March 23 – Back at Sea

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Coral Sea
March 23rd 2014
Published: March 23rd 2014
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Hello as we cruise north along the eastern coast of Australia. We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn about 8:30 this morning. By the end of the day we were somewhere around 21 degrees south latitude. It was partly cloudy (means mostly sunny) for most of the day and the high temperature was about 84 degrees. There has been a slight breeze all day but not enough to make the seas rough or anything. We are really enjoying the great weather and hope it’s not too bad for all the folks back at home.

We got an e-mail from Elizabeth last night that she will be changed from a Contract Employee to a Regular Employee at Chemir starting on March 31. We are very happy for her. J

Just to correct something from yesterday. There are many many shops in Brisbane, however the only places that our bus stopped did not have any shops. If we had selected something else, or gone off on our own, we probably could have filled a suitcase with stuff. So if anyone comes to Brisbane in the future, you most likely will find a store for souvenirs somewhere.

There were no wake-up calls this morning, but we got up about 7:30 anyway. We went up to the buffet and had another large breakfast. Each morning we end up eating with someone new and that way we are eventually meeting a lot of people. Today was a lady who is a Great Grandmother, her children are in their sixties and are retired, and she still likes to travel (especially cruising). We did not ask her age, but it gave us encouragement that we could keep doing this for a long time to come.

We did visit the Future Cruise person this morning and found some information about the 2015 Alaska cruises. We will do some research and contact everyone after we get back to see who might really be interested in a trip. We have found that if we refer someone as a brand new contact to Princess Cruise Line, both we AND they get a small reduction in the fare, so don’t do anything until we talk to you.

At 10:00 David went to a presentation on what to expect in Port Douglas in two days. It sounds like an interesting place, but we will not cover any of those things until we actually get there. But from today’s session, it does sound like we have chosen a good excursion.

Meanwhile Janet went to find some knitting buddies – they have not had the Knitters and Natters announcement in the daily newsletter (Princess Patter) on this cruise. She did find a few folks anyway. She then went to the Arts and Crafts session and did Origami. She made two hearts and a box. She already knows that the top of the box will have to be altered a little or it will be exactly the same size as the bottom and wouldn’t fit. That was very insightful of her from all those years doing craft projects.

We got on the internet and completed our assessment of the first cruise. After each cruise, each passenger is sent a survey to report how they liked (or didn’t) the cruise, what could be improved, and if there is anyone from our trip we want to applaud. So we got that completed and then went up to lunch at the Terrace Grill.

After lunch, Janet went back to our cabin and finished one of her books which are required for the next meeting of her Mystery Book Club when she returns next month. She had gotten a copy of each book from a used-book place on the internet before we left. Now she has half her readings done. Then it was time for an afternoon nap.

David went to a session at 1:00 by a “reef pilot”. The Great Barrier Reef is a Heritage protected environment, and any ship which is 70 meters or longer must have a local pilot on board to cruise these waters. There are only about 80 certified pilots and our guy is going to stay aboard until part way through the next cruise (not one that we are taking). He explained a lot of stuff, including how the reefs grow, what seems to be killing the coral, who charted the original passages, etc, etc, etc. It was interesting and he had some good pictures of both the coral and some of the fish which live in or around the reef.

Afterwards, while Janet was finishing her book, David went up to the pool for a swim. He was only there a little while before that pesky pilot drove us under a rain squall. So after a short break David resumed his swim. They have warned us that the sun is much more direct in these latitudes and to limit the amount of time in the sun, so maybe this brief interruption was good for David anyway.

Janet went to High Tea and met some more people. She really enjoys her tea and the scones and finger sandwiches help as an afternoon snack. In the interest of full disclosure, the cookie cart lady came around the pool after the squall also, so David got a couple of oatmeal raisin cookies.

We had some more wine before dinner and then went to the dining room. Once again we had the table to ourselves, but that meant the company was great! For appetizers, we both had Seafood Skewers (which included a shrimp, a scallop, a piece of white fish, and a piece of salmon). For our soup, Janet had the “hot chicken broth with broken pasta” and David had a chilled mango soup. We both had the Prime Rib with baked potato as our entrée. Dessert for Janet was strawberry shortcake with a side order of chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup. David had a butterscotch sundae. Clearly we had another terrific dinner.

One of the down-sides to taking the same ship back-to-back is that the entertainment is mostly the same as the previous cruise. We expected that of the staff dancers & singers, but the some of the “special acts” are also the same. Tonight they had the Irishman in the Vista Lounge and Donna Campbell impersonating Dolly Parton in the theater. Even the Movie is a repeat from last time. So instead, we went to the atrium and listened to the classical trio play music. There are 4 levels there and a lot of chairs/sofas. We got some seats, Janet brought one of her projects and we just listened to the music for a while. That was very peaceful.

Now we are back in our cabin and ready to turn in for the night. Sorry but there were no pictures today. Talk to you tomorrow.


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