Saturday, 10 January 2009

Day Three - Best bib and Tucker Day

What a busy day! Who said that cruising was a leisurely way to travel, we have never been so tired all our lives…

We are not the earliest of rises but today we did get up a little earlier as we were determined to have breakfast in the Peninsular Restaurant instead of the grab ‘n go self service. Our thinking was that if we just ate what we were given instead of serving ourselves that we might just eat a little less. Not sure if it worked but I did limit myself to kippers and toast while Hilary settled for the vegetarian bacon and scrambled egg. I then went off to join a cribbage group, just the 8 of us but it was good fun and I will look out for it again. My partner was a bit slow and unsure of himself especially as he was following a lady who almost played card games professionally. She works in bridge, whist and cribbage and plays in a league in her home town of Thetford, Norfolk. Not too far from sister Rosie then. Hilary was to have a wellness class but no-one turned up to take it so she was disappointed but soon made up for it when we met for quickstep lessons on the dance floor. The morning session went fairly well and by the end of it we could do the herring bone pattern up and down the floor and even work our way around in a circle.

Because everything was running late and because we had to stand in line to by Euros for Madeira tomorrow, lunch was again very rushed – probably a good thing for me as I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and it is not a pretty sight – a little like Homer Simpson! Hilary tried for a second session to do with healing and again no one turned up but as I wasn’t aware of this I embarked on 6 laps around the promenade deck – a little under 2 miles and with the weather improving (now up to 58 degrees F) it was quite a pleasant walk. We met up for our second dancing lesson and this was a disaster for me. Hilary mastered the lock steps and turns OK but I was hopeless, very aware of my feet and all those around me. The classes are very crowded and I couldn’t seem to stay away from hitting them. We may get another chance to try it tomorrow after we get back from Madeira, which is a very short stay from 8.00am to 12.30am. We have not planned a tour with P & O, we are just going to wing it.

I rushed to my second art class and if anything this was even more disheartening for me as no basic techniques were discussed and I made it up as I went along, mainly relying on following two ladies next to me who seemed to know what they were doing. Still not sure if I will go again.

Then it was time to dress up for the Captain’s Welcome, the full works were order of the day and I struggled into my dinner suit trousers (thank God for wide flexible cummerbunds). The ruffled shirt and the Longhorn bow tie made me look a little less like a penguin than some of the others but I am definitely no James Bond. Hilary looked fabulous in Liz’s pale rose dress, a gold wrap and her plumeria necklace, I was proud to be with her. We joined the throng waiting for the lifts but eventually climbed 8 flights of stairs to get us up 4 levels to the Crow’s Nest where we were photographed with the First Officer and then ushered in for mini-bites and wine. While we were mingling we were joined by some of our dinner table companions, and Keiko the Japanese wife of Richard managed to get one of the staff to take a picture of all of us together. She is a fascinating lady, a great artist and is desperate to get the hang of ballroom dancing, her husband however is convinced that he has two left feet and so Keiko has to rely on single males to partner her.

After the reception, which included a brief speech by a very young captain, it was time for dinner and so hundreds of hungry people headed for the lifts. We waited and then decided to hoof it down 12 flights of stairs to get to the restaurant. Once more the food was superb and we both opted for the lobster thermidor, I kept to some of my resolution and had thin soup and cheese and biscuits while Hilary had smoked salmon and prawn for starter and crème brulee for dessert.

To overcome my disastrous choice of movie the night before we elected to go to the Theatre Royal to see a show featuring songs and dances that have won Tony Awards. The theatre was packed out, not a seat to be found but we were there early still wearing our finest and we were treated to a spectacular group of dancers and singers. I counted 5 males and 8 females in the troupe. A really nice way to round off our day, all we have to do now is to publish this on the blog, decide what time we will get up and leave the ship tomorrow and another day is done!

Good night all…..

Just a quick note from me to say that I’m finding this cruising thing far too good and they might not be able to get me off this ship at the end of the cruise. I haven’t found a stranger yet! Everyone is friendly and willing to share with me their experiences of past cruises and excursions to the various countries. Fantastic. Sam did not mention that all the ladies were given a flower at the end of dinner by the head waiter after dinner tonight…fantastic again.

Love to all, Hilary.

As a final ps from me it is unlikely that we will be posting many pictures on this site as it is very slow and very expensive. We will try and sort this out in the coming weeks.


samw7 said...

Sounds like an exciting and interesting day. I can't wait to see the pictures of you all dressed up. You may have to bite the bullet and at least post one or two pictures.
Today is Sunday and it feels very strange not to call you. However, I love the blog. It makes me feel as though I am there, at least in part.
Be glad for the 58 degrees as Argyle couldn't play yesterday because of a frozen pitch!
jeff and I went to a UT basketball game yesterday and then Dan's this morning. I'm recovering from another cold, but I just think of it as building anti-bodies before China, which is only two and a half weeks away!
Love you both. Glad you are having a good time.
Love Sam

Julian said...

Hi, Glad to see you are enjoying your cruise. You don't need to eat everything and do every class in the first week! Nice to see you have not let your worries about sea sickness stop you enjoying yourself. With 3 sets of stabilizers she should not roll about too much. Glad you got to see another ship and now you Know why the rock dodgers have gryo stabalized binoculars on the bridge. All you have to do now is to look at the weather pressure chart and avoid the areas that look like an onion and you could be watchkeeper on the bridge! Love Julian Moira Carl Kelly