February 06, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 32

Day 32 – At Sea. The Tasman Sea has calmed a little since last night as the southerly winds have dropped to about 25 MPH. The Air temperature is a cool 63, and is not expected to inch any higher today. We are a little more than half way between New Zealand and Australia. The captain says seas will continue to improve slowly as we progress westerly.

The galley staff is preparing a stir fry for lunch on the Lido deck. Very few passengers are attending. The entire deck is awash with water sloshed from the pool and hot tubs, and the synthetic decking material is very slippery.

Earlier this morning I attended Barbara's presentation on Australia and more specifically Melbourne. Barbara's vision is severely impaired by camera flashes. At the beginning of her presentation she begged that no one use flash photography, as it would blind her for a period of time. Within two minutes she had to stop and just hold onto the podium until her sight returned. Sometimes I just want to beat people over the head. Actually for those with a rock for a brain, that wouldn't even sink in.

A detail that I don't think I shared earlier, Bank of America is providing the foreign exchange on board. This may be why prior to the cruise HAL was very confused when passengers inquired as to whether foreign exchange would be available on the ship. HAL isn't providing it, BOA is, but at HAL's front desk.

I forgot to mention this yesterday, I learned at dinner the other night that two people were left in Picton. I heard the announcement for them to contact the office, and it was confirmed by passengers that knew them that they didn't make it back to the ship. I suspect they will try to re-board in Australia. That is assuming that the ship was able to get their passports back to them. The ship is still holding them all.

Alan Wright's presentation today was about the planets. He showed many excellent photographs of the planets taken by various space missions. He also gave a very clear explanation on why Pluto is now called a dwarf planet, an explanation that was never presented in the general media when the change was announced several years ago. Now that I have heard the scientific reason, I agree, it absolutely was the correct decision. As if my opinion counts for anything.

Tonight we have another formal night, the fifth of the cruise. The dining room does not appear to be decorated for the occasion. I will attend just to see what solution is offered for the overburdened waiters.

There are two shows tonight. The first is by the on location Australian aboriginal ambassador Dhinawan, the second by the Amsterdam Singers and Dancers. The dancers performance contingent on ship stability at showtime.

I never attend, its just more food that I don't need, but every afternoon at 3:00 in either the main dining room or the Crow's Nest there is afternoon tea. Tables are set with white linens and HAL's finest gold decorated china. The serving staff is decked out in black jackets and of course white gloves. Its all about presentation. Even the pastries look too good to eat.

Dinner is good, I share a table with Charlie and Lena Sutton and Marie. Marie is from Sarasota, is a struggling author, on her first world cruise. She is not sure yet whether she likes the whole idea. Charlie and his wife are ministers, and lead the interdenominational services on the ship. It is their second world cruise. He has spent most of his life as a missionary in various parts of the world. We are seated near the center of the dining room, and the service is as it should be, we leave in plenty of time for the 7:30 pm show.

As I arrive in the theater I learn that Dhinawan is unable to perform tonight due to an ear problem. We have a substitute repeat performance of a previous show. I decide to skip the singers and dancers, but may listen to Debby for an hour. It is free time as we again turn our clocks back one hour tonight.

The captain was 100 percent accurate in predicting the seas would continue to improve. The pitch and roll is just enough to make the ship talk to us, but no where near enough that walking is an issue for most passengers.