I’m writing this as my “Half-Way Blog” because that’s just what it is, half-way on our cruise. First, apart from a few little colds, etc., both Susy and I are in fine shape (knock on wood). I asked Susy last night how she felt about the trip and she said “If I were getting off in Singapore tomorrow, as I had wanted to before we booked, I would be very sad. The intense part of the cruise is over (almost a port every other day) and now I’m looking forward to the long days at sea, Australia, with Sidney, one of our favorite ports, the small Pacific islands, and just relaxing.” I agree with Susy, but in addition, I just love cruising. For example, on a typical day at sea we have breakfast served in our cabin, then Susy goes her way and I go mine. Susy has her choice of attending one of the many activities that are going on every day, like cooking classes, art classes, etc. etc. (don’t laugh). She also can visit the Shopping Mall which has sales events every day, or the Art Gallery that has auctions every day, etc. etc. We have a complete Library with Internet Café aboard and it is really enjoyable to sit in one of the reclining easy chairs scattered through out the Library and pass hours reading or just relaxing. I usually spend mine laying around the pool or sitting in the library working on these Blogs or going to the Digital Workshops to learn more about Microsoft products centered around “Spaces” (i.e. Gary’s Space) usage (the workshops are sponsored by Microsoft and free). I also can post to my Blog during Workshop Lab sessions. Susy usually tries to eat lunch in the formal dining room, but I like to go up to top deck cafeteria (which is next to the two pools, one outside and one that has a sliding roof so they can cover it in bad weather) and just have a sandwich made to order. The afternoons again are just the same, except I work out in the gym and Susy likes to take her siesta. A first run movie plays all day in the movie theater in case you missed one or have some free time. We meet around 7 to 7:30 PM and have dinner at the second seating, 8 PM. After dinner, at 10 PM every evening there is a show with different artists every night. Holland American shows are not as good as some of the other lines we have sailed on but from time to time we get some really good artists who have been on Broadway or the West End. The ships local troop of singers and dancers put on a Broadway type musical show about every other week or so. Susy and I rank them as below average, especially based on what we’ve seen on other cruises, but their last few shows have gotten better, so there’s hope. Anyway, after the show we visit the Casino (we have a nice group who play Blackjack together), or visit one of the four or five lounges/bars where you can find anywhere from big band music and dancing to a single piano – bar player (a classical music trio plays in one of the lounges before dinner). Most of them operate until after midnight, one or two until the last passenger goes to bed. If it’s a night before a port we usually hit the sack early, but on sea days we try to make a night of it. Oh, and I should mention if you wanted to you could stay in your cabin at watch TV all day. On TV are international news coverage is very limited having only CNN international, and for sports we have ESPN international. We also have 3 or 4 movie channels, including Susy’s favorite, Turner Classic Movies. Our newspaper is a short version (3 or 4 small pages) of the New York Times. You can imagine the election coverage having only CNN and the New York Times. Hasn’t Obama been sworn in yet?
From a photo stand point I want you to feel easy in that behind the 100 or so photos I have showed you in the Blogs, I filled up my first camera card, with 1428 photos or movies and through Singapore have taken 234 photos, for a total of 1662 photos and movies. Don’t worry my second card has twice the capacity of my first one, so I shouldn’t run out of space on the way home.
If anyone has any questions or comments, please send me a message via the Blog or an email. In the photo album above titled Half Way Home, you see a couple pictures of Susy and I on formal night, which is at least 2 times a week and, Susy with her Jim Thompson elephant shirt and next me sitting across from her. We have a tradition of taking a photo of each other each night when we sit down to dinner. This gives us not only a record of how we look over the trip (that is have we put on weight or not), but helps us track what we wore over the last week or so. Enough of us, I’m all caught up with posting. Don’t miss the Singapore Blog, or the two before it because I have posted 4 (including this one) in the last few days. Onward to the second half!
Love you All,
Gary (alias Gagu)