Monday, March 23, 2020

December 2, 2019 – At Sea – Caribbean Sea – Mostly Sunny – 80s

The room was quiet all night – not sure we have a neighbor – we also back up to one of the restaurants but we did not hear a peep from there either.  Having said all of this, I got very little sleep last night – the room was the right temp and everything else was perfect.  The only factor I can think of is that the huge pillow was too hard – I like the fluffy kind.  I’m going to try the other pillow tonight.  The other possibility – always a viable one – is that the coffee I had at dinner was not decaf (even though I ask when it is poured).

I was up for good around 5:30 AM and played mind games until 6:45 AM at which time I got ready for breakfast.  Our cabin location is ideal as I only need to walk out into the hallway to the elevator and then up to deck 14 and the entrance to the Oceanview Café.  The ship is really moving at near max - 22 knots.

I found the waffles (they could have been cooked a little longer) and was shown where the cottage cheese was (they also have sour cream on this buffet).  I also had some scrambled eggs (extremely good) and had strawberries on the waffle.  The Lavazza Coffee was hot and tasty and I had a perfect window seat (port side – first table for two).

I brought Ellen down some lox, a half baguette, cream cheese, fruit, a hardboiled egg, and some apple strudel.

We are now in the Solarium in some primo seats staring at the ocean and listening to new age music.  I am going over my talk for today, which is scheduled for 12:30 PM in The Theater.  

I was told by Sarah that the theater holds 900 people, which seems small for a ship with a capacity of nearly 3000 passengers.  I guess this ship does not necessarily draw a theater going demographic.  The stage is shaped like a drop extending from the screen to the audience.  There is a background screen with patterns and the slides are projected onto this background.

I decided to have lunch after my talk so I arrived at the theater about 12 Noon so I could set up my system and have some time to chat with any attendees.  When I got there, the port shopping lecture was in full swing and she did not finish until after 12:30 PM – I set up as quickly as I could but my talk – “Forensics and History: Mystery of the Romanovs” - did not start until 12:45 PM following a brief introduction by someone from the Activities Staff.

The crowd was small – maybe 80 folks – perhaps because attendance on Caribbean runs tend to be small (the beautiful sun out on the pool deck is a major competitor).  Also, Eddy did not mention the talk when he announced the daily schedule at 10 AM.  No matter, the crowd was enthusiastic but at least one person left early as she had an appointment.  Despite the late start, everyone stayed until the end.  The talk ran about 45 min and we vacated the theater right away.

We had a quick lunch in the Oceanview Café – by that time, a lot of things were gone such as the salad bar.  Tuna salad, egg salad, and three bean salad were a perfect lunch.

We spent the afternoon in Eden (short for Garden of Eden), a wonderful area at the back of the ship.  There are three levels of seats, a restaurant, and a performance venue in Eden.  There are a lot of plants in Eden as well as some very interesting installations.

The comfortable seating affords ocean views and some quiet.  I am making progress on “Verses for the Dead”.  The book continues to depart from the Pendergast model in that, so far, nothing supernatural or eerie has occurred.  Still, the writing is good, as always.

Tonight is Evening Chic, so we are dressed a little better – I am wearing what I wore for my lecture and Ellen is always dressed just right.  This evening, we have reservations in the Tuscan Dining Room.  Ellen ordered the Australian Sea Bass and I had the broiled Salmon off the standard menu.  I also had the Cesar Salad (as on the first night, I was unable to finish the salad).  The mashed potatoes with the standard salmon are the hit of the menu.  We passed on dessert in the restaurant and had some coffee and sweets up in the Oceanview Café, which, to my surprise, was essentially empty.

It was warm outside so we went up to the pool deck, which was all lit up in neon.

We caught the second show in The Theater.  Before the show, the Senior Staff was introduced by Eddy.

“Hype” features lead singer, Kennen Bennett, who along with some backup singers and the Edge Band, performed a series of songs – maybe Hip Hop.  

The dancing was very different and interesting and the best part of the show.  However, the dB level was pretty high and the songs all appeared to be the same so we departed at about the middle of the show.

We retreated to Eden and listened to a set by unplugged guitarist/vocalist Florencia

who did some recognizable songs including “Hallelujah”.  Hallelujah was accompanied by a dancer performing some modern interpretive dance involving a basket of flower petals.  

Very new age but very entertaining.

On our way back to the room, I took some pictures of the unusual art that lines the corridor.

Even the room numbers are high tech looking and illuminated.

The lighting in the room is operated by a touch pad.  It has various settings - the "night time" setting dims the lights and the "sleep" setting sequentially turns off all the lights - giving you time to get under the covers before it is totally dark.  Very spiffy.

The clocks move forward tonight to put us on Puerto Rico (Atlantic Time).

Seas are smooth.

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