January 31st
Just forget about it........It never really happened anyway!


January 30th
Still out here, somewhere……..

I overslept a little this morning.  Barely had time for a quick shower; & I literally shoveled in the muesli before bridge class.  During Capt. Glenn’s morning report, he noted that it should be a beautifully sunny day, mid 80’s, with moderate seas.  We’re running on 5 engines today (21.5 knots).  He is anticipating high winds & rough (15’) seas late into the night.  He asked that everyone secure any possible loose, breakable objects in our cabins in preparation.  This should make for an exciting night onboard.  The bad thing is that during the night we cross the international date line.  So, at the stroke of midnight, we go from Monday night into Wednesday morning.  So, not fair that I lose a whole day of my cruise!

His quote for the day was….”Many people will walk in & out of your life.  But only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.”

Bridge was kinda like yesterday.  He let us all take turns being declarer; & tested our reasoning skills.  With sinus brain again today, I wasn’t exactly reasonable.  I think I took one step backward since yesterday’s lesson.

I made a quick dash down one deck & all the way forward to catch the rest of Bruce McGill’s lecture on understanding Shakespeare.  Of all the characters I’ve seen him play on TV & in the movies, seeing him recite Shakespeare seems so out of place.  Although he has had an illustrious stage career, I’ve never been exposed to it.  But he has a booming, commanding voice that is perfect for the stage.

From there I went up top to the Palm Court for the “mid day-mid earth mixer”, a celebration if you will, of crossing the equator.  Those who have never done so are called ‘pollywogs’.  Some ships torture us neophytes with embarrassingly, silly stunts.  I was relieved that Crystal did not even draw attention to the ‘pollywogs’ in the crowd.  It was more fun & embarrassment of the entertainment staff.

Complimentary bloody marys & mimosas for everyone.  The Galaxy Orchestra played as many danced.  King Neptune, his mermaid queen & his royal court presided.  Singer Karen Jeffreys performed a number; followed by Michael Harris singing ‘Way Beyond the Sea’ as Curtis & Beverly wowed us on the dance floor.  Captain Glenn came up to watch the spectacle; but did not speak.

Afterwards, I had a chance to speak again with Bruce McGill & his lovely wife, Gloria.  They were nice enough to pose for this photo.


About 1, I went into the Lido for lunch.  I had a tuna melt; a grilled pork skewer; a taste of the fish, shrimp & mussels in white wine cream sauce; lots of hearts of palm; & some Nicaraguan vignorone salad (which consisted of cabbage, onion, tomato in lime vinaigrette, very tasty).

Che brought her plate over & chatted a bit.  She was in a big rush to get to a lecture.  And Elaine (Peggy’s friend, not my bridge partner) came & chatted a good while.  We had a nice deep conversation on topics ranging from spiritualism to India to comparing luxury cruising.  She’s a lovely woman; & I’m so glad to have been able to meet her through Peggy.

Back to the cabin about 2:30, where I started to work uploading yesterday’s blog (slowly).  During this time I also kept an ear on Dr. Bill Bendel’s lecture from earlier this morning on the mysteries of the universe.  Astronomy doesn’t necessarily pique my interest; but he was going to touch on the subject of the abrupt ending to the Mayan calendar on 12/21/12.  This is something I’ve had strong feelings about; & he has me now convince that it’s really just the end of one chapter & the start of a new one (similar to the concerns that were circulating prior to Y2K).  He assured us that it would be safe to go ahead & plan another Crystal cruise past this December.

I laid down to read a bit with my feet propped up.  And again, I fell asleep; only to be jolted awake at 6:25 by an announcement over the PA system (shipwide).  Now, this is something that just isn’t done onboard Crystal, so it had to be important.  It was Capt. Glenn wanting to remind us to batten down the hatches in our own cabins.  He has altered our course, heading more west instead of southwest hoping to go around some of these high winds.  But to be safe, I took all bottles, glassware, etc. from their perches & placed them on the floor.  I put the throw pillows around them to keep them from rolling around.  I’m actually looking forward to this bit of action.

