Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sunday – Tuesday, March 9-11, 2014 – Crossing the Gulf of Mexico – Partly Cloudy – 80sF

Tuesday, March 9, 2014

Today I start working…

My first talk – after five days off – is at the prime time of 10:00 AM in the Cabaret Lounge.  Jim is on ahead of me with a talk on the Mayans and Stella Sarmiento – a artist working with Pre-Columbian gold jewelry is on after me. 

After a nice introduction by Alex McHale, the ”CSI Phenomenon” attracts about a 100 people, almost all fans of the shows and a few very engaged passengers.  One British woman was a major fan of the Inspector Lewis shows so she helped me out with that part of the talk.  For the back to back passengers (only a handful see the talk a second time), I added some new slides and reformatted others.  Not a bad start.

I started to notice some pain in my right sinus (below my eye) and jaw and was quite annoyed that I’d forgotten both my antibiotics and my painkillers at home (checklists aren’t perfect).  Late in the afternoon, I stopped at the Medical Office (basically across the hall) and spoke to the nurse about the situation.  She asked me whether I wanted to see the doctor and after some hemming and hawing I said I just needed some ibuprofen.  She said OK and handed me some packets saving me some money by not having to buy them up in the gift shop.  I was sure that would do the trick since I was not convinced it was a sinus problem.  The ibuprofen helped and I was pleased with the solution.

Tonight was the Moroccan Buffet (falafel, tabouleh, hummus) – we liked it the first time so we came back.  As with most things, it was not as good as the first time but the falafel balls were more substantial and pretty good.

Tonight was double Showtime with “Max DiFaz Grand” followed by Russ’ 60s and 70s songfest.

Max changed his commentary about the songs a bit but the concert and visuals were still terrific

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Max Redux

Following Max’s show was Russ’ One Man Show - “The Beats Goes On”.  Although he sang the same songs, Russ was in terrific voice tonight and this show was even better than his great first show.  He does scare me when he jumps over the speakers from the stage since he doesn’t clear them by much.

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Russ Redux

My sinuses were starting to hurt so we opted out of the ABBA show and went to the room instead.  Besides, the clocks move forward tonight. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

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At Sea

Terrible night so I went to see the ship’s physician, Dr. Wolfe, as soon as opened his “surgery” (he is a Brit) at 8:00 AM.  He prescribed Levofloxacin (less expensive than my old standby, Augmentin).  I started on them right away.   

I gave my second talk at 10:00 AM – again after Jim (who had a great turnout for his New Orleans talk) and ahead of Vala Ola, the Icelandic sculptor who also fashions jewelry based on classic statues and monuments.  The “Genetic Eyewitness” presentation had just about the same turnout as the first talk (around 100) – some of my regulars may have missed the talk since a loyalty function was being held at the same time.

We got word that the Chef’s Table scheduled for tonight was postponed until tomorrow.  Not a good night for chewing – especially gourmet food.

We had dinner on the back deck – tonight was the British Buffet and they had freshly made Fish and Chips.  Although hurting, I still managed to scarf down most of the fish and chips (very good and fresh). 

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Beautiful Sunset from Back Deck

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Fish and Chips on the Back Deck

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Moon over the Gulf of Mexico

The headliner tonight is Bruce Smirnoff, a deadpan type comedian from Los Angeles.  We have seen him before and he is very funny in a low key type of way.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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Another bad night…

I am in the doctor’s office at 8:00 AM.  Now on both Levofloxacin and Augmentin.

We did not attend the Jazz Brunch on the last cruise, but we give it a try this time out.  The Discoveries Dining Room is all laid out with ice sculptures and food stations.  I tried lox and cream cheese and an omelet.

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Jazz Brunch – Discoveries Dining Room

The Captain’s Noon report indicated that some cases of NV had been diagnosed so extra cleaning procedures would be instituted on-board and hand sanitizers would be manned.

Ellen is one of the models at the 3 PM Jewelry Show but she has to be in the shop area 90 minutes early to get ready.

The sequence below was taken before, during, and after the show.  The models first wore jewelry fashioned by Stella Sarmiento (Pre-Columbian gold pieces).  Then they changed over to Vala Ola’s miniaturized monument jewelry and went around again.  Everyone in the Mosaic Cafe got a close look at the pieces – lots of excellent art.

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Before the Show (above)


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Getting Ready

20140311_Stella Fashion Show (Small) 

Stella introduced all of the models as they came up and gave a little background on each one – including the number of cruises they had taken. 

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On the “Runway”

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The Azamara Quest Modeling Agency

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Ellen and Stella Sarmiento

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Ellen and Vala Ola

It was fun and Ellen looked real good in the jewelry (she had also borrowed some clothes from the gift shop since no one packs to be a model – the clothes looked very nice).

At 6:30 PM, we were up in Prime C for the Chef’s Table.  Tonight is “French” night – before the evening got started, Ellen chatted with Boban about the dinner items.

Joining us tonight were a couple from Palos Verdes CA, four nice folks from Montreal Canada (French speaking not much English) and the same couple from Calgary Canada that we ate with last time.  Even though there were some language issues, the conversations moved along.

The main course again tonight was Sea Bass but the best item on the menu, in my opinion, was the potato leek soup.  It was a difficult time for me as I was still nursing the sinus infection but I “soldiered” through. 

We didn’t finish the dinner until about 10:30 PM…a long but very pleasant evening.  It was very nice of the ship to invite me host on both cruises.

Due to the long dinner, we missed “Voices” in the Cabaret Theater.

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