An 18 day cruise with about 12 sea days was lots of fun.
06.10.2013 - 20.10.2013 27 °C
We have our last hot tub and pack up. The drive in from our sunny north shore leads into darker skies. We arrive at the car rental place just after 11. The shuttle to the cruise ship runs on the hour however as we stand out front a bus arrives, we board and are whisked away. I am always amazed by the amount of luggage people have. Our bags are small in comparison and I always feel I over packed. Boarding isn't until 12, but we just move through the process and are on the ship by just minutes after 12. Well done!
The ship is mostly Aussies and the level of noise and parties is bumped up a notch. (The last cruise we were on was really quiet!) The karaoke is loud and mostly off key, but enthusiastic. There are only four at dinner at our table for 10. June from L. and her friend Ann from a town between Manchester and Liverpool. They are quite the pair and we have a good time at dinner. Our waiter is Sunny from the Philippines and Co from Indonesia.
We take in the Polynesian show and walking out there is a dance class in the atrium. Of all people our friend Tanika is the leader. We don't say a thing but quietly join the class. She spies us and in mid instruction, breaks off and runs over to give me a hug. We talk for a while after the class before joining the band for some dance. We are now in our room waiting to cast off.
The ship has about 1200 Aussies, 700 Americans, under 200 Canadians, we have met about 10 of them, Canadians that is including one who lives down the block from us.
My new walkers I bought at MEC broke! That sucks totally!
Michelle Merlin, a Broadway singer performed one night. The first show she ever did was Cat. She does a mean Bette Midler and a sexy Marilyn Monroe. Following this was the Newlywed not so Newlywed game. Funny!! Best laugh was a lady in the first row left to go to the washroom. The MC, Paul, had the three people who were seated next to her switch seats with another group then added a random man in her seat. When she came in we gave her a standing ovation, then she went to sit down only to find she was on her own. Lol
Chad Cheswick a comedian magician was very entertaining. We sat up close to watch....we really don't know how he does it! He swallowed a balloon sword and when he coughed it up it was tied into a poodle.
The band is awesome! Their voices are great and they have as much fun as all the cruisers. The dance floor is filled until they quit playing, and still want more.
A 70s party followed. So many people and all up dancing, actually too many people, but fun anyway. We ended the evening with Tanika for a nightcap.
The show last night was the Circ de Sole type. Different than the one on the Equinox, but so so good.
Musician for another evening show was excellent, he played the Xylosynth. David Meyer.
Last nights show was excellent again a comedian, Steve Caouette, who worked with the audience and just went wherever he was lead. Pretty funny.
Next night was a concert pianist, Simon, wonderful. Next night we got all three great entertainers, Steve, Simon, and Mario. We chatted with Steve and the pianist the other day. Steve has a son in Abbotsford so comes around Vancouver as often as he can.
The ship dancers have a new show, Pulse. It has great music, aerials and high high energy. There is a mime who interacts with the dancers through the whole show and did a segment in the middle. Tanika set Roger up to be chosen to go on stage with the mime and it was funny. The mime likes to chose his own guest, but Tanika assure him that Roger would be an excellent choice. After the show the mime told Tanika we would love Roger to join the next show as well.
It is such a busy night. After dinner is a very entertaining show by Mario D'Andrea with vocals, humour and fantastic guitar skills.
Tonight's entertainer was Sean O'Shay from Vancouver. He was a lot of fun with some good and some just ok impersonations, but his energy and humour had us entertained. He came out as Elvis near the end and was kissing women in the audience. One of the stage hands came out dressed in goggles, mask and coveralls with a hand sanitizer. From Sean and the band's reaction, this was a surprise! At one point he leapt off the stage in front of a lady sleeping in the audience and she stayed awake for the rest of the show. He also climb on the seats to the four row where a man was not swaying his hands when Sean was doing Neil Diamond and made him join in. Too funny.
This time we get a pianist and the Celebrity orchestra. He is very clever and mashes up all styles of music.
Shellback ceremony was on Tuesday as we cross the Equator. King Neptune is paraded in with staff dressed in off the wall costumes. The flags from the northern hemisphere are raised and lowered then the Australia flag is raised. As we cross some guests got in the hot tubs and walked counter clock wise to signify how water goes down the drain in that direction in the Southern Hemisphere. Then it is our turn to become turtle backs, we had a glass of ice poured over our heads and then had to kiss a fish. Done! Several people got quite heated as most of the ship population crowded around the pool deck to watch the ceremonies and people got in other peoples site lines. We just stood on our chairs and we were fine.
