-----There was a quite photogenic Grand Buffet today. Picture freaks were allowed a half hour to record another mountain of food for posterity; these are the same people who took endless snapshots of the chocolate buffet last week. Are they afraid they’ll forget what food looks like? We decided to eat lunch at the Grand Buffet because the lines were not long – everyone assumed it would be a mad house and went to the Lido which, we heard later, was the real mob scene. We had cold shrimp, shrimp tempura, satay and spring rolls plus too many desserts including out-of-this-world schnecken [sticky buns]. Oink.
-----Cruise Director Thom continued his public madness by swimming the Bermuda Triangle. Just as he swam across the Atlantic when we reached the midpoint in March, he dressed in a tuxedo jacket and shorts to plunge into the pool. Passengers were encouraged to join him and some who crave “dam dollars” did. Of course, the air temperature was only in the mid-60s and the wind was about Force 5, so it took either courage or insanity to do this.
-----On a different note, we have received more goodies in the last few days. We returned from dinner one night to find a necklace with a HAL logo on it and matching cuff links. MA has been wearing the necklace to see how long it takes for her neck to turn green. Yesterday, we received two HAL charger plates to go with the ones from last Fall’s voyage. As noted previously, we have found luggage straps, cruise journals, card wallets, fleece jackets and tote bags. We are supposed to get commemorative pins, too, but they have not been delivered yet.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
-----The enjoyment of a shore excursion is directly proportional to enjoyment of the guide. The more we liked a guide, the better the experience.
-----Corollary: The better the lunch, the better our memory of the whole day. Our day in Sevastopol was ruined because of a lunch debacle which colored everything. Likewise, lunch in Rome paled in comparison to lunch the previous day in Florence and we did not have as good a time in Rome. On the other hand, we loved our lunches in Florence, Sorrento, Athens, Varna, Istanbul, Valletta, Kusadasi, Santorini and Sintra.
-----Mr. Otah lives in Rome and is known as Mayta.
-----Always ask the price of the fish.
-----Carry extra batteries. Lots of them.
-----The camera will always fail at a critical moment.
-----The Cruise Staff we worked with were unfailingly pleasant and tolerant. They have to be to deal with a ship full of old people. And us.
-----Guest speakers are a sure cure for insomnia.
-----Grand Voyages aren’t as Grand as they were six months ago.
----“It’s me again” and “Here’s Thom.”