January 25, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 20

Day 20 Moorea. Moorea is about 12 miles from Papeete, Tahiti. The skies are very cloudy as we anchor and begin our tendering process. The air temperature is quite pleasant, but inside the tender it is sweltering as usual. The boat has a rated capacity of 100 passengers for tender service, and 150 as a life boat. Nearly every time I have been on the tender it is packed. If we tried to get 150 passengers in the boat, the last 50 will be sitting on the laps of the first 100. I think whoever designed the ratings system must have used 50 pound kids to calculate capacity.

The entrance/exit to the tender is mid boat on either the port or starboard side. There are 8 fold down seats in the passageway, for the last few passengers that board. Surprise, there are some passengers that always insist on sitting in those seats even when they are first on the boat. Obviously this blocks the entrance for everyone else as they have to climb over knees, legs, feet and bags to board. This is one case where HAL should say something, but the tenders are operated by deckhands that will say nothing. The lack of respect by some people never ceases to entertain me. I suppose it does give me something to write about.

I take a 3 hour tour around the island. As the morning progresses, the sky clears and the sun becomes very hot. All of the land near the water is built upon, and a few houses are starting to be built on the sides of the hills. There are a few major hotels, a new one under construction, and several falling into disrepair, having failed as a business. The scenery is spectacular, and the two protected bays very calm.

Electricity first came to the island in the early 1980s, and is straining to keep up with demand, outages are frequent. There is a public water system, but whenever it rains, sand an dirt gets into the mains and muddy water comes out of the faucet. Yuck. I'm glad I brought water from the ship.

I'm back on board by 1:00. Since I have been going thru two sets of clothes each day, I decide to do laundry again. Good decision, all 4 machines on deck six are empty. Tomorrow being a sea day the laundry will probably be much busier.

While the dryer is running, I send yesterday's post, with a picture of the sunset. What a painful process, the email with the picture attachment takes over 20 minutes to send. I hope it gets posted. Please enjoy the sunset as there won't be many more pictures unless internet speed improves. Everyone is complaining about the slow speeds. It has been this way for years and HAL has made no attempt at any improvements. The only thing that has changed is that more people want to use it. I will guess this will be question number one for Orlando Ashford.

Happy hour has been daily from 4 to 5. This works well for early diners, but not those that don't eat until 8:30. They have requested some adjustment. Today they add another happy hour from 6 to 7. Good for the passengers, but several members of the bar staff just lost some break time. The word is that the extended hours will likely remain for the rest of the cruise.

Tonight my dinner choice is prime rib. I go to the dining room and ask the hostess for three things: to share a table with others, to have a table with a waiter, and to have the waiter bring food. She agrees. I am seated with two couples that are on the fixed dining at 5:30. Their table is set for 6, but the other seats have never been filled so they have asked the manager to please have someone else sit with them. I guess after 3 weeks they want a fresh face.

Tonight's entertainment is Bayne Bacon, a musician and comedian. Contrary to what many passengers think, he is not related to Debby Bacon, the piano player. His jokes are good, but his piano and guitar playing are overpowered by the ships orchestra.

The ship is currently about 18 degrees south of the equator, and 150 degrees West, headed on a course of 247 degrees (basically west). There is a couple degrees of roll from the wind and seas directly on our port side. Tomorrow will be a sea day. No setting an alarm tonight to catch an early excursion.