The stars are all different now, Dad is really excited. No Polaris, but we get the Southern Star.
We met up with the group from cruise critic and have there is a games corner every sea day for those who want to play. And the first game we played was the game Nana brought back from the cruise called Five Crowns. Taught some people Settlers of Catan. Two got it, one hated it and one did well with Roger's help.
New games Dominoes: Chickenfoot. Nine Card Golf, Five Card Golf, Five Crowns.
Having a veranda is great. We spend a lot of time just enjoying the quiet and watching the blue blue water rush by.
Tanika got us invited, or rather just slipped us into the elite members sail away party with the officers. Free drinks and a chance to chat and watch the sail away from the heli pad.
We rocked trivia today. First with 14 points, second had ten and third had 8. What animal's baby is sometimes called a puggle. A platypus. We are only doing one trivia a day. Third place the first day and four way tie for first the second. We got 100%. We are remaining in the top three so we are happy. Okay we didn't rock them all.. be we did okay.
Tanika convinced us to join the flash mob for thriller. We got it down quickly and we did it today. People who missed it were sad, but you can't actually advertise a flash mob. I came up through some guys and got some great reactions when they turned to see who was pushing through.
We skip Tuesday the 15 and go right to the 16th.
We sat in the molecular bar where they make some pretty unusual and amazing drinks with Tanika and her fiancé Dwight. Tanika got called away to work and Jo and Lou joined us until the bar shut down. I had a Black Mamba and a brown Russian. Roger had a drink made with liquid nitrogen on the top.
Tanika is Jamaican of Irish, Indian and Jamaican descent. Dwight is from St.. Vincent. Tanika's sister is Lisa Marie and her brother is Elvis, her kids are Samantha and Dominica and her and Dwight's son is Savant.
Family Feud in which I got chosen to be in the second game and we made a clean sweep, a sixties dance party with the ship,dancers and then Liars Club at 11:30. Good thing the time changes and we get an extra hours sleep, I can use it.
Still lots to do. Dance, play games, visit, sleep, big production show, immigration, pack.....
Dinner options include SPE Sanitas Per Escam or health through food.
Dinner convos still tend to be quite entertaining. I said something quite Canadian and quite innocent and Anne just about died as it is very rude in England. Every time she spent to take a drink I would repeat a variation on the theme....
Rocky day at sea, but really not bad, the ship has stabilizers, but Anne has been sick all day and just popped in at dinner to say goodbye.
Anne and June has us in stitches at dinner, we have such a good time. They have traveled so much and have the best experiences, such as the lady they stayed next to in India who was getting FULL body massages, crossing streets in Singapore and India, train travel in the non European cars in India next to a man with chickens in his pockets......
Anne from England knew Shirley Valentine. The story was written based on her friend.
We went to karaoke and Roger sang a couple of numbers each night, there was the usual really bad, ok, almost there and a couple of really good ones. We danced with the Dj, but big mistake as the music got so loud and I hadn't brought my earplugs with me.
The first weather we had rolled through and the seas a wee bit bumpy. We are seeing more people with leg injuries from falls. Some on ship and some off, one apparently fell on her face. I know they left one behind with a broken leg to fly home, she fell down the main stairs on the ship. That is def not the way to end a trip.
We spotted whales coming out of Moorea.
Anne and David from Sidney are going to store our luggage in Sydney for us. Yippee. That will save us a few bucks and I was annoyed with the company for not answering emails anyway. They live by Manly beach.
We are into the Tasman sea and the ship is rolling...I slept like a rock!
Thinking about our plans. There are huge fires in the Blue Mountains so we may have to revise that portion of our trip. I will know more once we get to Sydney and contact the owner of our accommodations in the Blue mountains. We splurged for internet and have heard back and all should be okay, if anything there will be more smoke and haze in Sydney.
We can see Orion in the sky. We can now see the southern cross. Once we are in the sailboat Roger will have a ball looking at the sky, however the southern sky is nothing on the northern sky and that is from Milosh the naturalist.