We seem to be in a better spot for wifi, and Brian has shown me how to reduce the size of my photos, so I am giving it a go at reposting with a few photos.
Well there was certainly some motion during the night, but really not much more than you would expect on a winter Mediterranean cruise. We both slept well, and decided that the beds were comfy enough, but I missed the luxury of a Cunard mattress.
Seeing as many of us had arrived quite late last night the safety drill was postponed until this morning. We watched the mandatory safety briefing on the TV and then headed up to the pool deck as instructed. Now they ALWAYS say bring a hat and gloves and warm clothing with you when you attend the lifeboat drill, and we always smile when folks arrive at their indoor muster stations on other ships clothed for the north Atlantic. Well they really meant it this time – it was freezing cold by the pool, and I was very glad that I had bundled up for the occasion. As we were being instructed on how to put on our life vests the man standing next to me very wisely pointed out that 10 minutes in this freezing water would kill you, anyway, so why bother with the life vest. Maybe he was accurate, but I didn’t need to know that.
It didn’t take us long to explore the ship. It is rather like the Seabourn Ovation with the cabins fore and the public areas aft, joined by a central lobby. I would not say that the ship is spectacular, and it’s certainly not glitzy or stylish, absolutely no wow factor. However, it has a nice homey retro feel to it. The paintwork is in great condition, and the furnishings are bright and in good shape. The low ceilings make it feel cozy. I think it’s perfect for an Antarctica cruise.
My only complaint is the Observation Lounge. This is on deck 9 at the front of the ship and is the Commodore Club equivalent. Not only is it not accessible by lift, you have to go outdoors to get there. It was snowing the first time we went there. What’s more, it doesn’t have a bar, but it does have a tea and coffee station. I brought my own Coke up from our cabin, so it actually did work out OK.
In the morning we all had to attend a zodiac briefing, and Schalk the South African expedition leader gave us a talk on what to expect during our outings in the zodiacs and once ashore. With all the layers of clothes, Silversea parka, inflatable life vest, and backpack I think I am going to look like a Teletubby. I hope I don’t topple over. It all sounded quite challenging. Especially as I always get myself tangled up in those inflatable life vests.
In the afternoon there were talks on the Birds of Antarctica and Whaling.
Before dinner Schalk introduced us to the Expedition staff. Wow, there are a lot of them! He also introduced us to the key personnel running the ship. The director of the spa held a raffle for free spa activities, but as usual we didn’t win anything.
We went to the restaurant for dinner, and were given a table for 2 by the window, which was perfect. The menu was full of very tempting items, it really was difficult to choose, but I chose well! The only disappointment was the sticky toffee pudding which was completely substandard. Nowhere near as good as the one you get at the Thornhill Inn in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire.
After dinner we went to the Panorama Lounge for a night cap. The pianist, Florandy, is really great, and it was good to be listening to such an accomplished musician again. Jonathan, the Entertainment Director, hosted a Name that Tune game, and although we didn’t come any where near winning, we had a great time, and were given coupons towards prizes at the end of the cruise. It turned into a bit of a sing along. I mean who can resist belting out Dancing Queen as you make your way thought the Drake Passage in search of Antarctica.