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Friday, November 11, 2016

Days Three Through Five on Our Transatlantic Cruise: Spring, 2016

Monday, April 18th

We went to breakfast in the Horizon Court and there is always so much to choose from. We find it hard to eat light with all of the variety.Here's a picture of the Horizon Court very early in the morning before they were even serving. It's very bright and airy.

After breakfast Chuck wanted to go to a lecture on sunken treasure by a guy named John Christopher Fine. It was held in the very large Princess Theater (see picture below). I was not that interested so brought my book to read, just in case. After 5 minutes, I decided I was not interested in buried treasure, so read my book. Chuck liked the talk a lot, and I will admit that he seemed a bit more interesting than some of the lecturers we have heard. We went to lunch, then went to the room and Chuck took a nap while I watched a movie.

We had a glass of wine on the balcony of our room and headed to dinner in the Symphony dining room. We always do anytime dining, which means you just show up at a restaurant on the ship, as you would at any restaurant at home, and we had to wait for about 20 minutes for a table. After dinner we went to a show in the Princess Theater. Tonight’s show was a violinist named Gregory…yes, that’s it, just one name! He says he is the tallest violinist in the world at 6 feet 5 inches and played remarkably well, backed by the Regal Princess stage band. We even had time to see a second show which was Steve Couette again, the same guy from last night. I have decided I didn’t like him all that much because, although I did laugh at his jokes, he yelled at the audience a lot, and I found it annoying. Chuck really enjoyed him though.

Tuesday, April 19th

After breakfast, Chuck wanted to go to another seminar on by the same man, John Christopher Fine. This one was titled, Stallions and Treasure Hunting. I didn’t want to go, so instead went to a ship sale where everything is $10. They had a lot of items for ladies including watches, scarves, some clothes, nylon cross body bags, and cuff watches which I really like and since I only have a dress watch, decided to get a silver and blue cuff watch. I then went to the library and did one of the daily puzzles they have for passengers. Today’s was a trivia type puzzle about matching the different types of animals to what their young are called. For instance, a baby kangaroo is named a Joey, etc. I wasn’t very good at it and only got 11 right out of 25. And I was worse at Sudoku (if you know me, you know Math/numbers are definitely not my thing) I worked on a jigsaw puzzle for awhile that was laid out on the table for passengers to work on if they so chose. And then looked for another book but couldn’t find any I was interested in reading. I did bring some books with me but always like to peruse what they have to offer on ship libraries in case there’s something there that looks interesting that I may never get the chance to read again.

Afterward I met Chuck for lunch, then he napped while I watched the movie, The Intern starring Robert Deniro and Anne Hathaway and I have to say it was one of my favorite new movies. While Chuck worked out in the gym, I went to the walking track and got rained on as the ship went through some rain clouds shortly after I arrived on the track. Since we were moving pretty fast, I decided to keep walking and after 2 rainy loops around, we were out of the clouds and I finished enough laps to do 1 mile. I happened to notice a small pool on the deck below with no one in it and decided to check it out tomorrow.

I hurried back to the room to get ready for formal night tonight. We went down to get a seat in the Piazza area of the atrium near the champagne waterfall. Another couple that was from New York came and sat down near us and we talked to them for awhile. They had never been on a Princess ship before so we updated them on all the wonderful things about Princess cruise lines. We watched the Maitre d pour champagne to get the waterfall going, and then went to dinner in the Concerto Room. Here we are on formal night, and I have included a picture of one of the free dining rooms.

After dinner we went to a piano show by a guy named Tom Frenek. I have never seen anything like this before. This guy was an excellent piano player who had more energy than most entertainers I have ever seen. If you have ever seen Robin Williams being interviewed where he just talked and talked and went off on tangents, this guy was sort of like that, but he played the piano and sand as well. AND he’s a bit of a contortionist so for some songs was playing the piano with his back to it and reaching his arms backwards, and at another point he was playing while lying on the floor. He has over 100,000 followers on his Facebook page so I will probably friend him when we get home just because of his sheer passion for music.