I took some more sinus medicine; definitely staying in for the night.  I read a while on the sofa, until Liz brought my dinner around 8:20.  It was a good meal starting with a beautiful appetizer of poached lobster medallions with saffron braised fennel & lobster vinaigrette.

I ordered a mixed green salad with creamy sesame dressing; which I put away in the refrigerator in case I can’t sleep tonight.  I just didn’t have room for it during meal time.

My main course was broiled fillet of cod that had a thin crust of (hash brown) potatoes, drizzled with a pommery-mustard sauce.  It came with some broccoflower; & I added a side of their fabulous mushroom risotto.  Delicious!

One of the desserts on the menu was new to me; so I ordered it.  It was called “Harlequin” which consisted of 3 different tiny desserts primarily of chocolate.  One was a small white chocolate mousse.  Another was a chocolate praline truffle.  In the middle was a small chocolate melt cake.  It was supposed to be served with vanilla ice cream.  I had asked for them to leave off the ice cream.  But it came with a small scoop in an iced compote on the side.  Knowing that the refrigerator wasn’t going to preserve the ice cream, I ate dessert first.  You know what they say……life’s short, eat dessert first!

 After dessert, I ate the main course because it was supposed to be hot.  Then I went to the appetizer because it was small.  Therefore, there was no room for the salad.  Worst case scenario, I’ll have it for breakfast in the morning.  Wednesday morning, that is.

It’s now 10:30; & you can feel the seas have picked up.  Hopefully, I’ll get this uploaded before turning in.  I’d like to finish my trashy chick novel before going to sleep.


January 29th
Somewhere on the southern side of the equator…..deep in the Pacific

The movement & sounds of the ship during the night were interesting in a strange way.  When I woke up I was still contemplating that ‘crossing the equator’ sensation we were supposed to ‘feel’.  Since my internal alarm clock now wakes me up just before the morning show starts at 8, I was hoping maybe the Cruise Director would mention what (if anything) went on during the night.  He did not.  So, I went on with my usual morning routine.   Got to the Bistro just before it opened at 9.  I can hardly wait to get to the luscious muesli every morning.

Capt. Glenn started his morning report from the bridge with a partial explanation of the ‘ride’ last night.  At some point in the early evening, they slowed down to do some sort of ‘service work’.  There were strong head winds (possibly why the stern was rising & plopping back down in the water).  When the work was done, they made a course change to work around the head winds; & accelerated to 23.8 knots (26 land mph) on 5 of the 6 engines in order to make up the time we had lost during this ‘service’.  Even though the ship has stabilizers to lessen the effects of rolling seas, they are not often used when distance & speed are a factor.  Doing so slows the ship’s speed.  So we didn’t actually cross the equator until sometime between 3-4 am this morning.  And, no, there was no noticeable difference!

The Capt’s quote for today…..”One who loses money, loses much.  One who loses a friend, loses more.  One who loses faith, loses it all.”

Bridge class was kind of a repeat of yesterday.  We dealt hands that we laid out (face up on the table) so that all 4 of us could see each other’s hands.  Eddie walked us through possible scenarios…..what would happen if we played this card first or that card first.  And then he coached us on how we should respond.  Play it through & then learn from the mistakes we inevitably made.  It’s a good way to learn; but all those cards staring back at me are confusing my poor little brain.  But his reasoning is to teach us more ‘what not to do’ than ‘what to do’.  I was relieved to hear that we won’t get into lessons on bidding until after Sydney.  It’ll give me enough time to reinforce what I think I’ve already grasped.

