Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday and 51st birthday...

Sunday, March 28, 2010 – Luisa turns 51! At sea in the Atlantic Ocean (last year I was in the Arabian Sea/Gulf of Oman on my birthday)
“…we will go sailing away from here to the beautiful land of Nod.” - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We slept in room 271 which had the reverse room layout and a shower and not a tub. It was fine. Even room service found us in the incorrect room for our standing order for breakfast! I ran to Palm Sunday mass in the theatre and it was quite full! We had an organist and a pastor and his wife led the service. Then I went back to the stateroom to hear the latest on the room update – Gene had been trying to get in touch with the Chief Engineer with no luck – and lo and behold, I leave my lecture on Charles Lindbergh and Beryl Markham (an Englishwoman raised in East Africa who was the first woman to fly from the UK to North America in 1936) and there he is standing in our hallway talking to his assistant. They both look at the room and say it has been repaired so we could stay in the room! But there is an odor and it is wet so we will have the dehumidifier and dryer do their jobs and I will stay out of the room!

The big deal with the tub/shower thing is …if your door faces the front of the ship you have a tub/shower combo. If your door faces the back of the ship, you have a shower only.

I went out on deck to play Bocce – you receive a “dam” dollar for showing up! With the pitch of the ship and the movement of your roll, it was extremely difficult to get the ball where you wanted it to go. Fun and I enjoyed the sunshine and lovely breeze.

And today we changed our clocks an hour forward! But we did it in a new way. Normally, you move your clock during the night so you end up losing an hour’s sleep. They have a great idea to move it ahead at noon! So they come on the loudspeaker at noon and announce it is now 1:00 PM! And you go on with the day’s event. Great idea! We will do that for five days to get to the correct time for our first port of call, Madeira Portugal on Saturday.

After a nice salad at lunch in the Lido buffet, which again is a nice area with lots of window tables and covered open-air dining, we tried to sort out the room situation. The purser’s desk sent Gene and I flowers for our birthdays! A beautiful bouquet of roses, carnations and marguerites! Absolutely lovely! I put my birthday cards around the room, amidst all the clutter of piles of clothes (dry by now) and drying equipment.

The buffet area is on the 11th floor and you can order at the grill outside by the pool (where I have yet to see one person enter the water and it looks appealing to me!) or inside at the buffet with a pizza/pasta bar and an ice cream bar. Very healthy options and the fresh fruits are abundant.

I read all my newspapers outside and dressed for the first formal night. On this ship, we will have 7 formal nights for 51 days of cruising and people are complaining! We were meant to have 12 but they reduced the number. Imagine on Cunard last year we had 3-4 a week for 14 weeks….this is a breeze! So you have many choices in cruising. Choose the line which suits your style of dress and desired itinerary and off you go!!

For dessert in the dining room, I was presented with a delicious marcipan cake and they sang to me in Chinese! Nice presentation and I shared the cake with them also. It is the Captain’s champagne welcome before the Latin Nights production show. We met the new Hotel Director, Captain, Chief Engineer (whom I met earlier in the hallway) and the employee of the month (great way to recognize the hard working crew) and other officers.

Then I lost my earring. Nothing new there but I re-walked my paths tonight and no sign of it yet. But I have put out the alerts. Tomorrow should be calm again and hopefully will remain so. Forecast is showing 75 degrees and low to moderate sea and swell. Let’s hope it continues. On a 33,000 gross ton ship, it is inevitable that you will feel a bit more motion in the open seas.