Another hot and muggy day kept us inside as we continue to transit the Red Sea toward our next port in Jordan on April 6th.
Once again, we started our day with Good Morning Amsterdam where the guest was David Kidd, who performed the Tom Jones tribute show last night. Show Host Erin was the host this morning.
As we are getting closer to the final Grand Dollar redemption day I checked out the prices of the available items that are always on display in the Library. The most expensive item is the Kindle Fire for 5,000 Grand Dollars and the next most expensive item is 300 Grand Dollars. I have accumulated about 372 dollars. Not sure how anyone could get 5,000 dollars unless a group of people pooled their winnings. Nevertheless, it was fun accumulating them and there will be some more opportunities before we get back to Florida in a few weeks.
After Good Morning Amsterdam, Barbara and Nyron presented an overview of the excursions in our remaining ports from Haifa to Fort Lauderdale. Gene announced that today was Barbara’s birthday and her desk was appropriately decorated.
We joined our tablemates, Rick and Margaret, for the second half of our Mexican Dominoes game we started yesterday but was interrupted when we went outside to look at Yemen as we transited the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. Margaret pulled out a win after I was caught with over 80 points on the second to last hand.
I entered the blackjack tournament today for $10. I had won a tournament earlier in the cruise but haven’t played in one since. Here is how the tournament works. You are dealt 7 hands, starting with $1,500 in tournament chips. The 2 people with the most chips will advance to the finals. There are usually 3 qualifying rounds and afterwards the top 6 people will return to the finals. Once you are in the finals, your score to get you into the finals no longer matters. If you want to maximize your chances to get into the final, try and get into the last game before the qualifying tournament ends, that way you can determine how much you will need to qualify. It’s rare to see someone get into the finals with less than $5,000, $7,000 is probably closer to average.
Today was unusual because the two qualifying amounts were $19,200 and $24,000. Casino dealer, George, remarked that he has never seen anyone win more than $26,000 in one of these tournaments. Again, these are tournament dollars, not real dollars. I managed to get $19,200 by starting with a third of my stake early on and then going “all in” for the final hand. A well timed black jack along the way helped along with winning a side bet on the “Lucky Ladies” where you get extra money if you are dealt a 20 on the first two cards.
The finals will be tomorrow and we will see what happens.
As we sail around the world, the dining room usually has a few regional items on the menu. Tonight they featured Kuwait Shrimp with Rice and a few of us gave it a try. One of the many wonderful things about this cruise is the opportunity to sample a wide variety of entertainment, food and locales. If you find you don’t like a particular dish, the dining room staff will quickly bring you something else, although I have yet to have anything this cruise that wasn’t wonderful.
The same is true with the various ports as you will inevitably find some more interesting than others. We were pleasantly surprised by Cambodia and Vietnam and both countries would merit a return visit, but we were disappointed by Sri Lanka and probably won’t return unless we chose to participate in a dedicated Safari type excursion.
Kieran Powell was on the stage once again with a new show. He didn’t have any new characters but presented a very funny skit where he was able to create a Dolly Parton character with the cooperation of a good natured audience member.
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