The big Asian Café themed buffet was held at lunch today around the Neptune pool.  And I went up to sit in the quiet of the Lido Restaurant so I could read until they opened the buffet.  About 11:30 the wait staff poured into the restaurant; everyone talking loudly & joking around.  The head waiter was giving them instructions of who would be stationed where; & then they proceeded to break up into tables of 3-4 & started an assembly line of folding napkins & inserting the silverware.  It never dawned on me who did this job; or when it was done.  But here I was surrounded by men & women, speaking every possible language amongst themselves.  They were ribbing each other about their napkin folding technique; & the head waiter would clap his hands to get them to focus & keep them on task (all the time with a grin on his face).  It reminded me of a scene from my favorite movie, Dirty Dancing, where the waiters at the mountain lodge were setting up for the dinner service & they were cutting up.

My point is….it was a rare moment for this guest to see these highly trained professionals, just being themselves.  They even asked me if I wanted to fold or bundle the silver.  It was all great fun to watch.


I took photos; & at the same time made my game plan.  The Asian buffet is one of my favorites after all.  I spotted something that I’d never seen before…..cream of lychee soup.  As crazy as I am for lychees, this will not be on my favorite list.  It reminded me of melting lychee sorbet; only not in a good way.

From the appetizer section, I chose a delicious crab salad served on a little avocado ‘boat’, rice paper roll with sweet chili sauce, a few prawns with cocktail sauce, Vietnamese pork & prawn salad, & lots of hearts of palm.  Everything I tried was delicious.

From the entrée selections, it was hard to narrow it down to just my favorites.  I had spicy orange chicken (flavor was great; but the chick was a little tough), Char Sui pork belly (always a winner), sweet & sour shrimp with lychees, Philippine rice noodles with chicken & veggies.  But the big winner, as always, is the eggplant stirfry.  I could eat a plateful of that stuff.

I was nearly half finished, when Jamshed joined me.  I hadn’t seen him in a few days; & we caught up on our comings & goings.  He told me that our friend, Pauline Hoff, was recognized at the 2nd seating Crystal Society party last night for having completed 266 Crystal cruises.  That beat ‘our Mr & Mrs T’ with their 197.  Makes me wonder……who is the all-time record holder?  I shall ask Jacque Brown that very question next time I run into her.

I intended to go back to Silk Road & maybe play some social bridge with other beginners this afternoon; but I was wiped out for some reason.  As often happens to a lot of us when we cruise, my feet & lower legs have been swelling a lot.  And it feels good to lie on the bed & put your feet up on the wall until the swelling comes back down.  I laid that way & read for quite a while.  But I guess at some point, got into a fully reclining position & fell asleep.  I woke up 2 hours later wondering how that happened.  It has been a beautiful warm day.  I sat out on the verandah & read a little more until about sunset.

Tonight’s D.R. menu didn’t necessarily appeal to me, especially after such a big lunch.  I got comfy very early.  I hadn’t even turned on the computer today; & had some catching up to do.  About 8, I called Liz & requested a patty melt & a hot dog (for later).  We chatted a little when she brought that about 8:30.

So, I’ve been typing a little, grabbing a bite, editing a photo or two, grabbing a bite, etc. for the past 3 hours.  The seas feel very calm tonight in comparison to the last two.  I hope that & the nap I took this afternoon doesn’t interfere with my sleep.  I’ve been on a roll; & I’d hate to break it now.


January 28th Note to Captain Glen:

January 28th
Note to Captain Glenn:  Don’t quit your day job!

Thanks to continually rolling seas throughout the night, I slept like a baby.  I was awake at 7:45; watched the morning show on TV.  I logged on to the internet & attempted to upload blog photos; but it was moving at a snail’s pace.  Try again a little later.

I had a few errands to run before breakfast.  We have been given 2 forms to fill out prior to our arrival in Australia:  an incoming passenger card & an outgoing passenger card.  The usual paperwork when traveling internationally: Are you carrying tons of money?  Have you visited a farm in the last 30 days?  Are you transporting any seeds, plants, animals, or parts of animals??  Why are you here?  Who can we call if something bad happens to you while you’re here?????  I’m sure this is the beginning of many such forms to be filled out during this voyage.  Even though the deadline isn’t until Monday, I turned mine in this morning or else I might forget.  I also stopped by Reception to pick up the Guest List booklet for this voyage.  Since not everyone enjoys having such a memento, one must request one (rather than to kill an extra tree & discard them later).

