August 29, 2018

August 27 - Sea Day

I start my day with a trip to the buffet for breakfast. My usual bowl of cereal and glass of juice. Everyone is talking about the storm we passed through during the night, waking most passengers. The thunder and lightning was intense, with no delay between the two, indicating the storm was very very close.

By sunrise the skies were clearing and the day began with temperatures very comfortable in the high 70's or low 80's.

The cruise critic meet and mingle is in the sky lounge this week to accommodate the large crowd. Same format as last week. An introduction of many of the officers, a few words from the cruise director and from the captain. We learn that Bug Naked awoke the captain during the storm. I'm still OK that I missed it.

Trivia, that old staple of entertainment has been taken to a new level on the Equinox. They are testing a system where guests use their phone, ipad, or other device to enter answers. Connected by wi-fi, questions are displayed on your device, there is a time limit to answer, and scores are compiled automatically. The opportunity to cheat has been reduced, no more stalling for time by asking the question to be repeated. I expect this system will be rolled out to all Celebrity ships in the near future. What does the cruise line get? Better control of the key chains and more data about their customers. Is there a fee to play trivia in the future?

I take the complimentary galley tour, not because I haven't done any before, but just to see if anything is any  different on Celebrity. My first impression is that the galley is more crowded than most that I have seen. The galley tour itself takes about 10 minutes, the next 30 is primarily a sales pitch  for speciality dining.

I find a comfortable table on deck 5 by the atrium and spend a few hours writing.  The keyboard and phone works pretty well. Of course the editing functions are much more limited than with a laptop, but that would not matter much if the author could type. The convenience of not lugging around a laptop so far outweighs the shortcomings of this approach.

I don't consider myself a technology leader, and have been surprised by the number of people walking by that see what I am doing and stopping to ask questions. I am definitely not alone in having fingers that are too big to use phone keyboards.

There are quite a few more little kids here this week, and a fair number of teenagers. Most are well behaved. Running up and down the hall ways has been limited to daytime hours. One boy, I would guess about 7 or 8 years old, has mastered the game of elevator.  He pushes both the up and down call buttons, and then as any elevator arrives he just reaches in and pushes all the buttons without getting on. As soon as the elevator leaves he pushes the call button again. This kept him occupied, for quite awhile.

The skies remain partly cloudy, the seas calm, and the air temperature rises throughout the day. We are headed in an easterly direction along the northern coast of Cuba until about 9 PM when we pass Guantanamo and turn south. As we enter the Caribbean the ship begins to roll a slight amount as the waves are now on our port side instead of on the bow.

Formal nights are a thing of the past on Celebrity. What historically would have been labeled formal night is now "Evening Chic". For men the suggested dress is a "button shirt, comfortable slacks, or designer jeans". Of course suits and tuxedos are acceptable as well. I would estimate about 35% of the men are wearing a jacket or better compared with about 15% last week. And yes there are a few shorts and sleeveless tee shirts.

Tonight's schedule allocated 45 minutes for pictures with the Captain. After an hour and a half she is still greeting guests and smiling. Definitely  a very popular captain.

Tomorrow is another sea day.

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