Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – At Sea – Atlantic Ocean – Mostly Cloudy – 86F

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A drizzly day at sea…

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Seas appear relatively smooth

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Our ship is sailing along the north coast of Cuba and will pass about six miles from Cuba at 9 PM or so tonight.

The ship is bucking both a 20 plus Knot headwind as well as oncoming seas so the ride is bumpy.  We are also experiencing loud banging noises which the captain explained was the anchor hitting the sides of the anchor housing – I wonder if what I have called “wave slap” is really the anchor.  Probably both.

Most, if not all my talks will be at 9:30 AM so I am adopting the early morning breakfast schedule.  The Princess Patter not only puts the full title in but also the complete description of the presentation – passengers will actually know what to expect.  Very nice.  Not a Princess Pick this morning but no big deal.  It’s time to see what kind of audience this will be. 

I set up the equipment myself for “The CSI Phenomenon”.  All the connections – including the power outlet - are right there on the podium so set up took about 30 seconds.  CJ, the AV tech, showed up to give me the headset and I’m good to go.  All the presentations are being taped for viewing in the cabins the following day, so I need to start off my presentations at the podium.  CJ also seems to stay in the control booth during the presentation – good thing in case there’s a problem.

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Matt showed up for the first presentation to introduce me and asked how many fans of the shows were in the audience – maybe half.

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20150429_Matt and me (Small) 20150429_pretalk 1 (Small) 

The CSI Phenomenon

Half of the passengers have been on the ship for 90+ days so their reception of a new speaker is unpredictable.  While the picture above looks like a sparse audience, the turnout was actually pretty good – more than 50 percent full – maybe 150 people based on a 300 person capacity at the Cabaret Lounge (info from CJ).  Lots of good feedback after the talk and a promise by some to attend future sessions. The only glitch – passengers can’t see the slides when I am moving around the stage.  I play to stay in the corner by the piano from now on.

We had lunch in the Club Restaurant today because they had Vegetarian Burritos (great the last time I had them on another ship).

The meal was great but just as we were finishing, we heard a dramatic change in the pitch of the propellers.  It  sounded like the engines had shut down.

Minutes later the Captain came on and said that an overturned small boat was spotted in the water and the Pacific Princess and nearby Celebrity Infinity had been asked by the USCG to investigate. 

To watch all of this we went out on Deck 5 forward port side, where a team had been assembled – including the ship’s doctor.  We never spotted the overturned boat but a few minutes later, the announcement was made that the Infinity had checked it out and there were no people spotted (not good).  The Captain then said we would resume our course to Curacao.

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The Celebrity Infinity post “Rescue”

It has been raining off and on and the deck chairs are just starting to dry out.

We found a good spot on Deck 5 for reading (and napping) and spent the afternoon watching the sea go by.  I am reading “Lost Light” another Harry Bosch novel by Michael Connelly – In this one, Harry is not a cop anymore but just can’t stay away from an unsolved murder.  Good book.

This ship does something different in the Panorama Buffet for dinner on sea days.  The buffet becomes the “Panorama Bistro” with waiters and a rotating trio of menus and the capability of ordering off the restaurant menu.  Best of both worlds including pizza made to order.  Alternatively, you can get your own slice of pizza, make your own salad, and grab a dessert. What else can you ask for? 

I ordered a Cesar Salad (from downstairs) and a vegetarian pizza.  Totally terrific.  No need to bother with the dining room except for Port Days, when the buffet reappears.

After dinner, we sent to the Lounge to get good seats for tonight’s headliners, “The Mickey Finn Show”.  Mickey is a 93 year old pianist, who had a club forever in San Diego.  Sixteen years ago, he married Cathy Reilly (the second banjo gal in the group – after he divorced wife #1, Cathy took over the banjo playing).  Cathy was also Miss Delaware 1972 and was also the USO performer of the year and inducted into the “Banjo Hall of Fame”.  They had an entertaining act.  Near the end, Sarah, the Pacific Princess band leader, jammed a bit with them.

 20150429_ Mickey Finn and Sarah 1 (Small) 20150429_Mickey Finn and Sarah (Small) 

Mickey Finn and Sarah

After the show, we listened to David Crathorne, who did an evening of Andrew Lloyd Weber tunes.  Very entertaining. 

Seas are bumpy and will be all the way to Curacao.

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