April 23, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 109

Day 109 – At sea in the North Atlantic. We continue on our westerly course towards Florida at a little over 20 knots. The seas are calm, the skies partly cloudy with patches of blue. The winds have subsided to less than 20 mph from the South. The air temperature is a crisp 62. Our course has been altered further South to avoid a storm several hundred miles to our North.

The activities these final days are different than during our first long stretch at sea. It is the cruise lines last opportunity to separate us from our money. They are trying hard this week. There is "luggage service" available much of the day in the atrium. You can purchase bubble wrap, boxes, packaging tape, and even arrange for Fed Ex shipping of boxes or suitcases. Some how you need to get all that junk you have purchased back home. Of course you have to carry everything through customs, items for shipment are accepted only after you and your luggage have cleared customs. I brought an empty suitcase with me, and it most likely will go home empty, or just with saved paperwork and "gifts" from HAL.

At 11:00 there is one of the ever present "Champagne Art Auctions" where you are given the opportunity to purchase overpriced art reproductions. Even free drinks don't entice this crowd, nine people attend even though they have set up seating for over 75. I don't attend. I have no guess as to whether they sold anything.

At 2:00 there is a presentation on future cruises to South America. I attend, but manage to fall asleep.

At 3:00, the Indonesian crew members do an "Indonesian Cultural Show" in the main theater. It is the first time I have seen every seat in the theater occupied, and people standing at the back. HAL spent more on costumes and stage decorations for this show than they spend on many of the main shows. The show was good, and of course the passengers now know many of the participating staff. The costume investment is amortized over many years as they do this every year.

Clean clothes. We don't need many more, laundry and dry cleaning services are being suspended in two days.

Ultimately HAL offered foreign exchange for currencies needed in the majority of countries we visited. Today is the last day it will operate. I'm just taking mine back home, as I have some currencies that HAL didn't handle and need to go to the bank anyway, or actually my daughter Adrienne does.

I will start to think about packing, but that is as far as I will go. Most likely I will pack next Friday. It shouldn't take me more than a few hours. Actually the hardest part will be getting the suitcases out from under the bed. I'll ask Agung, my room steward, for help.

We again set our clock back 1 hour tonight. The captain is predicting that the seas will be a little rougher tomorrow because of the storm to our North. The Filipino crew show scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed until calmer seas.

The show tonight is a special treat that I'm sure that was scheduled just for me. Some of you are aware that jazz is my favorite music. If I have the radio on either at home or in the car, I am listening to a jazz station. Tonight jazz pianist and NPR radio personality Judy Carmichael will not only be performing, but her second show will not be a repeat of the first show as every other entertainer has done the entire cruise. I attend both shows, maybe that will hold me until I return home and resume hearing her regular program.