DAY 25

Written by Safarigal
April 17, 2019

Monday April 15th


At Sea


107th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic


Well, I guess we’re not in the calm Mediterranean Sea any more. We woke up to a grey and wet day, with rough seas (5-meter swell) and a Force 8 gale outside. That explains the spray splashing onto our deck 8 balcony. The cabin is creaking, and our flag collection is no longer in its glass, but is scattered on the floor, with one lonely flag in the rubbish bin.


This could either have been caused by the ship lurching during the night, or by a poltergeist. Brian favored the former, I the latter. We once stayed in a hotel in Springfield that was clearly haunted, I mean no doubt about it, but Brian said all of the happenings had a perfectly logical explanation (yes, like the toilet flushing by itself in the middle of the night?), but I am still going for the supernatural explanation. Anyway, we probably did have too many flags in the glass, so we are now limiting the total number to 4.


We passed by Bishop’s Rock at 5:00 this morning and that signaled the official start of our westbound crossing. Off we go on the famous Great Circle Route. There are some storms out there, so we may need to change course, but that is our planned route at the moment.


The ship has a very different feel to it today. There are many first timers, and they all seem to be totally lost. The corridors and public areas are all full, there are children running all over the place; instead of mobility scooters, strollers now obstruct your path. I decided to retreat to the Commodore Club. It was also fairly full, but I did manage to get a seat so I could watch us tackle the stormy North Atlantic.


This is apparently a whisky-focused voyage, so Brian headed off to a whisky talk while I enjoyed my usual Coke and chips. Life is good.


At his noon announcement Captain Hashmi reminded us that this was the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic while she tried to navigate a westbound crossing. He pointed out that of course it was a Cunard ship, the Carpathia, that rescued the 705 surviving passengers and crew.


I saw that there was a rehearsal for the guest choir today. I decided to give the choir a miss this time; it had been really wonderful on the trip from Dubai, but very time consuming. I am feeling like a holiday would be nice, and 6 unstructured days at sea are exactly what is needed.


At 1:30 we picked up the information sheet for the photo scavenger hunt, and set off in search of the places and items in the photos. This was an easy one, and we had all of them photographed in good time for the 2:00 quiz in the Chart Room.


We tied for first place in the quiz, but then lost the tiebreaker. We seem to make a habit of doing this. So no more stamps for our Activity Reward Card today alas.


The sun came out, although the sea was still very rough, and the outside decks were closed due to the wind. We decided to head up to the Pavilion Pool again so I could swim, as this has become one of our favorite places on cold, sunny days. I can’t remember when I last saw the roof open, but we certainly needed it closed today.


Well, all the children on the ship seemed to be there too, and it was very reminiscent of being on a Princess cruise. I decided to avoid the pool and hot tubs– no chance of swimming laps with youngsters jumping in and out, and too many toddlers without swim diapers on for my liking. Still, it was very pleasant to lie in the sun and I finished a craft project, which just leaves one more to finish. And I finally was able to relax and read my book. Yes, there is a lot to be said for westbound crossings. The extra hour’s sleep last night was also a plus.


Instead of getting individual invitations to the Captain’s Welcome on Board cocktail party, the event was listed in the daily program. With the whole ship being invited we were sure it was going to be very crowded, but decided to give it a go anyway.


It was a gala night, with the Black and White theme. Yay for my black dress and white sparkly jacket, they get another outing.


Although the other passengers were not dressed as formally as they had been on our last segment, they were well dressed for the most part – no jeans or shorts in sight.


At the captain’s party you can enter the Queens Room on the starboard side and get to shake his hand, and get a photo with him, or you can just walk straight in on the port side. We usually chose the latter, the captain doesn’t need yet another couple to make nice with.


Well, it looked like almost every one of the 1,300 people at the party wanted to indeed shake the captain’s hand, and there was no queue to enter the Queens Room on the port side. For the first time ever, we were able to get a seat and relax while we watched the goings on.


There was plenty of champagne flowing, and canapés being handed out, so I declared that it was a good party. A British couple joined our table and we had a good time chatting to them, and we arranged to have pre-dinner drinks tomorrow in the Commodore Club.


As always Captain Hashmi gave an amusing and informative speech. There are 35 different nationalities on board, with the British being the most numerous, and Americans coming in a very distant second. We also have 10 dogs on board, and one solitary cat.


Dinner was excellent, and we went to the show, “Be our Guest” afterwards. This is not their best show – when I first saw it I had been hoping for a Disney theme, instead of which there is a PT Barnum theme. Also I’m not too keen on the costumes, but the singers and dancers themselves are excellent, so I was glad we saw it again.


The ship is definitely showing some movement. Finally it feels as if we are on a ship rather than a floating resort.


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I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.