Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fun and Games

Today was our first full sea day although we could have been in Tilbury still based on the ship’s motion. The seas were perfectly flat as we sailed toward the North Sea and Scotland. On the way this morning we passed a wind farm full of large windmills in the middle of the water as well as quite a number of oil rigs. Shades of the Gulf of Mexico [without the oil skimmers]. We expect to see many more off-shore rigs as we travel north toward the Faroe Islands.

As usual, we had breakfast in the MDR before heading to the Crow’s Nest for the first meeting of the Cruise Critic contingent. For those who have not read any of the other blogs, CC is a loose aggregation of passengers who have met on the internet and exchanged information about the ship, the cruise and shore excursions. Some of the members have met on previous tours and other via the “Roll Call” devoted strictly to this trip. We met Ed & Roxanne and Barbara & Marvin through CC prior to previous cruises. This year, we have hooked up with some additional members in order to lower expenses on shore excursions.

The meeting featured remarks from the Captain, the Hotel Manager, the Beverage Manager and the Cruise Director as well as the Future Cruise lady [who is married to the Cruise Director]. Following their presentations, the group broke up so people could finally meet the people with whom they had been chatting on line for the past year or so. D found two of the three members who are touring with us in Runavik and collected their share of the cost, but otherwise we had little interaction outside our group. Last year, when D became group-leader-by-default, we had only the Beverage Manager, Roger, at our meeting, but we took the time to introduce and tell a little about ourselves. We missed that this year. Rather than “playing it by ear,” the organizers have already scheduled 4 more meetings which we plan to ignore; who would expect us to meet a bunch of relative strangers at 8:30 in the morning? We will have to be up early on shore days --- we will sleep in a little on sea days.

After the CC meeting, we went to the cabin to gather our things and then went to the Ocean Bar for trivia. We read while we waited for the competition to begin. We lost by a wide margin again, but none of us really wanted the key chains anyway. [What country prints postage stamps without the including name of the country? How many total degrees in the interior angles of a pentagon? What type of triangle has 3 unequal sides?] Afterwards, we read until we got hungry and went to the MDR for lunch [MA – salad; D – paella]. A quick e-mail check and then MA’s nap while D went elsewhere to update the journal and read.

Tonight was the first of TEN [!] formal nights. MA looked beautiful and D looked like a Swiss banker. The officers were all in their dress uniforms and even the waiters were dressed up a little. Before dinner we were having our usual drink in the Ocean Bar [lemon drop martini/ice water] when Roger Flauta, the Beverage Manager stopped by to chat. We met Roger last year when he was the contact person for our CC meetings. He reserved the Crow’s Nest for us, provided refreshments and even sent out the printed reminders. We enjoyed meeting him last year. Tonight, he sat and chatted with us for about 10 – 15 minutes, mostly about his life. We are looking forward to seeing more of him on this cruise and next year’s as well.

The dinner menu was a little fancier tonight. Shrimp cocktail, pheasant and a lobster/fillet surf-and-turf were available. Of course, MA had the vegetable lasagna but D opted for the surf-and-turf. Dessert was a pear tart which was really more like cheesecake and cinnamon ice cream.
By the time we left the table, it was almost 10:00 but the sky still held a little light. The North Sea was calm, the sky starting to clear. Tomorrow in Rosyth, Scotland, we have an all-day [6 hour] tour that another CC member [Jay] organized and we have to be on the dock at 8:00 a.m. Breakfast will be delivered to the cabin between 6 and 6:30.

And so to bed, a bit early.

1 comment:

  1. Not surprised you will skip other functions. Some of your roll call people seem like pains in the ass.