Wednesday, April 20th

Today we went to breakfast and Chuck went to hear a lecture on ships during World War I. It was given by the same man who has been lecturing on Treasure Hunting and once again he was apparently very interesting, but I didn’t go and instead went back to the library. Immediately after that, there was an interview with the captain of this ship, who has risen to the rank of Commodore, in the very same venue. Chuck had recognized his name from a previous cruise, and it turns out he was the captain on our very first cruise together,The Crown Princess in 2006. He has come far in 10 years since Commodore is the highest rank one can reach, although according to him, it’s just a fancy title for Captain!

While Chuck was going to these lectures that I didn’t have an interest in, I went to my very favorite spot on this ship, which is the same favorite spot I had on the Royal Princess. It’s on the back of the ship, at the outside of the Horizon Court buffet. I brought a book I was reading, The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch, but instead decided to take notes on a book I had borrowed from the library here on board, “Like Water for Chocolate.” I enjoyed it so much that I read it in less than 24 hours and am in a hurry to write a review on it for HubPages so I can return it to the library here on board so someone else can read it. One of the things I love about cruising is that I have time to read. I do read when we are home, but not as much because I feel it takes time away from eBay. Now that I am away from our everyday lives, and the frenzy of keeping up with eBay daily, I think my previous view is rather sad. There should be enough time in my everyday life to work on eBay and read. Reading is good for my mind, while eBay is good for my bank account! I am going to try to balance both in my life better when we get back home.

After I took notes on the book, I went to a photography seminar in the Vista lounge…the exact opposite end of the ship that Chuck was at. The seminar was given by one of the photography staff on board. It was pretty basic but the one thing it did remind me that I should be doing is taking my camera off the automatic setting and setting it on specific settings which will result in clearer pictures with better lighting. I have a Nikon Coolpix camera which Chuck got me to illustrate my articles when I first started writing online in 2012. I like the camera but I can’t get clear close ups on it. The speaker recommended the next stage up so I may look into that someday. Until then at least I have been reminded about how to take better pictures with the camera I have.

We had arranged to meet at noon in the photography area and look at pictures that were taken last night. Personally I was not impressed with any of them, but we have plenty of time to have more pictures taken and there’s no need to buy any of them, although we do like to buy a few as mementos of the cruise.

We went to lunch and decided to try the pizza, fries and hot dogs from the Trident Grill instead of the usual fair at the Horizon Court. When we came back to the room, Chuck took a nap and did some work on his computer which he unfortunately had to bring with him. I watched another movie. This time it was ”Burnt” starring Sienna Miller and Bradley Cooper. I enjoyed it, but I think people who really enjoy cooking might be the movie’s biggest fans!

After we rested, I went to the walking track again. Good thing for my pedometer as it really encourages me to get extra steps in. I decided to bring my bathing suit and was happy that no one was in the pool below. This pool is small, maybe about 12 feet in diameter and is in the shape of a circle. I had noticed it when I was walking on the track earlier as it is on level down from the track and I hadn’t noticed anyone there. When I did go down, I realized it is actually in front on the smoking lounge area on the back of the ship. But no one smokes around the pool and no one seemed to care that I was there. I had participated in water aerobics once back home in our community of Big Canoe and knew enough of my own exercises to combine with those and do a 30 minute aerobic water workout. It’s definitely too small to swim laps so if I walk as aerobic exercise and then so swimming exercises and stretches in the pool, I should have a pretty good workout. I am hooked and plan to walk and use the pool now every afternoon. I felt so relaxed when I was done. The Royal Princess doesn’t have this type of pool back there, only a children’s playground so this was really a nice surprise.

Here's my new favorite exercising spot with a great view of the back of the ship, and also the walking/jogging track that has great views because it's the highest point on the cruise ship...

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