Day 9 – Wednesday – Oct 3 – Fourth Sea Day

Oceans and Seas » Pacific
October 4th 2012
Published: October 4th 2012
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Island PrincessIsland PrincessIsland Princess

plowing through waves
We wanted to go to sea in a ship and today was our chance to experience it when it felt like a real ocean instead of a lake. We had strong winds all day and you could definitely feel the ship’s motion either while you were sitting or when walking around. The noon report from the bridge said that it was 86 degrees and we were sailing southeast at 24 miles per hour, aided by a 52 mph wind from the north. However that produced a lot of whitecaps most of the day and everyone walked with a distinct sway back and forth due to the roll of the ship. Having said all that, it wasn’t bad enough to make you sick, but it is certainly more motion than we’ve had any other day.

We went up to breakfast this morning and Janet was very happy to find Eggs Benedict (only served a couple of times during the cruise). David has been having omelets most days, and did the same this morning too. There are also pastries and fresh fruit, baked apples or baked pears (David has one each day), bacon, sausage, fried or scrambled eggs etc, plus pancake or waffles. Anyway it gives us a good selection each morning and we have no excuse to leaving hungry.

Janet went to her knitters and natters again and David went to the next Enrichment Seminar on Panama. Today they were discussing the plan and progress for the alternate canal locks. When everything is finished, the original locks will remain in service too and will provide a route for any ship small enough to use it. The schedule for opening of the new locks has slipped and will not be ready until 2014 or 2015, but those will accommodate much larger ships. Current limits are 105 ft wide, 965 ft long, and 39 ft draft. Our ship will pay a fee of $300K for our transit. The new locks will accommodate ships that are 161 ft wide, 1,200 ft long, and have a 49 ft draft. The Carnival Dream, the Celebrity Solstice, and the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas are all too large to fit in the present canal, but will be able to use the bypass canal. Of course that applies to many of the Princess ships also. Work is underway on building the bypass
Closin the PoolClosin the PoolClosin the Pool

waves too high in the pool
locks, but also on straightening and deepening the channel along the way. So we will see some of the straighter channel but otherwise it should still look a lot like when it was originally placed in service.

There is a web address which will allow anyone to pull up the location of our ship. You can also see the Bridge Cam, and apparently Google Maps will display our location on a map.

We have not tried the URL yet, but hopefully it will work for you. There is also an address for the Panama Canal webcams, so you can see what’s happening from the canal’s perspective (not enough clarity for you to see us waving from the decks).

Again, we have not tried this one either.

After her knitters gathering, Janet planned to go to another craft session, but it turned out to be a repeat of the card session she had done earlier in the trip. So she watched yesterday’s “canal lecture” on TV and then we went up to a meat BBQ beside the pool. It was OK
Formal Dinner #2Formal Dinner #2Formal Dinner #2

Janet, David, Carol, Vic, with Francis (right) and Jesus (left)
but not great, so we will skip those details.

After lunch we attended a presentation on the European Cruises being offered next year, as well as the Trans Atlantic cruises. We heard about interesting cruises and saw some terrific scenery pictures, but we didn’t buy anything. We did find out that a there is an additional credit available to shareholders, so maybe we should explore buying some of their stock – certainly we are doing our part to make them profitable.

Janet then went to get a gourmet coffee and on to a card making session after the cruise session. She described it as an Apollo-13 approach, where your took all the pieces you had available and tried to make something out of them. Anyway, she made 4 more cards and was happy with the results.

After the cruise presentation, David wandered around the ship taking a few photos. The walking track was covered with sea spray every time we hit a big wave, so no laps today. The pool was closed because the water was too rough inside the pool, so no swimming. The deck chairs were available on the pool deck, but there was not much sunshine. Besides, you could literally taste the salt in the air when outside. So basically David rested in the cabin – he does have some books along to read. The weather did calm down late in the afternoon and early evening, but then it started raining, so we haven’t had really good weather today – hopefully better tomorrow.

Janet found out in the Internet Café that the Cardinals clinched the 2nd wildcard position, so we are happy for them. We won’t be watching unless they go a long way into the post season, but it’s nice to know anyway. The Cruise Director announced they would play the presidential debates via CNN this evening as one of the Movies under the Stars. We thought we would be able to get away from politics for awhile, but it has followed us onto the ship.

Tonight was the second formal dinner. We were all dressed up appropriately, and we got another picture – this time with our waiter and assistant in the background. Appetizers were Shrimp Cocktail, for soup/salad Janet had Caesar Salad and David had the chilled soup, and for the entrée Janet had the Coq au Vin and David had Szechuan Shrimp. For dessert, Francis (our waiter) brought Janet a chocolate tart and David had the Apple Strudel. But he also brought a bowl of Rocky Road ice cream for us to split, and a Coffee Mousse for all four of us to split. We think the waiter must get a bonus for serving extra desserts, but then we ate them also.

The show this evening in the theater was a production show (the regular shipboard singers and dancers) called Motor City. It was an entertaining show with pretty much non-stop action on the stage. It’s not star quality, but it is good and lots of enjoyable music.

Tonight we will tuck ourselves in the bed and try not to roll out in the night. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be better.


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