There is always something happening. Every evening there are two sessions of a show, the first one for the second seating guests, who dine at 8pm, plus a later show at 10pm for the first seating of dinner, such as us. The Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell show was really funny and entertaining, as was the reluctant magician, Nick Lewin, who told us that he wanted to be a doctor, but his parents made him become a magician. The production cast put on various “spectaculars,” some more special than others. Then at 10 different venues provide music. Karaoke is sometimes the Sandi and Dutchy show, although as the cruise wore on more people were encouraged to join in. Quite a few karaoke virgins were deflowered during the course of the cruise.
A day or two into the cruise there was an outbreak of the norovirus, or gastro, on the ship. I must say the captain and the crew jumped onto it straight away, thereby avoiding a nasty epidemic. They were adamant about treatment being free if you felt at all ill, and after a few cases at first there were more the next couple of days. The library and the kids’ zone was closed to avoid any spread of germs, and each day the ship has undergone double sanitisation. Everywhere you look there is someone wiping down chairs, elevators, anything that could be the source of germs. Total vigilance was employed to ensure everyone sanitised their hands at every opportunity, and then we were all served by members of the crew at the Windjammer Buffet, with them regularly changing tongs, and even handing out the plates and cutlery.
It was literally a case of all hands on deck, as we were sitting at breakfast one day and the drummer from the band walked past with his disposable glove and cleaner and cloth, ready for action. By Day 9 there were only a couple of patients at the medical centre. Bravo crew!
Cruisin’ continued – Days Three and Four at sea:
Days at sea can readily be filled in. I don’t know how anyone could get bored. From breakfast in the dining room, which takes too long when you’re hungry, to mini golf, table tennis, the swimming pool, enjoying the intermittent sunshine, lunch, sunbaking in privacy on our balcony, to blogging, there is always something to do.
Playing pool on the gyro table, with its own levelling system was a weird sensation. Lining up for a shot, the table might stay level, but the person moves, making it an interesting experience.
I went to a seminar on increasing your metabolism. Another one entitled How to lose fat probably led to the same result – what we can purchase. In this case it was a course of seaweed tablets. I should know by now; the same thing happens on all cruise ships in my (limited) experience. Still, I garnered some information anyway, and it helped inspire me to eat less sugar at least to minimise bloating.
The Cinema, which only holds 100 people, was full twice until we struck it lucky to see “No Strings Attached” which was quite amusing. It was a pity that the screen seemed to be a little out of focus.
Shellbacks and Pollywogs:
Much to-do was made regarding the Crossing the Line ceremony, which commemorates a sailor’s first crossing of the Equator. It is an initiation rite in the Royal Navy. Sailors who have already done this are nicknamed (Trusty) Shellbacks, and can also be referred to as Sons of Neptune, while the newbies are called (Slimy) Pollywogs.
We signed up for the ceremony, as you can only be a pollywog once, a bit like once your virginity is gone, it’s gone. As we lined up, we were given a number one or a number two. Since I was dubbed number two, I knew something was going to happen. Bobby the cruise director gathered us round and gave us the opportunity to change to number one. He warned us not to wear sunglasses or hats, so we assumed there might be some sort of water ceremony happening, but he assured us we would not be thrown into the pool. What actually occurred was much worse!
At 11.15, Neptune and his wife arrived, all regaled in appropriate costumes, and Group One was called up to the front of the pool where the band and other outdoor entertainment perform. Neptune, or Poseidon, with his booming voice, accused this group of a serious offence – pushing ahead in the queue at the Windjammer Café. Their punishment was to kiss a large fish.
Because I had thought there would be photo opportunities we should look nice. Dutchy put on his Las Vegas baseball shirt for the first time with his shorts, and I was wearing my nice white ¾ pants. We were right at the front of Group Two (what a surprise!?) and we had to prostrate ourselves and bow down to Neptune. I don’t know why I was concerned about the knees of my pants, because next thing we knew Neptune’s assistants were cracking raw eggs and putting them on our heads, followed by a sprinkling of flour. Then they came at us with the fettuccini and following that, oh my goodness, pasta sauce. They were literally making a meal of us. And my white pants, oh dear. Still, we took it all in good fun and then tried to clean up a bit in the pool deck showers before heading to our cabin for hair and clothes scrubbing, washing and soaking.