Are we in summer or not? What a nippy couple of days. Pity Ros and Arnold who are already in Paris celebrating – by having to suffer the rain and go shopping for warm jackets, as they had left theirs on the ship!
For us, it was typically busy sea days where the options are so many and varied. We were up fairly early on the 14th and later on the 15th. In between the usual feasting, quizzing and socialising, Paula sorted out what could be left on board and left packed until NZ plus another couple of bags of stuff also not required in the UK. That still leaves us with two cases for the UK plus a briefcase and the back packs for the wash gear etc., as we have to leave the cases outside our cabin between 8pm and 10pm after the Paris trip tomorrow. The bonus of having made friends on board is that we received several offers to hide our gear whilst we are in the UK, rather than trust them to the ship’s systems.
One of the interesting points to ponder is that if we had booked from Dover to Auckland, it would have been $3,000 cheaper than from Fort Lauderdale to Auckland, but Princess Sydney office were adamant that we couldn’t pay for that but not join until FL. As with many corporate organisations, what the office or company policy says and what the staff on the ground floor are prepared to do, may be totally different. Ros and Arnold simply told them once on board that they would be off the ship for a few days and as long as the ship had an email address and a telephone number, they seemed quite happy about it. In fact, we heard several tannoy calls from the Passenger Services dept, stating just that, so they weren’t the only ones.
On the Thursday (day 51), at lunch time, we meandered through the buffet and decided that there was nothing to get too excited about, so we went to the Pizzeria instead. Another delicious calzone with the addition of pepperoni, sun dried tomatoes and this time, avocado. You just cannot beat food straight out of the oven and straight on to your table! No bill at the end of it makes it even sweeter.
The 900 seat theatre was packed for the 169 strong passenger choir presentation and when the captain arrived to watch, there was a great round of applause for him. Pity that Megan was a just a bit off key for the Pink Panther theme... Just kidding – it was all the songs... (By the time she gets to read this, I’ll be safely out of the way and by the time we get back on board, she’ll have forgotten.)
This was the last formal night before Dover so I treated myself to the lobster/prawns main as a starter and the beef Wellington as the real main!
As is usual on formal nights (nice pic of Paula, Barbara, Colin and Jude...), the dancers and singers did their bit, this time with a Tamla Motown show. I have enjoyed all their shows, but others have been a little disappointed at times. Hey, it was a free hour of pleasant music and bright costumes!
Overnight, the clocks moved 1 hour forwards for a change.
Day 52 and it was the Crazy Cruiser’s lunch – unfortunately it clashed with the passenger talent show.
The highlight of the day (maybe even the sector) was the Vista lounge evening show. Even the ‘bombe Alaska’ parade in the dining room was nothing compared to this event. In a few words, this was a stage presentation of a ’radio show’, along the lines of the old BBC stuff such as ‘Round the Horne’.
Billed as a musical Murder Mystery, this was written by Alan and a couple of friends, with Alana as the narrator, with a musical quiz thrown in.
Narrator: “The players include the slut Sherlock Holmes” (elbow in the ribs from Alan next to her – “sleuth” ) “Sorry, typo” and so on in this vein for the whole performance. So it was “a ‘farty meal’ , sorry, typo, hearty meal....”
Comedy writing and performance at its best with one or two as ad libs thrown in by various members. One passenger was roped in to do the sound effects – on stage – and they hadn’t even shown him the script beforehand!
A matter of minutes after this performance, Alan and Alana were back playing in the Atrium again. What an asset to the cruise these two are, but you need to be a bit of a night owl, so it was another midnight bedtime for us, ready for Paris in the morning. Needless to say, not many pics...