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Published: July 22nd 2018
Sharon went off to mass and I finished up the blog. This had all the markings of one of those lazy days at sea that would let us catch up on everything; but, looks can be deceiving. Nonetheless, it started out that way. We took our breakfast in the dining room. I thought the menu had changed; but, it was just the color and presentation. I got a frittata and muesli, and maybe I went off diet a little with two of the hash brown cakes and two sausages. I really have been good though by forgoing the bread and rolls at meals. This frittata seemed to be more of a fried egg white than I remember them as being, and the bowl of muesli was much bigger than I remember; although, it only had one half strawberry added rather than assortment of berries. I guess I’m remembering the tiny thimble sized containers of muesli served in the Lido; although, I haven’t located where they put those yet. Sharon had a huge chocolate croissant, and this might make her want to eat here more often. She also ordered her standard dining room All American Breakfast.
We had our Cruise Critic “Meet and Greet” at 10AM in the Crow’s Nest. I was hoping to meet our fellow Trivia Team members; but, other than “Team 1” I really had nothing to go on to find them. Sharon thought that she could recognize one of them, and later pointed out the single lady that had signed up to me. Sharon thought everybody was supposed to wear T-Shirts and/or hats to identify where people were from. I’m walking around in my T-Shirt with the Vegas Sign and a hat that says, “Vegas Strong” and Sharon had her Vegas Golden Knights shirt on. One other man had a T-Shirt that identified him as coming someone from Canada, and I’d wondered if he was one of our Trivia Team members; but, he wasn’t. We talked to several couples for a while, and then they passed the microphone around so that people could identify themselves with their real name and Cruise Critic name. We did meet Lana who had signed up for trivia, and she noted that she’d only played Team Trivia once before and thought that it was fun. She was also very busy on this cruise organizing an arts and crafts group. She hadn’t been at the Team Trivia the day before. And we met Duncan and Pam, the Canadian couple. They noted that that they’d since met up with another couple with whom they’d previously played Team Trivia. They obviously wanted to play with them; but, that would put us over the 6-player limit. I was worried that maybe Cruise Critic isn’t the best way to form your Trivia Team. There were eats and drinks; but, we were off to hear a guest speaker in the Showroom.
Stuart Sutherland was the guest speaker, giving a talk on “Milestones in Live: Three Great Leaps Forward.” His talk focused on the fossil record and his work which compared the layers of strata as pages in a book that tell a story. His presentation was superbly done, excellent engaging speaking with interesting and informative slides on the screen. His work showed the transition of marine life to terrestrial life and the quest to find the fossil record to document this transition.
We rushed up to the Dive-In. Sharon got the so-called “Fried Chicken” from the Lido with rosemary potatoes (which she did like a lot). I got a Back Flip from the Dive-In, their grilled chicken sandwich served with guacamole. I was still waiting for my Back Flip when Sharon returned with her chicken nuggets, and still waiting when she went looking for a ginger ale. The bar steward did find us and attempted unsuccessfully to open the can to pour her ginger ale. And I was still waiting when he brought the second can; and, he couldn’t open that one either. He even tried forcing it open with a spoon; but, this also failed. He disappeared, and I think he had the bartender open the next can before bringing it to us. I went over to the Dive-In window, and evidently Back Flips don’t get made fast. People were coming and going with their hamburgers, while I waited. Finally, my pager goes off, and I get my Back Flip, and evidently, I also ordered 2 French Fries because that’s what they gave me. Sharon was almost done eating, and we only had fifteen minutes to get to Team Trivia. We still finished at the same time, and Sharon told me to go on up to the Crow’s Nest. I should have known that there was ice cream in her future.
People were already showing up for Team Trivia. I camped out at a table in the front-right. I didn’t see anybody on our team. I thought it might be better on the other side, where there were some better places to sit; and, then Sharon pointed out that Linda would be doing Trivia from the right side. So the pickings of places to sit weren’t as good; but, we found one… and then we found our Canadian teammates. Lana was no where to be found, so it looks like we have our “We Don’t Need Google” Team. Duncan and Pam had been there the previous day, and were embarrassed to say that that when Linda began by asking people to raise their hands and cheer if you had 8 points, that was one better than they had. What 1960 movie takes place in Greece and won an Academy Award for Best Song. We leaned towards “Zorba the Greek”; however, Linda wanted “Never on Sunday” which admittedly, I’d never heard of before. She then offered up a monster question, and evidently, she knew that someone playing likes monster questions, because, after a cheer Linda said, “I thought you would like that.” “Who is the only monster to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?” There seemed to be a consensus with King Kong. But then came a Frankenstein faction in our group; although, I think it was just Duncan and I that voted for Frankenstein. We went with the green monster; but, just the wrong one. I should have suggested “Godzilla” the way I had yesterday for an answer; because, that is what Linda was looking for. Linda said, “Mickey Mouse is the mascot of Disney. What cartoon is the mascot for Universal Studios and Honda Racing?” We were pretty happy with The Roadrunner. We just picked the wrong bird: Woody Woodpecker! I guess that she was feeling sorry for us, so she gave us a multiple choice. “What city was the first to have an ATM machine in 1967: (a) London, (b) New York, (c) Tokyo, or (d) Geneva?” I was leaning towards New York. Duncan was urging London, and that is what we settled on. And we got that one right. The 5-point bonus (with partial credit) was to name the five top coffee producing countries. We got Colombia and Brazil. I’m glad we weren’t asked to arrange them in order too! That list would have been: Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia. Still, our efforts were rewarded with 12 out of a possible 20 points. Yikes! Can’t believed we tied for first again, and again, there was no tie-breaker! Linda also awarded the Booby-Prize to the team with 5-Points!
