April 11, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 97

Day 97 – In the Mediterranean Sea headed to Piraeus, Greece. This morning the temperature is 59 degrees under mostly sunny blue skies with scattered clouds. The air is crisp. We are headed west north westerly at 18.5 knots, and there is a 30 mph wind directly on our bow. Seas are about 10 feet and the ship is riding smoothly. The forecast is basically the same for the rest of the day and tomorrow morning. After our arrival in the morning, highs for the day in Athens are expected to reach the upper 70's.

This morning Barbara gives a presentation on Monaco. The biggest surprise is that we will be docked, previously this was listed on our itinerary as a tender port.

I think I have passed a significant milestone in my travels. As we were completing our transit of the Suez canal the other day I found myself in the Crow's Nest attempting to take pictures through the dirty windows while sitting at the bar drinking ice water. How lazy could I get. Maybe better described as a low point, not a milestone.

There have been a number of mechanical failures on the ship over the last few days. Four cabins were flooded after a waterline broke. Unfortunately it wasn't discovered for several hours. Fortunately there are many empty cabins and all those affected were relocated. It could have been worse, a sewer line.

Yesterday, as we do in most ports, we disembark the ship from the forward gangways which may be on deck A, 1, or 2 depending on dock and sea height. Yesterday morning just as we were approaching the dock I found two of the four forward elevators out of service and none of the elevator call buttons on the port side of the ship workable. When I told the front desk, they were unaware of the problem. Sometimes I think they tell every guest this whenever anything is reported. Actually this is a situation that the crew, staff, or officers wouldn't have seen as they use stairs or the staff elevators 99% of the time. All was fixed when I returned to the ship later in the day.

Last night I had to get another new key, as mine quit functioning and I couldn't get into my cabin. I think I am on key 9. The magnetic stripe becomes corrupted way too easily. Many passengers have the same problem. I don't know if the issue is the card writers or the blank card stock, but there is definitely a problem.

I can't imagine a common cause but both grills, the heated buffet stand and the ice/water dispenser at the "Dive In" on the Lido deck by the pool are not working. There is a temporary solution. Orders for hot dogs or hamburgers are taken as usual, phoned to the Galley, and then carried to the Dive In where the guest is paged to pick up their order. Several technicians have been working on the problem since last evening.

The ship that was so nicely cleaned on the outside just a few days ago has a new coating of sand following our stay in Israel. The Crow's Nest windows lack the previous bird droppings, but visibility is pretty poor.

The razor wire has been removed and presumably rolled up ready for use the next time the ship is in pirate territory. The four extra security personnel have also left the ship.

There had been no reception on the sports channels for a number of weeks. Today sporadic reception has returned. Maybe some customers will return to the sports bar.

By late afternoon the captain has altered our course slightly West to head more directly into the 30 mph wind. He also has increased our speed to 19.5 knots, but the ship is beginning to pitch, roll, moan and groan a little. I suspect the seas may have become higher. The air temperature remains cool at 60.

Tonight is another Gala night. There appear to be no decorations as there often have been for previous gala events.

The Singers and Dancers return to the theater tonight with a production centered around Blues and Jazz. Being a Jazz fan, I will certainly be there. Starting at 9:30 there is a "Toga" party in the Crow's Nest. I will make a short, uncostumed appearance.

By bed time the wind has increased to 35 mph. With the roll, pitch, creaking and moaning combined with the magic fingers resonate vibration it should be a good sleeping night.

It is hurting my fingers to type this, but in less than three weeks I will be home in Florida. On the positive side, one of my first tasks after I am home will be to finalize any details for my trip to Alaska, the Arctic Circle, and another cruise a few weeks later. My fingers are better.