Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013 – At Sea – English Channel – Cloudy – mid 50s

A gray, cool day in the English Channel…

 20130504_At Sea (Small)

After breakfast, it’s up to Blue Moon on Deck 14 to relax and check over my final talk.  I wanted to add some new slides to the presentation – a slide of the Miranda Card a passenger gave me and a slide recognizing the two police officers in the audience who worked on the Black Pad Murders and the Napa Halloween Murders.  I didn’t attend Ben’s last talk this morning – it just got to be too late.

The Royal Promenade is hosting a brunch this morning (didn’t see it advertised in the Compass) with cheeses, breads, and a large cake commemorating our crossing of the Atlantic.  The promenade is decked out with other curious items such as a London Bobbie with an automatic weapon

 20130504_E and Bobbie (Small) 20130504_The bobbie and us - triplets (Small)

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Cake Commemorating the Crossing

We nibble a bit but I plan to get a salad to go from the Dining Room and eat it in the Windjammer.  Not a problem.  The assisted Salad Bar – I repeat -  is one of the best food options on this ship.  The salad is supplemented with the terrific tuna salad and that does it for our final lunch on this voyage.

My final presentation (Lyric Theater – 2:00 PM) is “Identification of the Famous and Infamous”.  For the final session, Ellen actually did a headcount of the attendees (no easy feat since they are spread all around the 1400 seat theater – the massive size of the theater makes even a good attendance look like there is no one there).  The total attendees was 317.  i can tell this is not the largest audience (the Cold Case and Genetic Eyewitness talks were better attended) – a lot of people are packing this afternoon.  When asked, about 80 percent of the audience indicated they had been present for all seven presentations.

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Chatting with Passengers – Pre Show

Ellen documented the final presentation from all conceivable angles. The most important shot of all is the last one, where the audience showed its appreciation with a nice long round of applause.

 20130504_Final Talk (Small)  20130504_Final Talk 3 (Small)  20130504_Final Talk 5 (Small)   20130504_Final Talk 9 (Small)  20130504_Final Talk 11 Applause (Small)

Applause, Applause

After the talk, we went down to the Conference Center where our passports were checked and stamped so we would not have to go through Immigration in Southampton.  There was no line and the process took less than a minute.  Every ship should do this.

Spent the afternoon in Cloud Nine (next door to Blue Moon) – the weather had improved but it was still chilly as seen by the lack of walkers on the upper pool deck.  The seas were calm for the Channel.

20130504_At Sea PM (Small)

The seats in Cloud Nine are more comfortable than those in Blue Moon and the views are about the same.  Good place to Kindle and read.  I have finally finished “Riptide” by Preston and Childs.  I was hoping for something more supernatural but what they delivered was different but still entertaining – this time, I was ahead of the plot and figured out the surprise element a few chapters before the authors revealed it.  For anyone interested, the French archeologist, Isobel Bonterre, was the most fascinating character in their books so far just behind the iconic Agent Pendergast.

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Ellen Kindling in Cloud Nine

Too tired to deal with the Dining Room on the last night so we are up in the Windjammer for their terrific make-your-own pizza (for me).  They also had sweet and sour vegetarian chicken that was, by far, the best thing on their buffet the entire cruise.  I had two helpings and would have gotten more but I had committed to that pizza.  I still can’t believe it was vegetarian.

Before the Farewell Show, we waited for Clo and/or Becky to thank them for their help on the cruise.  Instead, I would up chatting with a few passengers who attended and loved the talks.  One of them watched them on TV and was thrilled (really) to meet me in person.  It got me thinking how big the TV audience was on this cruise.

The policeman from Napa also had a nice surprise for me.

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City of Napa Police Cap

We attended the 9:00 PM Farewell Show, which consisted of a few songs by the Adventure OTS “Glee Club” (passengers plus a ringer from Entertainment)

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Glee Club

a mime-magician called “Beastro” (sort of entertaining), and an encore presentation of the “East Coast Boys”.  The problem is that they only did two songs and one of them they had already done in their headliner show.  Still, it was entertaining.  Of course, all of the staff of the ship marched down and gathered on the stage.

After the show, we chatted with Clo and Becky in the receiving line (I also was greeted by a few folks who had been to my lectures.  I told Clo I was out of business cards but she wanted my contact information, which I would leave in her in-box tomorrow.

Finished our packing and had our suitcases out in the hall by 10:45 PM – we are due to leave the ship at 7:15 PM but if we get off later, the bags should already be there.

Seas are relatively smooth – we are picking up our pilot at 2:30 AM so most of the early morning should be smooth.

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