Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ensemble Cocktail party

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 – sea day and our next cocktail party!
Misty and then brilliantly sunny

Had much to accomplish this morning and started out with a great effort and rush but then quickly slowed down. Guess I don’t feel THAT great yet…Lots of paperwork and consulting as we think we have the incorrect port for arrival in to Shanghai and we have our group excursion there so that must be corrected, if need be. Met a friend in the buffet and we had a quick cup of tea and then I went back for a short nap.

Lunch in the restaurant with friends from Ohio, whose brother is also onboard, and he lives in Arlington, VA. Well, dear friends in Delaware, it turns out they are cousins to Governor/Lt. Governor David Buckson and remember with very fond memories their summer vacations in Townsend, DE!!! What a small world! When Gov. Buckson was in office, they recalled the story of when the Governor’s vehicle, (Car #1 license plate) got a flat tire on I-95 outside of Wilmington on the way to give a speech. The Sergeant/driver called the DE Department of Transportation to fix the flat tire and the Governor and cousin were transported in another state police vehicle to the speech. They remember the many trains passing through Townsend; they would count them and write down the train numbers. And today, I think the only train passing through is for the Rail to the Fair (when there is money in the budget for that event to happen). And we also found it interesting that Townsend is where my brother’s company is headquartered! They know the barber, remember the house where Governor’s Buckson’s mother lived across from the Fire Hall and other landmarks. I tried to gently advise them that growth has also come to that area of the state but I hope they can pass through soon and re-visit their childhood haunts. AND he worked for the New Zealand government to help make their railways profitable. He has been to New Zealand over 159 times! So he and Gene had much to discuss as Gene lived there for five years playing softball. It was a lively conversation so we can’t wait to continue to see what else we have in common!! And they are in my group…such a small world.

Ran back to work on the cocktail party details and then down to the Viennese Tea in the Queens Room. It was a very formal affair with a very elaborate display of ice carvings and sacher tortes and apple kuchen with vanilla sauce and all kinds of cookies and delicious pastries all being served by white-gloved attendants. It was lovely!! But no time to enjoy so we will have to hope they do it again! Had to get into formal dress and organize the cocktail party!

Up to the Hemispheres Lounge and I had everyone sit in five sections based on where they lived in the world. I hoped they would be able to meet new people and it seemed to work. We are now up to 53 people! And we were so lucky to have Captain Paul Wright, Staff Captain Nick Carter, Hotel Manager Jackie Hodgson, Chief Engineer Willy Robinson and Ronel, the Hotel Manager’s assistant attend! They made their personal rounds and it was so very much appreciated. We took pictures of everyone and talked about the Shanghai tour on Sunday and people ran off for dinner and more parties. We were late for dinner but still had time to eat two courses. The Captain had a formal reception for those who joined the ship in Sydney and then we enjoyed a production show called “A Stroke of Genius”. This group of dancers and singers depart in Hong Kong so they are quickly coming to the end of their contract. Delivered some notes, cleaned up the papers and headed to bed!!