Wednesday, May 17, 2023

April 30, 2023 – Ponta Delgada, Portugal – Very Windy, Heavy Rain – 50F

After six days at sea, we are greeted by an ugly day in Ponta Delgada.  Windy, swells, and rain plus reduced visibility.  

I was up early enough to watch the sail in.  I could tell by how the bow thrusters were struggling that the docking was treacherous, especially for a ship of this size.  I then noticed that we were sailing again and then the captain came on and said that the winds (40+kts) prevented us from docking at Ponta Delgada and that we would now have an extra sea day. At least it wasn't due to COVID and a rejection by the port.  

A few minutes later, as expected, I got a call from Alexa asking if I could do my Romanov Lecture at 11:15 AM in the Celebrity Theater.  I said that would be fine and she said that the day’s schedule was being worked on and the passenger would have new daily programs delivered and that the app would be updated. She also indicated that I would be doing talks on the two remaining sea days – Jack the Ripper and Identifying the Famous and Infamous. I wonder if that was due to the decent turnouts for the talks.  Ellen suggested I go casual because of this unscheduled lecture so I wore my "hibiscus" golf shirt.

Considering all of the changes this morning, I still had a decent turnout for the “Forensics and History: The Mystery of the Romanovs”.  Alexa explained what was going on with the missed port and how events were being set up for the extra day at sea.  She then gave me a short but nice introduction.

Some passengers were pleased at getting to hear this lecture but on the other hand, after all those days are sea, no port, and more days at sea. 

We had lunch in Eden (now open on this de facto sea day). I really like the Gorgonzola Blue Cheese salad (spinach, beets, tomatoes, onions, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing).  I don't usually like spinach-based salads but with so many additional flavor elements, it worked.  Also had a scoop of tuna and some freshly sliced bread.

The rest of the day was spent in the Solarium. Ironically, the weather improved as the day went on.

Back in the room, I was curious as to what the televised version of today's lecture looked like.  It turns out that the system is terrific showing both me and the slides.  Really excellent AV and tech on board.

The headliner was Magician Matt Johnson. We had seen him before on another Celebrity Ship and his act was basically the same – he only did four tricks in this show. He did a mentalist type number trick, which I remember seeing before.


I wonder if he uses audience members as plants in his show. He did replicate Houdini's upside-down escape (not in a water tank) but against a timer.  By the way, Matt did free himself in time (I think it was two minutes).  He said the only way he could do this was to dislocate his shoulders - I thought that hurt but he is a magician.

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