February 18, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 44

Day 44 At Sea. Today it is a cooler 85 degrees, partly cloudy skies and calm seas. We are headed in a Westerly direction, anticipating arrival in Darwin in two days. We have gone thru the Coral Sea, past the Great Barrier Reef, and are leaving the Pacific Ocean, soon to be in the Indian Ocean.

Life boat 9 still is missing shafts and propellers. This morning there is a note in my door that the dry cleaning system has failed, and it is hoped we will be able to pick up repair parts in Hong Kong in about two weeks.

I had a chat with Patrick Murray this morning on our way to Deck 8. Patrick will be doing another show before he departs in Darwin, then he will be bouncing around various Holland America ships sailing in Australia and Asia until the end of March with "Matilda" his dummy. I also learned that a few years ago he performed at Kings Ridge, the community I live at in Clermont, Fl. Small world.

Speaking of small, I also learned the other day that the youngest, and smallest, person on the ship is also from Clermont. No it's not me, his name is River. He is just over a year old. In fact HAL has a minimum age requirement of one year, and he was five days short of that when we started the cruise. Pleading by his grandfather, and maybe a threat of canceling four other passengers, and they relented to let him sail. He is here with his sister, mother, and grandparents. Very mild tempered, and well liked by all of the crew and passengers, well all except Dolly, she believes that a cruise ship is no place for children. River likes to chase ping pong balls on the Lido deck, and has been training to tend bar in the crow's nest. During a time when he was under Grandpa's supervision not his mother's, I'm sure.

At our stop in Cairns, we loaded on at least six large 50 pound boxes of fresh cut flowers. Yesterday and today the florists have been busy replacing many of the floral arrangements around the ship. They are very creative, as should be expected from the professionals they are. I believe they are from Amsterdam. (The florists, not the flowers.)

This morning Myron and Barbara gave a 45 minute presentation on the excursions for all of our ports of call for the next month. Way too brief to be of much value. Maybe 60 seconds at most about any particular tour. Even though I have already booked all my excursions, I am going to meet with Myron to see if I mistakenly have chosen any excursions that are inappropriate for my physical abilities. There are inconsistencies in excursion descriptions, and we keep getting notices about changes.

I'm still amazed at the number of guests that are wandering around when we are in port asking the shore excursion staff if there are tickets available for this or that excursion. One of the more ridiculous ones was a passenger in Cairns, 2 hours before all aboard time, wanting to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. We had been told numerous times that it was at least a 2 hour boat ride to the reef, and the only way HAL was able to even offer a reef tour was to charter a high speed catamaran exclusive for its use. Some people will never get it.

Tonight's entertainment was Greg Andrew doing an Elton John impersonation. As has happened on several occasions, the technical staff managed to substantially sabotage the show. Greg sang and played the piano, but he was difficult to hear because the band was amplified to a much higher level than the piano and Greg's voice. Probably 50 people left the show early, more than I have seen leave any other show. No, I was not one of them.

Tomorrow is another day at sea. There will be a fire drill for the crew at 9:30, so I can almost guarantee everyone will be awakened if they are not already up and about.