January 19, 2022

Days 3 & 4 - Sea Days

The night leaving Nassau and heading south you would never believe the seas were over 9 feet and the winds 35 mph. The ship barely wiggled. There was just enough motion that if you paid attention you could tell you were on a ship. There are some advantages to big ships.

Storms behind us produced a spectacular light show. Close enough to be seen, but far enough away that thunder could not be heard. the captain did a good job of getting ahead of the front.

Entertainment appears to have returned to precovid levels for production shows, headliner shows and live musicians. The members of the orchestra come from across the globe. Ukraine to Australia, Argentina to Poland, and several countries in between.  Together they mmake an excellent orchestra.

This ship has a focus on technology and some entertainment is produced "virtually" a fancy word for a video on a large screen with a theater sound system.

We attend a "Virtual Symphony Concert". Essentialy a video of an orchestra playing.  Sorry, not very effective in my opinion. No, I stand corrected, I guess in the opinion of many passengers as the Two70 is nearly empty for the performance, and most of us leave before the conclusion.

As has been the case for years, the phone app is hit and miss. Dinner reservations have been lost for many passengers, including yours truly. Sometimes it just doesn't work. Other items are missing or inaccurate. Billing  is sporadically inaccurate.

Yesterday in Nassau the app said there were no spaces left for the "North Star", a bubble like enclosure that is raised to 350 feet above the sea.  Deciding I would like to do that I went to the boarding area, asked the attendant if and when there were any spaces available and was immediately boarded.

The view was fantastic and the movement surprisingly smooth. Very similar to the very large wheels in Hong Kong, London, and Orlando. I will need to see if I can do it again.

During breakfast there was a brief shower which produced several unusual rainbows. No, the colors are normal, but the end of the rainbow appeared to be no more than 50 feet from the side of the ship. Very unusual.

Being distracted by a flury of email activity with the train club I belong to I just make it to the top tier party. Nothing special, not even any information except the bare minimum. We have 51 Pinnacle passengers and 210 Diamond plus passengers.  They do show a video on the 7 million dollar robotic screens. Personally I find the experience similar to the Bionic bar. Interesting to see once, but nothing to draw you back.

Of most interest is confirmation that the ship is carrying 1597 crew members and only 1630 passengers. Less than 30% of normal capacity. Not good for my stock earnings, but fantastic for the passengers that are here. No wonder the shuttle bus on Saturday was near empty.

Interestingly the prior rumors put the passenger count as low as 900 and as high as 2900. Just shows why not to believe rumors.

As the day progresses the seas become more calm. Our speed drops from 19 to 14 knots as we move south of the storm producing front. The temperatures rise the further south we travel.

The production show is good except for the audio. Again way too loud for these good ears. Fortunately I remeber my new ear plugs. They work much better than the foam ones I have used for years.  They do a good job of attenuating all frequencies equally whereas the foam ear plugs effect the high and low frequencies differently. Good for noise reduction but not good for quality sound attenuation.  I email my daughter to order another pair.

Sometimes there are unforseen and undesireable side effects of new technology.  The hallway lights getting brighter and dimmer so far has just required getting used to the change.  Another bit of new technology is a little different.

All the elevators have "touch free" elevator buttons.  They are a little difficult to get used to after having to actually push a deck button all my life.  The tendency is to try and push these. They don't really move, but eventually it will sense your finger and activate.  The best way to use them is exactly what the name implies. Hold your finger about a quater inch in front of the button and your finger will be sensed.

Now what is unforseen is to never stand in the corner of the elevator by the buttons. If you do, you run the risk of the elevator sensing your presence and activating to stop at every deck. No it wasn't me, but the passenger was so embarrassed.  Just thank goodness there are few kids on this ship, else the elevators would never get anywhere.

The elevator piano player is here, but mostly delegated to playing at various locations around the ship. I imagine covid is banning him from riding up and down on the elevators all evening.

The cappella group Mosaic is the headliner show for the second sea day. Different, very talented, and an excellent show. The  main theater is probably 60% full.

Dinner, or more specifically dinner service in the Coastal Kitchen was not up to expectations established the past several days. a brief converstaion with the desk when we left the restaurant was even more disappointing, He had no concern about the service. we will see what happens in the next few nights.  We were told we would have the same waiter every night, but so far we have had three. I doubt there are more than four in the room.

The further south we travel, the more the seas calm and the temperatures rise. Tomorrow we are scheduled to arrive in Aruba at 8:00 ships time, 9:00 AM local time. This captain is electing to stick to ships time regardless of the local time.