March 24, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 79

Day 79 – A sea day in the Arabian Sea. The air temperature is a little cooler at 82, humidity 76%, wind out of the Northwest at 15 mph. The skies are partly cloudy and the seas mostly calm. We continue on a Northwesterly course towards Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at just under 17 knots.

There was a "pirate" drill for the crew this morning. Passengers were not allowed on deck three to watch, but I could see the "water cannon" in action from deck 9. The spray of water from the nozzle was blown away by the wind before it reached the water even though the nozzle was aimed straight down. Since they are temporarily bolted to the railings they are not maneuverable or portable. In my opinion if pirates were climbing up the side of the ship, under one of the "cannons", if the water even reached them it would probably just cool them off a little.

The only areas razor wired are where there is an open railing on deck three. The parts of deck three that have a solid railing height wall, instead of an open railing, have no razor wire. None is installed around the entire stern of the ship either. Reminds me of TSA screenings at airports, makes the politicians feel good to say they are doing something, but not very effective against the determined terrorist.

Barbara was scheduled to tell us about Dubai this morning, but after the program was printed someone realized the timing conflicted with the drill and the presentation would have been stopped half way through the program. (All guest services cease for the duration of major crew drills.) It has been rescheduled for tomorrow.

Jeremy, one of the bartenders in the Crow's Nest, often only makes one or two drinks all day on sea days, resulting in lots of idle time. He usually spends it making "stuff" out of the corks, wine tops, cans, and bottle tops he collects. Yesterday he made a Tuk Tuk, today he is working on a four passenger, three wheeler bike. During past sea days he has made numerous motor cycles. His only tools are a small pair of scissors and a pair of needle nose pliers. Some he sells, others he gives to pretty ladies.

Another beverage department employee, whose name I won't reveal, recently told me that many crew members that depend on tips for the majority of their income refuse to work on the long voyages like The World Cruise, as transportation and incidentals cost them more than they make. He has already decided he will never do it again.

I make a quick trip to the medical facility to get one of my medicines they are holding in storage. They are very busy with numerous patients confined to rooms in the medical facility.

I am going to try and listen to Kate Ross presentation on Muslim art and architecture this afternoon. During the previous two presentations of hers I was put to sleep by her monotone reading of a script from her laptop. Hopefully today I will do better. (I didn't, 45 minutes of monotone voice is just too much.)

Last night Amy, from the shore excursion desk, left me a message that she had looked over all my excursion choices. I changed the one where she was concerned about the walking terrain and I also looked into changing my tour in Monaco.

Two tours in Monaco are nearly identical except one stopped in Nice and the other stopped in Eze Village for about an hour of free time. When I asked which anyone preferred, Amy liked them both, Nyron had never been to either, but luckily another passenger at the counter had lived in Monte Carlo for several years, and said that definitely it was better to spend free time in Nice, and the walking is easier there. My decision was made for me, thanks to the experience of a well traveled fellow passenger.

As we have lost and gained some passengers, and others have been traveling for almost three months, some of the passenger dynamics have changed. There are more passengers going to the casino every night. One Asian man is there every time I walk thru whether it is 10 AM 6 PM or 10 PM. Definitely a big gambler. Many of the flexible dining passengers now eat in the Lido every night or have switched to fixed dining. A classic setup for HAL to think passengers don't like flexible dining when the real reason the passengers aren't going is because of such poor service.

The Crow's Nest is also becoming more popular during happy hour, whether it is at 4, 6, or 9 PM, or for some, all three times. Surprisingly the bartenders allow people to "bank" drinks. Pay for two during happy hour, have one now and the second tomorrow or any other time. Of course water is always available and soft drinks or higher priced drinks don't qualify.

Tonight Tony Pace, a Las Vegas singer and comedian, is our main entertainer in the Queen's Lounge. I will be there. Good or bad, the entertainment is at least different every night.