Friday, May 11, 2018

January 26, 2018 – At Sea – Atlantic Ocean – Mostly Cloudy – low 80s.

Didn’t sleep as well but it wasn’t the fault of the ship or sea conditions.

It is a choppy day at sea (view from our Cabin)

IMG_20180126_view from 5714IMG_20180126_choppy sea day

Breakfast again was in the Horizon Court – still under “Red Label” conditions – mandatory hand washing (should be mandatory all the time). So far, everyone is complying.

This time out, I tried oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins (OK), the banana pancakes (sitting a bit long under the heat lamps) and a fried egg (OK). I swapped the pancakes for a waffle, which was fresher.

Worked on today’s lecture in Patisserie accompanied by a skinny mocha iced latte (very good).  The coffee on board Princess Ships (the ones I’ve been on has always been excellent).  The baristas are always ready to tweak your coffee if needed.

IMG_20180126_Iced mocha latte Patisserie

I updated the graphics and increased font sizes and used formatting to make words and comments easier to read.

This ship, like the last one we were on, makes its time changes at Noon. So Noon becomes 1 PM and everyone knows about it because it’s announced as it happens. I am speaking today at 1:30 PM in the Explorer’s Lounge so as soon as Noon rolled around, I was already a little late in getting ready. The second talk – “The Discovery of DNA Fingerprinting” – is one I generally don’t include in the list unless it’s a long cruise.

I arrived at the venue at about 1:05 PM and there were already lots of people in the seats. One passenger told me that he had missed the first talk and asked if I would do it again. Apparently, the talks are not being taped so if people miss them, they miss them. My headset mic was kind of cool – it just fit on one ear and was taped to my cheek. Both the AV and sound worked well but the window shades in the back could not be closed so the screen was difficult to see. I might have been the only one concerned about this (because of the cues). The place was SRO – extra chairs were brought in but people filled every seat and others were standing in the back and sides and out in the hallway. The talk went very well and ran about 40 minutes – I had a little hoarseness during my first talk but today I had help from a cough drop so I was OK. Good feedback post talk and some very good questions. The next talk will be about five days from now after we finished our island hopping in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean.

IMG_20180126_pre talk


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They were even serving drinks during the presentation.

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“Discovery of DNA Fingerprinting” – SRO

We had a very late lunch in Horizon Court – I tried the veggie burger but it was as I expected – a potato knish on a bun. I swapped that out for a slice of pizza along with my salad.

We found seats in the indoor pool area and spent the afternoon reading – the weather on the open decks was iffy with the ship passing through several rain showers.

During a break in the weather, I snapped another iconic Ellen-on-Deck picture.

IMG_20180126_sun in my face iconic

Tonight is Formal Night 1 – we checked out the dining room menu and decided to take our chances in the buffet. I did put on my nice slacks, shirt, and tie because we intended to go the show tonight. I had a salad (with an unusual balsamic dressing), salmon, and mushroom pasta. Everything was OK.

We went to the theater but the only seats available were inside (only two aisles in the theater) and in the front row. We sat in the front row and I thought it was great being so close to the performers. The show, “Piano Man”, featured the songs of Billy Joel and Barry Manilow. We had seen two of the lead singers earlier but all of the singers and dancers were great and the show was highly entertaining.

IMG_20180126_best dancer Piano ManIMG_20180126_Lead Vocalists Piano ManIMG_20180126_Piano Man 1IMG_20180126_Piano Man 2IMG_20180126_Piano Man 3IMG_20180126_Piano Man

After the show, we tried to see the Zinger Quartet in the Wheelhouse Lounge but it was full of Aussies celebrating Australia Day so there were no seats. Our fallback was the Crooner’s Bar, where Arny G (piano man) was scheduled to go on in an hour. We wound up chatting with a couple until the performance started. Arny takes requests so the first song of the night was “Hallelujah” – he did it in his own style but it was nice.

We would have stayed longer at Arny’s set but the smoke drifting over from Churchill’s Lounge was getting to be pretty annoying so we headed to the room. The next time we come hear Arny, we are going to sit in the back of the lounge and out of range of the smoke.

I finished “Evidence of Murder” – I was a little disappointed at the ending – I figured out early on who the killer was so that surprise was gone – the method of murder turned out to be less than exciting but it was an interesting concept. I started “Moscow Rules” by David Seville – the eight book in the Gabriel Allon series.

The ship was rumbling and creaking as it headed to St. Maarten – the engines quieted down but while we were trying to sleep we got a one ring phone call (no one there) and then some kind of band music started up and continued off and on until after 1 AM. I will need to talk to Simone about hat.

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