April 26, 2016

World Cruise 2016 Day 112

Day 112 – At Sea. We are just past the half way point of our Atlantic crossing. The temperature this morning is 73, the wind about 25 mph directly on our bow as we have turned to a heading just North of Westerly towards South Florida at 19.5 knots. The humidity is 83%, yes, Florida weather. There is a little motion to the ship, but not as much as yesterday.

For any of you that have cruised for more than a few years, you recognize that the industry keeps cutting back to reduce costs. Many years ago it was common to have a very large and elaborate midnight buffet every night. This was reduced to maybe once a week, and on many lines it has been eliminated entirely. My only previous HAL cruise had the midnight buffet at 10 PM and only a handful of people showed up. I totally support this change as I don't know of a single cruise passenger that needed the extra food, and most of the food was wasted.

HAL has come up with a good solution. The Grand Buffet is presented only once on our world cruise, and that will be at noon time today. After an hour long opportunity to take pictures, the buffet also becomes lunch service for those that want to participate. As usual the presentation is flawless. No less than six ice sculptures, chocolate fountains, shrimp trees, fruit carved into all sorts of things from flowers to fish and birds in a birdcage. Caviar, lamb chops, shrimp, sardines, many breads, cheeses, fruits, cold cuts, and vegetables. The hot items were not on display, only items that could be left at room temperature for an extended period of time. I'm passing on lunch today.

This afternoon there is a reception for half of the Mariner Society members. The other half is later this evening. This is HALS loyalty group. Appetizers and beverages will be served. Their program works on star levels, one to five. Everyone that has completed the world cruise attains at least a three star level. The benefit associated with that accomplishment is infinitesimally small, the one or two glasses of wine I have tonight are about it.

Tonight is also the last Gala night, I will have the turf half of the surf and turf. There is no entertainment, but there is the "Masked Ball" starting at 9:30. I will probably only make a brief appearance before retiring for the evening. Yes, my wine soaked clothes made it back from cleaning. In fact the Pinnacle Grill manger called me to make sure.

We turn our clocks back another hour tonight in anticipation of our arrival in Florida Saturday morning.