A Week at Sea

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Oceania » French Polynesia
November 16th 2015
Published: June 26th 2017
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Since leaving Acapulco on Sunday November 8th we have had a week at sea. I feel like the sailor who went to "sea, sea, sea" to see what he could “see, see, see” but all that he could “see, see, see” was the wide blue “sea, sea, sea”. With very little on the horizon, only the occasional bird, we have to turn to other activities to keep occupied.

For the first couple of days I came down with a very bad chest cold so sleeping was my main occupation. This virus has spread throughout the ship. I managed with painkillers and nasal spray that I had with me but I think the doctor on board has been kept busy. I am still coughing and spluttering but am over the worst. Fortunately, Fletcher has managed to avoid it so far.

Our quiz team continues to do well. Each morning and afternoon there is a 20 question general knowledge quiz. We have managed to win most and the few we have not come out on top we have either tied and lost the tie-breaker, or been second. We each have key rings, pens and small rulers a plenty.

There have also been an interesting series of lectures by our on board military historian, Jeff Chandler, so every second day there is another informative lecture about war. So far we have had an overview of WW1, a summary of the Crimean War and several lectures on battles of WW2 including D-Day and the Battle for Normandy. He is knowledgeable, has interesting graphics and delivers in an entertaining way.

There have also been a couple of special ceremonies. The first was on November 11th where we attended the special Remembrance Day ceremony, held on Deck 7. It was done very well with the Last Post, the Ode and a final hymn. The Captain and his officers were all there and the final act was a wreath being dropped into the ocean as a tribute to all the fallen. The second was much more fun. This was the Crossing the Equator celebrations, again held on the back deck where the Captain, dressed as King Neptune demanded tribute from the crew and passengers to allow us to cross. All the senior officers had to “kiss the fish”, literally and the “pollywogs”, those first timers, had to be punished for “crimes” and then jump in the pool. Several passengers voluntarily joined in but I stayed safely as an observer on the top deck. A bit of fun to break up the day.

Apart from that, there are three meals a day, the best of which is breakfast. We have taken to eating lunch up on the back deck, choosing from the buffet in the Ubersee restaurant. Here we can pick and choose between the various dishes and eat less. We still mainly go to the Waldorf for dinner, but the food continues to be disappointing and, even though we now get a low salt version, still remains ordinary at best. We did have a great meal during the Mid Voyage celebrations a day or so ago, as they had a BBQ on deck and the meat was cooked well and we could choose between salads. I am still trying the cocktail of the day each evening and as most of our drinks are covered by our daily package, the double Baileys on ice goes down each evening as a great night cap. Fletcher has also become a fan of the Flying Grasshopper cocktail and had a competition between the three bartenders in the Captain's Club, Svetlana, Anatoli and Petar, to see who could make the best. He awarded the gold medal to Svetlana, closely followed by Anatoli.

The rest of the time we are reading and Fletcher is doing his statistics. We have ventured on to the internet but this is very slow and the best time to connect is 6am. However, it is very relaxing and each day passes quite quickly. I have also joined the “Astor Choir” and we have learnt a three part harmony version of Lean On Me and a trio of gospel songs. A bit of fun!

We are now looking forward to our trio of stops in French Polynesia starting with Nuku Hiva on the 16th November. We have to anchor off shore and be tendered in here and though we are told there is not a lot to do, there is a beach and hopefully a WiFi café. Then 3 days to Papeete and another day

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