February 24, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 50

Day 50 At sea. The temperature is a very pleasant 82 degrees. Skies partly cloudy, and the seas almost flat. We are technically in the Java Sea, cruising Westerly off the North coast of Java. The water is relatively shallow, sometimes only 50 feet deep. Every mile or so we pass a small fishing boat, sometimes I think some of them deliberately try to get right in front of us. Soon we pass some of the many oil drilling platforms in the region. The flaring flames reach hundreds of feet in the air.

Agung had a great time with his family yesterday. His wife came and picked him up at the pier and then they met their children at school. The kids didn't know he was coming and were super excited to see him.

Hanif's family is coming to the ship to visit him tomorrow.

I decide today should be a laundry day. Days I have shore excursions, I go through several sets of clothing, and laundry is so much easier when there is just one medium sized load. My initial idea that the laundry would be a good place to pick up rumors has turned out to be false. Usually the only other person in the laundry is someone doing ironing, today the same woman was there for hours.

I have no idea who, but somebody must have decided the detergent they brought from home would be better than the free detergent included in the $2.00 washer price. Two machines were solid with suds. If the machines weren't sealed there would have been suds running down the hall. I wonder how many rinses it is going to take to get all the soap out?

We now have several tailors on the ship that boarded in Darwin. They are taking measurements and orders for custom tailored clothes, primarily shirts and suits, that will be delivered when we arrive in Hong Kong. A custom shirt starts at $135, and a suit jacket at $550. I have no need, but many other passengers do, especially those that almost live here.

A couple of other details from yesterday. Never advertised, but our tour bus had free internet access all day. Our guide told us that internet service in Bali is good for most residents. Most homes have drinking water and electricity, but laundry is done by hand in the canals and rivers. The water was so dirty I can't imagine how one would get clothes clean.

Our tour yesterday was over 8 hours long and included lunch. If we have heard it once, we have heard it at least 42 times, "drink plenty of water", "stay hydrated", "take bottled water with you when you leave the ship", etc. Most passengers have caught on, and take water with them. When we arrive at the Safari Park, all bags are searched and all food and water items are confiscated. I understand several possible reasons why.

When we get to lunch, no water is served. If you want a glass of water, it is extra, and not included with our tour. Not exactly good planning on HAL's part. Most everyone buys something, either water, Coke, or beer. We must remain hydrated, even if we feel this was pretty cheap on HAL's part to not even include a glass of water with our $225 tour, or to at least tell us in advance it would be extra. I'll see what happens tomorrow.

Speaking of HAL being cheap, it is standard procedure that when an entertainer has finished a show, the audience is asked if we would like to hear that person again. Of course some passengers always say yes. Gene's (the cruise director) standard answer is "we will see what we can do".

In reality the entertainer is always booked to do just one show. If they do a second show, they are not compensated for it. I can imagine the pressure, realizing if they say no to a second free show they might not get any future offers of employment at all. I'm sure they quickly learned the ways of HAL and have priced their performances accordingly.

Tomorrow I need to be ready for my 9 hour shore excursion to the Temple of Borobudur just after 6 AM. Of course with part of the trip by narrow gauge steam train, it is OK to get up so early. Normally breakfast isn't even being served until 6:30. I am concerned I will have to order room service. Despite my many cruises, I have never used room service even once.

It usually doesn't work, but I will try to get to sleep early tonight, tomorrow is going to be a very hot long day.

I listen to a lecture about pirates, I'm pretty sure I have heard this program before, or one very similar. A stop at the Crow's Nest for some socializing and probably just ice water. Dinner will definitely be in the Lido as soon as it opens in preparation for early bed time.

I stop at the cabin after dinner before I go the listen to Debby. I'm spared. With a 6:00 AM docking, breakfast service starts at 5:00 AM instead of the usual 6:30. I won't be there that early, but at least I don't need to order room service. The latest weather forecast is for cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 90's.