August 27, 2016

Two Days at Sea

The skies remain clear and sunny, the seas calm and the winds slight as we pass North of Cuba and South of the Florida Keys. The Captain is predicting good weather for today and tomorrow as we head back to Port Canaveral. We have managed to out maneuver the storm that dumped a lot of rain on our initial destinations in the Eastern Caribbean. Now that passengers experienced the good weather we enjoyed, and the rainy wet weather we have avoided, everyone appears to be happy.

During the course of several refurbishments, more and more public spaces are being converted into revenue generating venues. I'm not a board game or card player, but several years ago there were two rooms, one primarily for board games, the other with numerous tables for the card players. One of the rooms has been converted into a rather permanent construction office for outside vendors that are working on the ship, and the card room has been left with only 1 table and 5 or 6 chairs. Needless to say the card players are rather frustrated, especially those that are not able to use the diamond lounge.

I must admit after being on a small ship with about 20% of the number of passengers as here, and then a mid sized ship with half the passengers, The Freedom seems quite crowded. There is almost always a wait for an elevator, a line to enter the dining room, and very limited seating in the Concierge Lounge and Diamond Lounge. I have tried to go to the Diamond Lounge on several occasions, and found no available seats. Of course the pools are packed, but I don't use the pools on a ship as I have access to several nice clean uncrowded ones at home.

Tonight is the second formal night. Most passengers are looking forward to Lobster, needless to say, being allergic to fish and seafood, I'm not. Probably three cheese tortellini or prime rib. Drew Thomas is our entertainer for tonight. He has been on the Freedom for several years. He is a good magician or illusionist, whichever you prefer. The theater is packed long before he begins his show. He has changed his show a little since last year, but it is basically the same.

On the morning of the last day at sea, the captain and some officers hold the Captain's Corner where guests can ask some questions. Some of them can be hilarious, or scary, depending on your perspective.

One guest stated he booked a port side balcony so he could overlook the port while we were docked and asked the captain why he docked on the starboard side of the ship instead of the port side as he was supposed to. He docks whichever way is easiest to maneuver the ship.

Of course someone always asks who is driving the ship since the Captain is here talking to the guests. Other officers.

Another guest wanted to know if the ship washed towels as her friend always brought washcloths and towels with her because she was told the ship never washed them. Yes, tons on laundry everyday.

Another passenger wanted to know if the drinking water was really recycled and purified waste water as she had been told. No, waste water is purified to drinking standards and discharged into the ocean.

At one point when asked about the change in itinerary, the Captain let it slip that the decision was made last week, several days before we even left Port Canaveral. A fact they usually don't divulge to the passengers.

The weather is near perfect again, and the forecast for our arrival in port is a typical Florida forecast, hot, humid, with a chance of late afternoon showers.

Most of the day we have been moving forward at less than 5 knots. I suspect the gulf stream is probably moving faster than that. Normally the Freedom only takes one day to go from Cozumel to Port Canaveral, but we have taken two since we were diverted from the Eastern Caribbean.

I expect to be home, unpacked, and laundry finished by late Sunday afternoon. My next cruise is booked for October, but that may change tomorrow, I never know.