My resolution of a light eating day evaporated almost immediately as a fried egg and bacon sandwich with HP sauce was on my mind – and I hadn’t had one since the trip started. Delicious....
Australia vs the rest of the world at bowls so Paula and I did our bit and won our match, so we picked up a couple of ship prizes that Josh had scattered all over the playing area. The rule is that if you win your match, you can select a prize from what is littering the floor.
Dance class was a revision of the Mayfair Quickstep (New Vogue) and the Argentine Tango.
As this class is 11:30 to 12:30, we usually opt for a break before heading to the buffet, which we did at 2pm. One of those 5 star days when the buffet had just what we wanted – a tasty Indian chicken curry and rice and also a nice piece of crumbed sole, plus bock choy with garlic and ginger and a tender, rich, tasty beef stew type dish. Oh, the cream of broccoli soup was nice too. Light eating day? Yeah, right!
Ros and Arnold were away sorting out their cruise extension to Brisbane (saves hiring an Antunov cargo plane from Sydney) so we co-opted the Americans, Randy and Carole into the quiz team. Two answers were Florida! As we were equal winners, the tie breaker was also an American question – “What is the length of the Mississippi River?” Our guess of 2400 miles was pipped by a guess of 2,800 miles (the answer was about 2,900). Sadly, I let the team down badly as I didn’t get the correct number of backgammon pieces... Shame on me.
Evening meal was so appetising, I had the spinach stuffed cannelloni main as a starter, the soup and roast pork followed by the healthy fresh fruit.
Monday’s entertainer was billed as an instrumentalist and we had never heard of Roland Storm. He proved to be a talented Australian Rock and Roll singer from way back, who just happened to play excellent piano accompaniment. Backed by the Princess orchestra, this was one of the best acts so far, but quite why he was billed as an instrumentalist is somewhat baffling. His patter was basically a trip through Australian and international rock and roll history but I loved his playing and his singing voice. He was so good, we went to see him again Tuesday night at the early 6:30pm show.
Tuesday – highs and lows
I had been good and hadn’t had a full sized, chocolate iced doughnut for several days, (don’t ask about the mini ones that are available with morning coffee...) but rather than upset the hard working bakery department by ignoring their white iced doughnuts, I did my bit for reducing the on board food wastage, but only after the banana, prunes and tinned apricots. A healthy breakfast I think.
The sea was a lot calmer (thank goodness) and we headed for bowls anyway. One of the popular regulars, 80 year old “Snow”, didn’t turn up, which was a surprise and just after the game started (ladies vs gents), there was a tannoy call for a ”Code Alpha”. Little did we know at the time that it was Snow who had suffered a heart attack. By mid afternoon he was stable but has to be shipped off in Tahiti. Very sad as we have got to know him well and have often had breakfast or lunch with him. Just adds more weight to our current philosophy of doing what we can whilst can, as none of us knows what is ahead.
To counteract that sobering news, the dance class was interrupted by Cruise Director Warren, who had come straight from a staff meeting, where, as a results of internal recommendations added to by a pile of passenger nominations, Alana was voted the “Employee of the Month” for August.
The applause and cheers from the dance group were something to behold and a clearly disorientated Alana had to try and pick up from where she had left off with the rumba. Regular readers of this blog will know full well that Alana is one of our favourite people on the cruise and we are thrilled that she was recognised in this way.
There was a brief get together for those doing the 75 day cruise next year before we headed for the food (yes, again...) and the “International Buffet”. Many look down on buffet food and the concept of people helping themselves, but it is not only remarkably efficient, but it allows a quick taste of food you may not normally order in a restaurant. With enchiladas and also sweet and sour pork as options, the light eating day took another hammering - and it would only get worse...
Paula had a morning massage and at 3pm, I was struggling again with my shoulder, so I was despatched to Arlene once again. Repair is painfully(!) slow and Arlene takes no prisoners.
For our evening meal, we had specifically requested a Thai Chicken curry (the evening meal options never seem to include a curry) and three people had also requested a polenta dish as a starter. I therefore ended up with a sizeable taste of polenta (with a Bolognese sauce) to add to the country pate and cream of cauliflower soup, before the specially prepared Thai curry. Our waiter Watchara (from Bangkok) confirmed (after a sly taste!) that it was authentic and Paula soon discovered that the green veg were not beans, but chillies! I just had to finish with fresh fruit salad though...
A somewhat bloated arrival in the Atrium for the quiz and then just a couple of dances. Plenty of people still around at 11:30pm too.
Two more sea days including the “Crossing the Equator Ceremony” for the Pollywogs tomorrow... Maybe a light food day again tomorrow too – but – formal night and lobster with monkfish on the menu...