Quizzes, Choirs and Quaffing

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January 14th 2016
Published: June 26th 2017
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We have set sail on the Sun Princess and quickly routines have been established.
We are on Deck 10, Baja Deck and in cabin B723 towards the aft of the ship. We have our own balcony which gives a sense of space and a large screen TV on which we have been able to watch the Big Bash. There is a lot of other entertainment etc on board. We have enjoyed the Wheelhouse Bar where there is a band playing 60s and 70s music and the 2 Cool Duo, both very good. There is a Happy Hour between 9-30pm-10-30pm when a second drink is only $1 when you buy the first. We went up on the top deck on the first day for the Sail Away and only returned for a written quiz yesterday. Not quite swimming weather yet and the Movie Under the Stars selection has not tempted us. Anyway the movies are available on our TV so we can watch at our own pace. They also have ABC Australian News on at 9am .

Quizzes are on twice a day, at 10-30am and 4-15pm.For the first couple we were on our own and did fairly well, only being one point behind the winners. On the second morning we invited two other couples who were sitting nearby if they would like to join us. They did though they said they were not very good at it. However, that morning we scored 20/20 and we tied with one other team. The tiebreaker asked the birth year of Mozart and we came up with 1769. The answer was 1756 and the other team had put down a date in the 1780s so we won! However, apart from the tie breaker, Fletcher and I had answered all the questions. Nevertheless, the others are there for the duration, I think. We are missing our Astor team mates who contributed so much more!!! We are now down to 4 in our team. Pam and Peter are lovely people but again rely on us to answer most of the questions. We haven't been doing so well lately but we still have fun and enjoy the challenge.

I joined the Pop Choir which has been rehearsing each day for a first concert on the 13th Jan. We are singing most of the songs from The Sound of Music. I was surprised at how many turned up, over 60 people. We are not attempting any harmony but have some solo parts and men and women sections. With the short rehearsal time we are doing well as most people know the songs already. It has been fun and I have got to know some more passengers that way. Our conductor, Kate is a young Canadian who has been on board for six months and is leaving the ship in Singapore. It seems quite a number of crew are doing the same, including our captain.

The performance was good fun. We assembled in the Atrium which has three floors opening onto it. We were on Deck 5 and our audience were on each floor and standing on the stairways. Our first song, The Sound of Music was out of synch with the music but after we had warmed up the rest went well. Our final song was So Long Farewell and I had to do the ""flitting””. All in all our performance was applauded well and we were all very happy.

The food on board is excellent, way above the standard of the Astor. We have a set table at 7-45pm and the other four couples are all very pleasant company. We had the Gala opening dinner last night after a Reception with free Champagne (very ordinary) in the Atrium in the centre of the ship. We were introduced to the Captain and the Senior Officers and the centrepiece was a Champagne Tower. People lined up to have photos taken of them pouring champagne into the glasses. We didn't bother. We have set a pattern of having breakfast on a share table to meet some others, then dining on our own at lunchtime and then our evening group. We have now also tried the Deck 14 buffet for breakfast which has a wide selection, though the orange and apple juices are sweetened and undrinkable. We also went to Verdi's Pizzeria on Deck 8 for lunch. Very crispy and tasty pizzas were had. Will be returning there.

On Jan 11th we went to a Wine tasting. There were 6 wines to taste. The first three, a French Champagne, an Australian Chardonnay and a French Chablis were all very ordinary. The stewards went through all the steps to tasting and explained how Champagne is made, all of which we have heard before. We did have some tasty canapes to accompany the wine. The three reds were much better. The Merlot from NSW was mellow but rather thin on the palate. The two best wines were a Pine Ridge Cab Sauv from California and a Henschke Shiraz. Both were very tasty but of course pricey.

The last two days we have been sailing through Indonesian waters. We traversed the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. This provided us with plenty to look at. We passed by the remains of Krakatoa and counted over 30 gas and oil platforms, their chimneys flaming in the darkness of the night. There were also many boats and ships along this stretch, ranging from very small fishing boats to large container ships. Not much wildlife though.

Looking forward to reaching our first port, Singapore, on Jan 14th. Missing the Internet as the packages are very expensive and we are told that speeds are slow. Will wait to connect on shore.

Additional photos below
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14th January 2016

Have fun. So jealous.
14th January 2016

Ooh-you are off again! I'm jealous too! Enjoy yourselves!
19th January 2016

Shouldn't that be Krakatoa and I?

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