March 19, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 74

Day 74 – At sea in the Bengal Bay of the Indian Ocean. At noon time under partly cloudy skies it is 82 degrees, warmer than forecast, but still cooler than it has been recently. The humidity is only 70%. The seas are calm and there is a very light breeze from the North. Our speed continues at about 17 Knots in a Westerly direction towards Sri Lanka.

Language and customs sometimes create funny results. The woman in front of me at the Lido ordered bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast. When handed her plate she asked if she could have an extra plate for her husband as they were sharing. The cook prepared two more eggs, bacon, and toast and handed her another plate. I saw the humor, she didn't.

The A/C is still broken in the Lido on deck 8, and also in the front office and excursion desk area of deck 4. The word is that something needs to be replaced. I don't know if that means in the next few days, the next port, or during the next refurbishment. Though it is disappointing that there are mechanical failures that can't be quickly fixed, when one considers the complexity of all the systems on the ship the overall reliability is pretty good.

I carefully went thru the rest of the excursions I have booked looking for gotchas that would make any of them very difficult or uncomfortable for me. I found one, a lunch in the Jordanian desert where we sit in a tent on the ground. The brochure doesn't say that, but when it said something about authentic carpets I became nervous. The shore excursion desk confirmed my suspicions, the carpets are for sitting on for lunch. I will cancel the excursion.

Nyron also apologized for never getting back with me as he promised. He now has passed the buck to Amy to see if there are other excursions I have signed up for that may not be compatible with my abilities.

While I am on the subject of excursions I will make a strong recommendation to other travelers. Don't book your excursions ahead of time. Make yourself a priority list for each port, but wait until you hear the shore excursion presentation before booking. In some cases you can visit the same things that are on an excursion by walking a few blocks from the ship, in others you will learn that the tour is not at all as it is described in the brochure. I now know better and doubt if I will ever book excursions early again. I will make a list of what I think I want to do, but wait until several days before the port to book.

Today we are given a questionnaire about our desired itinerary for the 2018 World Cruise. HAL does listen to some extent, India was dropped from this cruise based on customer feedback last year.

Our entertainer tonight was a male vocalist Michel Bell accompanied on the piano by his wife Catherine Matejka. Yes I spelled Michel correctly. He had a very strong excellent voice, and gave a good performance.

We anticipate an arrival in Hambantota at 8:00 AM. I am staying on the ship, no excursion for me.