Sharon went to listen to Roberta Sloane speak. She’s another guest speaker and she was talking about Saturday Night Live, The Second City and the Canadians. Sharon said it was ok but wished she had gone to the Craft Class where they were making the Viking Beaded Lanyard. I went to finish the blog.
Sharon came back to the cabin and we went off to play $2,500 Jackpot Bingo. I thought this normally started at $10,000! What’s with the dinky jackpot? It didn’t seem like many people were playing; or, maybe they were staying away because of the DINKY jackpot! Not that you can really expect to get a blackout Bingo in 46 calls or less; but, still! I’m just saying! As it turned out, we needn’t have worried about being stuck with a DINKY jackpot. I never even got to stand! Well, Sharon did on the Small-X game. We played 4 games; and, there were just two winners and no one near us was among them.
We rushed back to get gussied up for Gala Night. I got to wear my new suit (Oh Joy)! When we got out of the elevator on the Promenade Deck for dinner, we decided to take the elevator up to the Upper Promenade as the dinner line was stretching up the stairs. And we got to wait… and wait… and wait. It was pretty miserable with everybody standing around waiting to be seated. It’s pretty miserable standing around in a new suit with a dress shirt and tie on in a stuffy overcrowded area waiting. For some reason everyone on this DAM ship wants early seating. The finally did seat us at one of the interior tables for eight. One of the couples (Joe and Ann) were on our trivia team the first day. The woman of the other couple’s name was JoAnn so that was easy to remember. I was thinking, at least it’s a good menu tonight! I do like their escargot. I ordered the asparagus soup with chicken dumplings. And I ordered the stuffed shells with spinach. Sharon had the peppered tenderloin with grilled shrimp; so, I got some seafood to go with my pasta. We both chose chocolate souffles of course. We had to wait quite a while to get our first appetizer. Our server apologized in advance, saying that service would be slow this evening because of the crowd that descended on the dining room from the onset. They took our first course plates away, and brought one lady her second course, which was for her escargot. I expected our soup to come; but, it never did. We’ve noticed a couple days now that service has seemed to be slow and uncoordinated and we supposed that there may have been a major crew change in Boston. We know that Linda is the new cruise director; and, we know that Barry from Boston also got on board with us. After about 20 minutes our entrees did show up, and when my stuffed shells were presented I asked the server that my soup be served after I finish the entrée. Such a look came over his face, as he looked around at the four other places at the table who had also not gotten their asparagus soup either. He assured us that the soup would come when we were done with the entrée. It did eventually arrive, and it was very good. I don’t remember ever having it before. And our souffles were as good as I do remember!
It was approaching 8PM and the show room was filled with people to receive the Captain’s Toast. When he was done, Sharon assured me that people would leave for their 8PM dinner seating. I think three people left and those seats were quickly occupied. “I guess it’s the 10PM Show,” Sharon said. Sharon went to play the slots and I got them to open the Blackjack table. I got to play quite a while before somebody else sat down. It started quite well. I held a four and a five against a dealer’s nine. I drew a three, and then a four, and then a five for 21. The dealer matched my bet and the $1 bet that I’d made for him. I said, “It’s a five-card 21, shouldn’t it be more?” He slumped, notified the pit boss and then paid me the 3:2 odds Fun-21 offers.
Sharon had quickly lost her money on the Buffalo machine so headed to the Piano Bar for Barry from Boston’s 50’s set which she said was lots of fun. She stopped by to say that she was going to the Show and I was thinking, “My Gosh, is it 10PM already?” I’d completely lost track of time by then. The best I could seem to do was win 5 hands in a row once. I was gradually losing. After losing a double-down with 20, I checked my watch and it was only five minutes before ten. This puzzled me and I was wondering if I’d remembered to set my watch ahead one hour for the time change; but, I remembered that I had. So, I cashed in my chips and went to join Sharon for the show.
The Hal performers presented a singing and dancing show titled “The Midnight Hour”. It was good, but it really was approaching the midnight hour for me and Sharon kept jabbing me in the ribs to get me to open my eyes. Wives do things like that. The humorist said as much last night.
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