirates to locate any targets of interest.
Good Morning Amsterdam was at 9am today which is normal for the first day after being in port since they usually have a ships emergency drill on the first day and the drills always start at 9:30 and Gene has to be on the Bridge to take part in the drill. The Shore Excursion manager, Nyron, was the guest this morning and he discussed how he started as a Disc Jockey on Holland America and after several years moved over to work in the Shore Excursion Department.
He explained that sometimes tours that have a lot of availability will sometimes suddenly fill up at the last second because the ship will cancel extra capacity before the penalty date if seats remain unsold. Sometimes the ship will “buy” the unsold seats to avoid cancelling a tour altogether if the minimums haven’t been met.
After Good Morning Amsterdam I went down to the Queens Lounge to listen to Barbara discuss our upcoming visit to Salalah. She explained that the shuttle will take you as far as the port gate and after that you will have to negotiate with a taxi driver and be ready to spend anywhere from $80 to $200 depending on how well you negotiate. That was the unfortunate bottom line and if you didn’t want to deal with taxi drivers, take a ships tour or stay on the ship.
We relaxed in our cabin until my Texas Hold’em game at 2:30. Judy took a nap to get recharged after all the traveling and long hours of the last 7 days.
Our dinner table was complete for the first time in a week and we had a wonderful time catching up with everyone’s adventures while we were gone and we shared our stories of our overland trip to India and the Taj Mahal.
Tonight’s show was one of the more interesting productions of the entire cruise. David Keller does a one man version of Hamlet called “Cut to the Bone” where he plays all the characters and portrays most of the characters and scenes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The show was 65 minutes long, well beyond the 45 minute cruise ship standard. They had closed off the balcony since we heard that people in the balcony during the early show had difficulty hearing since David doesn’t use a microphone during his performance. We have been to over 100 Broadway musicals but have never seen a Shakespeare play in person, so we are not well equipped to provide a meaningful review of what constitutes a well performed version of Hamlet. I do enjoy the variety of the entertainment on the World Cruise and HAL was definitely pushing the envelope with this show, so we were glad we attended to learn more about David Keller and this show, but we would probably pass if he were to come back for an encore performance.
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