Published: February 4th 2010January 26th 2010
Canyon Ranch Gym
Canyon Ranch has taken over the spa and gym since last year. There is another room for aerobics, plus the salons and massage rooms.
WOW! We have departed Bora Bora at about 4:00pm on the 25th headed for Apia, Samoa. The next day, and on the 27th we were rocking & rolling to some incredible seas and winds. Stuff started flying! The ship was going at about half speed to contend with the high waves and deep swells, in what we found out was a Gale 5 storm. Annette and I were having lunch in the La Veranda Restaurant on Deck 11 when dishes and glasses took flight. The staff was doing whatever they could to secure things. With one big wave Doug’s chair went over sideways. “Batten down the hatches”!
So, Captain Dag made the decision and announcement that we had to by-pass Apia, Samoa and head directly for Lautoka, Fiji. Fortunately, over the next day, the winds and waves subsided and we were back to happy, calm sailing.
Well, on the 29th we're set to cross the International Date Line. What’s that? It is an internationally agreed imaginary line running roughly (there are a few zig-zags) along the 180-degree meridian of longitude that separates two consecutive calendar days. That is the date in the Eastern Hemisphere, to the left of the
We consistantly have real good turnout for a bridge game in the afternoon with between 11 and 13 tables. The gentleman in the lower left corner of the photo is Lloyd, called Dr. Tinkle. He will celebrate his 100th birthday this month and is still quite sharp.
line, which is always one day ahead of the date in the Western Hemisphere. It’s recognized as convenience and not a part of international law. Without the International Date Line travelers going westward would discover that they returned home one day more than they thought had passed. This first happened to Magellan’s crew after their first circumnavigation of the globe. Likewise, a person traveling eastward would find that one fewer days had elapsed than he had recorded, as happened to Phileas Fogg in “Around the World in Eighty Days” by Jules Verne.
Over the years, the position of the International Date Line has changed several times. How does this affect us? We had no Saturday, January 30th. It’s like you went to bed on the 29th and it’s the 31st when we awoke. So those who had a birthday or anniversary on the 30th, skipped it.
So with a couple unexpected extra sea days, we got to play more bridge, work out and had an opportunity to tour the galley with our Virtuoso mates, conducted by the Executive Chef, Georg Hessler. What an operation! It’s mind-blowing when you think of the logistics that the ship and kitchens have
Duplicate Bridge #2
Roseanne and her assistant have a 45-minute lesson every sea day morning for intermediates and another for beginners.
to go through to plan and prepare for the food and beverage service for a 4-month cruise. In many ports, the Food and Beverage Manager and the Executive Chef visit the local markets to price and purchase local foods. Most of the fresh fish is purchased this way. This can be seriously impacted by the various ports and unions in those ports. Many times they need to have certain items shipped to some ports when they are not able to get it locally, especially when you think about perishable items that may only last several days in cold storage.
There are four primary restaurants on board; Compass Rose, the primary and largest restaurant on Deck 4, La Veranda Buffet and Bistro on Deck 11. It offers a buffet for breakfast and lunch, along with a daily special. In the evenings the buffet has appetizers and salads, plus the ability to order main courses from their menu. They have a theme for a week and offer a menu like Polynesian, Italian or another theme depending on the area we are in. The ship has two specialty restaurants; Prime 7 and Signatures, both on Deck 5. These restaurants require advance reservations. Prime 7 features a variety of steaks, fresh fish, lobster, crab, etc. Signatures is a Cordon Bleu French Restaurant. All this, and 24-hour room service is available.
Guests enjoy the fine service in all the restaurants, which is a culmination of daily, behind the scenes preparation and interdepartmental cooperation. It all starts with ensuring a spotless table presentation. The silver is polished, the glasses are shined, 1,000 napkins are folded each day and 240 tablecloths are replaced after each service.
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