Sunday, February 5, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – At Sea – Pacific Ocean – Mostly Cloudy 65F

It’s a pretty nice day at sea but only marginally warmer – this is a little surprising since the ship is at about the level of Baja Mexico.

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At Sea (Port – Aft and Forward Views)

Had breakfast in the Buffet – still a lot of people up there a 7 AM so I sat at the back of the ship (couldn’t even get a window seat).  This time, I tried the waffle, which was big and crisp.  Breakfast will not be a problem on this cruise.

My second talk is scheduled for 11:30 AM so I am in the International Café to review the slides.  I don’t give this talk too often so many of the slides are not as familiar to me.  I also ordered my usual coffee.  This time, the barista actually came out and helped with the nomenclature of coffees.  What happened is that even though I ordered a decaf mocha with non-fat milk, it did not come with chocolate.  Apparently, mocha does not mean chocolate on this ship – he told me it was a a mocha coffee with chocolate.  Got it.  The drink didn’t taste quite right and I found out later that it wasn’t a latte but simply coffee ($2.00 vs. $3.75).  There’s always something to learn.

At 11:00 AM, I went to the Vista Lounge to set up for my talk –

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 “Landmark Cases”.  I have been following trivia so there is a turnover of people.  But when the movement all stopped, the lounge was full.  The set up was quick which left me some time to chat with the passengers.  Also, today, I am wearing both a clip on mic (for TV) and headset mic for the audience.

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Pre-Talk Chat

Another interesting thing – there were waiters roaming the lounge serving drinks.

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Full House

The talk ran about 45 minutes and when it was over (nice round of applause) a number of people rushed up to chat about the talk and assorted other items.  I took the discussion to the back of the lounge so the dance lesson could continue.  Some very nice feedback from the passengers.

I met Ellen in the Botticelli Dining Room for lunch.  The driving force behind this was the gazpacho soup. lox and cream cheese, and sole on the menu.  The soup was so good I had two bowls.  I tried the veggie burger but it was still basically potatoes formed into a patty and grilled.  Mushy and odd. 

We looked for a warm place to settle in and that place turned out to be the Solarium Pool on Deck 14.  We read, I caught a small nap, and people watched.  The ship was heaving so the water in the pool was going crazy.  We stayed there until it was time to get ready for dinner.

Tonight is Formal Night 1.  All I brought was a dress shirt and ties so that will have to do.  There was nothing for us in the Dining Room so we ate dinner in Alfredo’s Pizzeria.  In fact, we were the only people in the place.  I complemented my Vegeteriana Pizza with Orzo pasta with feta cheese and beet salad (they were both pretty good) from the International Café.  And the bonus – a waitress who can take a good picture.

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Formal Night Dinner in Alfredo’s Pizzeria

We went to the 8:00 PM Show in the Theater.  On this ship, we have learned, you best get to the theater early because the place fills up completely by 7:30 or so.  There were people standing in the aisles when the show began.  There was a lot of saving of seats as there was no announcement saying “no saving of seats”.

The headliner tonight was a vocalist from Las Vegas named Cheaza (pronounced “Chay-ah-zah”) and the show was “A Tribute to Whitney Houston”.  She is a very good singer and knows how to move around the stage and she made it clear at the top of the program that this was not an impression but a tribute.  The problem was that Cheaza looked an awful lot like Whitney Houston.  Her version of the songs were different than the original arrangements.   

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Cheaza in the Audience

She finished her set without singing the song everyone was waiting for and some people actually left the theater.  Dan then came out and gave us a history of “I Will Always Love You”.  The soundtrack for “The Bodyguard” needed one more song and the producers came to Kevin Costner for suggestions.  He liked Dolly Parton’s original and told them to have Whitney sing it.  Well, the Soundtrack sold 45 million copies so I guess Kevin C knew what he was doing. 

Cheaza returned to the stage to belt out her showstopper.

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“I Will Always Love You”

It was the first time we had seen this performer and she did a great job.

Walking back to the Piazza, I spotted a group in the Explorer’s Lounge – I think they are called “The Drop”.  We might check them out later but from the quiet zone outside the venue (too loud up close).

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We spent the rest of the evening listening to Kimo and Lokelina (the Hawaiian Ambassadors – very official) in the Piazza.  this would be the third time we have been on the ship with them.  They did two of our requests, “Hallelujah” and “Over the Rainbow”.  Very pleasant relaxing late night music.

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The ship is still rolling a bit but not bad.

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