Friday, July 17, 2009

2009-06-19 Italy Trip - Sea Day

Breakfast at 8:00. Had eggs over easy and corned beef hash. (Justin had blueberry pancakes again.) All three girls decided to sleep in since we are cruising today. On the subject of cruising; we are CRUISING! It’s amazing how fast the water is zipping by and how much the ship is vibrating and yawing. We were discussing that since we have ~700 miles to cover, they have not refilled the ballast tanks or put down the stabilizers (depending on who you talk to) after leaving Messina.

Worked most of today on my laptop –nothing new to report there.

Went to lunch with Karen in the main dining room. Sat with three other couples: One from Tennessee, one from Wales, and one from Queensland, Australia. Interesting conversation since the Wales folks originally said they were from the UK, and when pressed, they said Wales (map). The Aussie man said, “Funny, I don’t remember Wales acceding to the UK…”, to which Mrs. Wales said, “Oh, you picked up on that, eh?”. Turns out several people just gave them blank stares when they told them they were from Wales. Seems a lot of people are unaware that Wales is a country. Oh well.

I had a wonderful salad –you go to the salad bar and tell them what you want. They put the ingredients into a steel mixing bowl and at the end, chop them with a pizza cutter, and transfer it to a serving bowl. Brilliant! Especially when they have things like arugula, radicchio, mozzarella, shrimp, smoked salmon, grilled chicken, etc. Ordered the asparagus and turkey spinach wrap. Had a B 52 melt for desert. It looked like an upside down cupcake and had molten chocolate inside it. Imagine a really big chocolate chip cookie, warm from the oven. I don’t remember much after that. I must have blacked out for a time.

When I came to, we were talking to the Aussie couple about Royal Caribbean cruise ships. It turns out that they have been on several of them and there are several classes of ships. We are one the smallest class (I know! It’s huge to me!) which I believe they said was Brilliance. The next one up is Radiance, then Monarch and Freedom. Karen and Eva were on a Monarch class ship in Bermuda last year since it had an ice skating rink and two story mall promenade. The new Oasis of the Seas will launch in December 2009 and will be the first member of an entirely new class of ships. Our ship holds 2076 guests, and the Oasis will hold 6200! Mr. Aussie said that they will be in Long Beach at the end of the year and he is hoping to find a way to manage to take the maiden voyage on the Oasis which will be sailing the Caribbean.

I mentioned that I knew they weren’t British when Mrs. Aussie ordered iced tea. I told them that I have some British friends that can’t abide the thought of iced tea and consider it an abomination. Mr. Aussie said that the British consider entirely too many things to be an abomination and to remind them that they, in fact, did not invent the stuff. He also pointed out that the people that DID invent it do not put milk and sugar in theirs. I got a laugh out of that because I drink my tea with milk and honey or sugar.

Had Asian roast duck for dinner tonight. Meredith had salmon –the universe is somewhat back in balance, although she didn’t finish it and said it tasted “fishy”.

After dinner I did more work and then Scott, Eva, Karen, and I sat and discussed Pompeii, Venice, and possible future cruises. After that, I went out with Eva while she had a cigarette and we saw what at first looked like a dozen cruise ships in the distance off the starboard side. Eva suggested I get the binoculars and once I did we decided that at least six of them were oil platforms. Duh, we’re in the Adriatic. There was a large thunderstorm off the starboard side as well and we saw some dramatic lightning, but it was so far away we never heard the thunder. I hope the storm is not a portent of tomorrow’s weather. We continued cruising at ~21 knots.

Eva wanted to try her hand at Pop-pop’s slot machine from last night so I went for moral support. She burned through her twenty dollars in about fifteen minutes –I’m sorry for Eva, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

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