February 03, 2020

Feb 1, 2 Sea Days

I sleep my usual 10 hours plus. There is a gentle motion to the ship throughout the night caused by the swells. Much better than perfect calm. First on the agenda this morning is the shore excursion presentation. Mostly a commercial to sell excursions, but also a little information about our ports of call. Often by this point the captain knows which pier we will dock at. Not that it makes much difference, or there is anything I can do about it as a passenger, but some piers are more convenient than others.

Rather humorously the speaker tries to drum up passenger excitement for beach excursions and zip lines. It doens't happen, these passengers are mostly over that, preferring instead scenic tours and food tasting.

Only one passenger indicated any interest in a two tank scuba dive excursion. It wasn't me, my diving days are also a thing of the past. 

Many passengers attend for the free drawing at the end. A few Bingo tee shirts, discounts at the spa, and a discount coupon on an excursion. My ticket doesn't even come close to the drawn numbers. Exactly my luck, or lack thereof.

On the last cruise I skipped most of the special events for Pinnacle passengers, I decide to attend some this week. The first is a late morning cocktail reception, light lunch. My guess is that about 35 passengers attend, and many officers. Served buffet style it is easy to control how much I eat. A fruit cup, and chicken "slider",  and a few unsalted tortilla chips. I won't mention the endless glasse of wine. The food was good, and overall a nice reception. Certainly better than going to the Windjammer.

The weather is near perfect with the skies varying between fully sunny to partly cloudy. The temperatures hover in the high 70's to about 80. With a nice breeze across the deck from a light wind on our bow and our forward motion, it is very pleasant outdoors.

Mid afternoon calls for a short nap, followed by a shower and dressing for "formal" night. I compromise. Dress shirt and special bow tie but no jacket. I expect Steve and Terry to being wearing jackets, but I have been finding the dining room just a little too warm with a jacket. Also in late afternoon the sun shines into the lounge, and when combined with the large number of passengers it gets a little warm.

I say special bow tie as it is one with "flip flops", made by a friend for all of us to wear when we cruise. I was given specific instructions to bring mine.

I should stop trying to anticipate others. No one wore a jacket, and while both Steve and Terry wore a bow tie, they were not the "flip flop" ties. I win, they are the losers. Marilyn will be disappointed.

The food in the dining room continues to be excellent despite the fact that we have a new head chef this week.

After dinner, a stop in the Schooner Bar to listen to Perry Grant for a few hours. Having never heard him before, the others enjoyed his show.

At bed time the clocks are turned ahead an hour in preparation for days ahead on the Eastern Caribbean islands. The swells have subsided, and the seas remain under 3 feet resulting in a very smooth passage.

We all meet for trivia at 10AM. I am of little help. The first question, which I did know, was eliminated because another passenger shouted out the answer for most to hear.

We decide to take a "cabin crawl" as we all have cabins in different categories. Mine an inside, Pann and Terry an oceanview, and Adrienne and Steve a balcony. Though all as expected, there were some unexpected differences. Bathroom tile varied, closet layouts were different  and room lighting and curtains varied. Interesting. I'm still happy with my inside cabins.

Today it is a lunch with the officers. A sit down affair in Giovanni's. Attended by about 50 guests and 8 or 10 officers. A rather fromal affair even though the dress code was casual. Seating for every guest was assigned. Again the food was excellent, ordered from a special menu just for this event. With a guitar player for entertainment, and 60 people talking, the noise level was nearly unbearable, no it was unbearable.

The weather remains ideal. Tonight is the superbowl which will be shown in several venues around the ship. Last year Royal sold tickets to watch the game on the large pool TV. Your purchase entitled you to hot dogs and beer. Very few passengers cared. I haven't heard of any such plans this year.

We meet in the Safari lounge for cocktails prior to our dinner in Giovanni's. At game time the TV is turned on and the volume cranked way up. A quick talk with Junior, the Diamond Lounge host, and an audio level adjustment was made.

When I made reservations for Giovanni's they would only give me an 8:30 seating time. We stick our heads in at 8:00 to find the restaurant empty. We are seated early.

The food and service was again excellent, and surprisingly they never had more than about 12 guests, and 5 of them were our table.

The seas remain calm as we continue our passage to St. Thomas.