Friday, March 20, 2020

October 26, 2019 – New Orleans, LA – Cloudy – 70s

The room was very quiet and I was able to sleep until about 5:30 AM – I must have misread the dining times because when I went to the Marketplace for breakfast at 6:30 AM, only the continental buffet was open.  The regular buffet would open at 7:30 AM.  So here I am in the Starlite Lounge journaling.  The Symphony actually departed New Orleans around 7:15 AM.  I also noticed that the Carnival Valor is now docked in the city.  Symphony did a complete 180 and is now heading up the Mississippi River on its day long journey to the open seas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Here is the itinerary for this cruise.

We got a limited view of the Mississippi from our stateroom.

At 7:30 AM, I went back up to the Marketplace for a real breakfast.  Earlier, I had part of a grapefruit but now I had a waffle, cottage cheese, jams, and a scoop of scrambled eggs.  The decaf coffee kept coming and it was hot.  The breakfast was very good.

I got my times confused and I arrived at the tail end of Jay Wolf’s lecture on Columbus.  It’s always interesting to hear someone else lecture on a topic of yours.  He got most of it correct but he is looking at the story from a somewhat different angle.  He got some interesting questions afterwards – “Was Columbus really born in Genoa? Should we not celebrate Columbus Day anymore?”  I’m glad I don’t get that last question.

The rest of the morning was spent watching the scenery along the Mississippi.  I also used Google to pinpoint the ship's location along the way.

We had lunch in the Marketplace Buffet.  The place was slammed and we were lucky to get a seat.  I had the salad bar, vegetarian jambalaya (better than the kosher version from New Orleans), and white onion soup (more of a cream soup with no onions).   I also tried the haddock, which was OK.

We spent most of the afternoon up in the seating area behind Silk Restaurant (Deck 11) (the "Deck 11 Reading Area").  The chairs are comfortable, the bar is right there, and the views are great (solid windows – un-tinted).  I am about 20 percent through “Midnight Line” and it looks like another Reacher winner.  The hook was quick and effective.  And nothing goes better with a good book than a good strawberry daiquiri. 

As we ventured out into the Gulf, the warmer temps convinced us to find lounge chairs on Deck 11 forward for reading and relaxing.

Before dinner, we listened to the smooth vocals of the Crystal Quartet in the Starlite Lounge.  The “Gents” were at work dancing with the single ladies.  The group alternates between vocals and instrumentals. 

At 6:00 PM, we had dinner in the Waterside Dining Room.  It’s open seating and we got seated at Table 95 – seating for two and a view of the water.  We also noticed that Petra, our wonderful waitress from the Czech Republic and Vlados, our super head waiter, were also still on board.  Ellen ordered the Maple Salmon and I ordered the pan fried Cod (on the recommendation of our waiter).  We both had salads.  The Salmon was a winner but I felt the cod was undercooked so I swapped it for the pasta (marinara sauce and pepper flakes – hold the baby shrimp).  The pasta was great and I could easily have finished it all but I left half.  We both had dessert – coconut cake and Bailey’s Cake and they were OK.

After checking out tomorrow’s menu, we ordered Kosher meals – a hamburger for me and duck for ET. 

We went to the Galaxy Lounge to watch Comedy Impressionist Scott Record.  We had never seen him before but his bio indicated that he opened for just about everybody back in the day (Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, etc.).  His brand of humor was different – he played three recorders simultaneously (two in his nose!).  He did all of the voices in “We Are the World”.  His best impression was Dr. Phil – dead on.  It was hard to tell what the audience reaction was but it was an interesting 50 minutes.

We went to the room early to rest. I am starting a new round of augmentin because the sinus thing is not gone.

The seas are choppy tonight and the ship has a subtle creak.

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