Monday Oct 1 – Day at Sea


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Oceans and Seas » Mediterranean
October 1st 2018
Published: October 1st 2018
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If we have counted correctly, today is Monday and is the first day of the week for most people. For cruisers, we do not keep track of the day of the week but instead of the location in the itinerary. Anyway, we are at sea in the Mediterranean and the temperature has been about 70 most of the day with occasional overcast. The sea has been fairly smooth with just mild swells. This is good because Janet has been doing without her seasick patch for a couple of days and has managed pretty well. The real test will be when we get back into the Atlantic or the English Channel, but she has done pretty well today.

We got up about 8:45 and planned our activities. We decided to trade out excursion tickets in the next port. Previously Janet was going to take an easy bus ride around Ceuta and David was going on a strenuous trip into Morocco to the city of Tetouan. This was going to be quite an adventure, but now it seems better to stay closer to Janet in case she has any relapse. There were no more seats on her excursion but they let us exchange everything for 2 seats on the afternoon bus ride. They also accepted David’s old ticket from Toulon for the tour he did not take and gave us a full refund because we were in the Medical Center – they didn’t have to do that after-the-fact but it was nice.

A point of information: When we booked and paid for the excursion a long time ago, her price was $29. Now the price for the same thing is $89. So anyone planning a cruise and wanting to take excursions, there could be a very substantial price savings by buying them ahead of time.

Anyway, after getting that straightened out we started what is hopefully the final load of laundry in the washers so we will have clean things the rest of the way. We have been sending the shirts & pants to the ship’s laundry but haven’t wanted to send them the more dainty things. Then we went up to the Horizon Court for breakfast. David was able to get Janet a plate of food while she saved us a table. Then he got his and we had a non-tiring breakfast.

While at breakfast we discussed the excursion we have planned in Lisbon. It would be for a full day trip to Fatima and this was one of the highlights we wanted to see on this cruise. But the description was quite similar to the trip to Santiago de Compostela, which really wore out Janet. This would be along bus ride with a walking tour followed by 45 minutes of free time to explore. The excursion desk confirmed it was probably just as tiring as the Vigo trip, so we cancelled that for Wednesday. Instead we booked a tram/coach tour of Lisbon which we think will not be as tiring – we got the final 2 seats on the last trip of the day.

With the laundry finished drying and now folded, Janet settled down to watch a movie in the cabin – Peter Rabbit. She had thought about going to the theater to hear a discussion of the “20 worst inventions”, but that will probably be on the TV in the cabin later in the trip. This way she got to sit on the couch and do needlework, but could take a nap in the middle if she wanted.

Meanwhile David went to the Future Cruise presentation about the Panama Canal. He wanted to hear how they were dealing with both the original locks and the new locks. They still sail the Island and Coral Princess ships through the smaller clocks and now will be sailing the Emerald and Caribbean Princess through the new larger locks. And of course they still will have full and partial transits of the canal.

After the movie and cruise discussion, then we went to Lunch. We went up on deck to the Pizzeria and got some pepperoni pizza. Janet was able to eat all her breakfast and almost all her pizza, so her appetite is slowly returning although she did not want to push it with any ice cream. David went back later for a visit to the Swirl Girls and a bowl of ice cream as a delayed dessert. But this marked about 4 ½ hours that Janet was up, so she had a nice long nap in the cabin during the afternoon.

We had received an invitation to a Wine Tasting at 3:00 today. Janet cannot drink any alcohol while on her medicine so she didn’t want to be awakened for this event, but David did go and sampled their wines. As usual there was a little discussion of the history of wine making and the particular grapes in each wine, ut also a long explanation of the shapes of the glasses, the 6 different shapes of bottles, and the history of corks in the bottles. Then we got the instructions on how to taste each wine. First you check the color, then smell the aroma, finally savor the taste, and then cleans your taste buds before moving to the next wine. There was lots of showmanship in this event which the real connoisseurs probably appreciated, but it was basically a question of whether you liked the taste or not. We got a small sample of 5 different wines.

David came back about 4:00 after wine tasting and found Janet gone from the cabin. She had headed off to get one of her special coffees. She only got to try one type of coffee, it came in only one kind of cup, poured from one dispenser, with one sippy-lid – how exciting was that? But she did enjoy it and she chatted with some interesting people in the Piazza. And it’s good that she had enough energy to go wander around in the ship – that hasn’t happened a whole lot lately.

At 5:15 they delivered a small plate of canopies. They were a special little perk for Elite passengers on Formal Nights. It was a treat but not particularly filling. The special choices in the dining room for the main entrees tonight were Roast Duck, Lobster Tails, or Chateaubriand. It was a difficult decision, but we both got the Lobster with a side order of crab cake. Janet had a shrimp vol-vo-vent as her appetizer and peach sorbet for dessert. David had a rum roaster pineapple and a glass of chilled fruit cocktail soup. For dessert he had this evening’s specialty – a very rich chocolate raspberry mousse.

We went to the theater for an excellent singer named Phillip Browne. He has been a headliner at multiple West End shows in London and recently was the lead in Lion King. He had an amazingly strong voice and gave one of the best singing performances we have seen on a cruise ship in many years. It was a really good way to finish the evening.

There are no pictures today and we are about to go to bed, but wanted to send the blog first. Goodnight.

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