January 26, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 21

Day 21- Skies are partly cloudy, the wind is blowing about 30 mph directly on our port side. Temperatures are in the mid to upper 70's. The choppy seas are covered with white caps, and the ship is rolling enough that it is wise to have a hand rail close by. There sure is a big difference in the stability of the smaller Amsterdam compared to the larger ships I often cruise on.

We have new guest speakers on board, but I have no interest in either of the topics being discussed today. I plan to spend a little time working on my other passion, model railroading. The NMRA is holding their international convention in Orlando in 2017, and the Orlando N-Trak club, is planning to have a display layout at the convention. I need to help design some control logic for crossing gates. Don, is writing the software for the Rasberry Pi 2B that will control the gates, some grade crossing flashers, and some sound effects.

Yesterday as I walked some of the cabin hallways, I noticed many passengers were getting notifications about problems with their Australian visas. Not sure what the problem is, but many passengers either didn't request the required visas, they weren't delivered by their travel agent, or Australia won't allow them to have one. No, I did not get banned – yet.

Our scheduled tendering port for tomorrow is Rarotongo, Cook Islands. The captain has already announced that at the moment the seas are too rough to tender. He and the port authorities will make a final decision on what to do in the morning. I believe the last two world cruises didn't stop here either because of unsafe conditions for tendering.

I have been told that many of the more eccentric frequent world cruise passengers are missing this year because the itinerary is nearly the same as last year. That hasn't prevented some interesting tidbits of information from surfacing about some current and prior passengers.

Over the 115 days, we have 14 scheduled formal nights. One guest claimed on social media to have packed 40 evening gowns. No chance of being seen in the same gown twice. I usually travel with one suit and one tie. Thanks to Santa Claus I have a couple of extra ties for this trip.

At boarding in Ft Lauderdale, a passenger boarded with his personal 40 plus inch TV. HAL policy permits whatever you want as long as nothing is removed from the cabin, and no damage is done.

A lady arrived with 15 suitcases. The crew stowed them somewhere during the cruise as there is only room for 2, and any others that you can nest in the 2, under the beds. I suppose it's one way to save on laundry charges.

Previously A guest booked a second cabin solely to have the extra storage space. Or maybe the husband/wife thought he/she might be kicked out before the end of the cruise and wanted to be assured of a place to sleep?

And probably the smartest passenger brought 12 cases of wine. No settling for second best if the ship runs low on his favorite bottle. Yes he pays a corkage fee. Maybe he owns a winery? I don't know, he hasn't invited me to join him.

I go to the dining room tonight. I have dined with everyone else at the table before. Unfortunately 3 of the other 6 passengers admitted to feeling sick. Yes, I felt a little uneasy. If I tell you in a week I am dining in my room, you will know why.

Our first new entertainers were an Australian husband and wife singing and playing piano, guitar, or a violin. For the first 3 weeks HAL has done a good job in selecting a wide variety of entertainment.

On the chance that we can tender, I have set my alarm for 7:00 AM. There seems to be something wrong with that while on vacation.