Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017 – At Sea – Pacific Ocean (coast of Mexico) – Sunny and pleasant - 70s

Smooth seas - beautiful day at sea.

The View from Cabin 7063 - The Promenade Railing

Here's the itinerary for this Grand Panama Canal Adventure Cruise

My first breakfast on the ship is in the Lido Café (Deck 11) – Grapefruit, Waffle, Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream (requested), Preserves.  I ate in the outside section – only one our there.  I probably will move inside starting tomorrow since I can't seem to get any coffee service out there (and it's going to get warmer in the morning as we make our way South).

At 10:00 AM, I went to hear a talk by Dick Morgan on the Panama Canal  (“The Land Divided, the World United”) in the Galaxy Lounge.  He spent a good deal of his career working at the Canal Authority before it was turned over to the Panamanians.  A somewhat different take on the building of the canal, including some very early history about Panama and Colombia.  Dick had a pretty good turnout.  I am not going to be lecturing in the theater but rather in the Starlite Lounge.  That's fine with me since I prefer the latter venue.

Ellen went to a needlepoint class instead of the lecture.

We both attended Jim Brochu's presentation on “Fred and Ginger” in the Galaxy Lounge at 11:00 AM.  Jim is one of the theme presenters (there are more than 25 of them on board) and he mainly used old film clips of Astaire and Rogers.  He also gave some biographical information on the two of them that I had not heard before.  Jim is a fan favorite.  He did have a lot of technical issues with his video clips which I am sure he will iron out before next time.

At 12:05 PM, we attended the Entertainment Staff Briefing hosted by CD Paul McFarland in the Hollywood Theater.  We were introduced to all of the other entertainment folks (the people on contracts must go through this at least every two weeks) and given the Dos and Don’ts rules and regs.  We were also told that there were only 440 passengers on this cruise along with 68 entertainment personnel.  The ship is really sailing light as she normally can accommodate 944 passengers.

We had lunch in the Lido Café Buffet – they have a great salad bar and I added a small portion of the pasta arabiata (freshly made).  "Sadly", they gave Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream on the ship so a small cone of “Chunky Monkey” finished off the lunch.

The afternoon was spent on the couches next to the Trident Grill.  The retractable roof was closed but the sunlight was bright and warm.   I’m reading “The Messenger” by Daniel Silva – in this book, master Israeli spy, Gabriel Allon, gets involved with the Vatican again and a vast terror network run by a super-terrorist.

At 2:30 PM, we went up one deck to watch a rare event – the close encounter with the Crystal Serenity (on its way to Los Angeles) – the two ships passed port to port separated by a few hundred yards. 

Close Encounter of the Serenity Type

This is the second time we have done something like this (The QE and QV passed each other in the Straits of Messina a few years ago).  Interesting.

Serenity Watching

At 5:00 PM, we went to the Galaxy Lounge for an afternoon cabaret session with Ilene Graff.  I didn’t recognize the name but I did know her from somewhere – she was the mom on Mr. Belvedere.  The plan was changed so instead of a concert she participated in a Q and A with Hollywood Maven, Glenn Rosenblum.  They were both entertaining and the session had numerous clips of Irene’s Broadway and TV career.  I was surprised that she came from a Jewish background.  She finished off the session with a song from “I Love My Wife” – “Love Revolutions” – which she did wonderfully.  She will be doing a Cabaret Show later on in the cruise – looking forward to it.

Tonight is Black Tie Optional. 

Pre-Dinner in the Crystal Plaza

We were fortunate to get table for two in the Crystal Dining Room.  I had the Red Cabbage Gazpacho (Modern Menu) (a purple cold soup with an interesting flavor); Captain’s Salad; Ellen had a beautiful fruit plate; we both had Herb Coated Halibut (OK) with mashed potatoes; a side order of Pasta Oglio with Peperoncini (very good); tiramisu and coffee.

We passed on Neil Lockwood’s Elton John Tribute (we have seen in a few times) and instead hung out in the Crystal Cove and then went up to the Palm Court to hear the Shoresounds Duo. 

A full day.

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