I still made it to the Bistro before it opened (this early morning stuff has got to stop).  There was enough time for 2 capp’s today.  I had the usual assortment of fruit, cheese, meats & muesli for breakfast.

While enjoying breakfast, Capt. Glenn gave his morning report from the bridge.  We’re cruising at 18.3 knots; & with a strong tail wind pushing us along, we’re only running on 3 of our 6 engines (should greatly improve our gas mileage).  He expected nice weather today.  And he wanted to remind us that we will be crossing the equator a little after 9 pm tonight.  He said, “You’ll know when, cause you will feel it”.  Ahhh,huhhh.  His quote for the day….”A good heart is better than all the heads in the world!”

I stopped to chat with Celeste & Bill in the Crystal Cove about tours that we had prebooked.  And I lost track of time; & was little late for bridge class.  I sat at the usual table with Kim, Elaine & Louise.  Nothing new to learn today; we reviewed yesterday’s lesson; & played several hands that Eddie had pre-dealt & ‘stacked’ to test our strategy skills.

From class, I went to the Galaxy Lounge to hear Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin’s talk on the “Arab Awakening”.  (Yes, I actually made it to a lecture LIVE.)  She summarized the events that have lead up to their ‘spring awakening’.  In the last 20 years, the population of 20-30 year olds, has tripled.  Through the social media, western ideas are spreading throughout the Arab countries.  Though unemployment is high, they see the great wealth all around them in the regions of the Gulf.  They expect to have that standard of living through the Middle East; & they are becoming organized & quite vocal.  They still respect their morals & standards; detest the violence preached by bin Laden; & are using peaceful measures to fight for equality.  She warned that we should not confuse anti-Jihadism with ‘westernization’.

About 12:45 I was ready for some lunch; & I took a look at the D.R. menu before I made the decision to go upstairs & eat at the Lido.  The string quartet was playing in the Crystal Cove; & with the sound of the waterfall, it made for a very serene setting.  I thought about going back down there after lunch to do some reading.  The partly sunny skies had now turned dark; & rain was beating on the windows.  Reading & a nap would be a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

I found a free table all the way aft; & got up to peruse the selections.  Liebert came over to show me that he was starting to hoard Dr. Pepper’s up there for me.  I’m telling ya…..the Lido guys rule!  I saw several meat dishes I wanted to taste; but I was also craving salad.

I started with a custom made salad from the salad bar, lots of hearts of palm, an appetizer of spinach & cream cheese on a tomato ‘petal’.

Then this carnivore went in for the kill…..I had some veal scallopini with grilled onions & creamy peppercorn sauce; some teriyaki glazed grilled chicken; & broiled beef brisket with horseradish mustard sauce served with cabbage.  Not massive amounts; just a nice sampling of each.  Everything I had was excellent; & really hit the spot.

As I was leaving the Lido, I saw Peggy & Elaine sitting off to the side.  So, I went over, sat down; & I got to pick her brain about her comparison of world cruising on Regent & now on Crystal.  Those 2 have been to a lot of places on a lot of different lines; & I greatly enjoyed listening to their stories.

I thought I’d test the speed of the internet again; & it was acceptable enough.  Was able to get the blog & all of yesterday’s photos uploaded.  AOL, however, was painfully slow; & retrieving my email seemed to take forever.  (BTW, Capt. Glenn, it’s still pouring down rain outside.)

Tonight was the Crystal Society (past passenger club) cocktail party up in the Palm Court Observation Lounge.  They had a party for the early seating at 5:15; 7:45 for the late.  I figured if I was going to go, it had better be at 5:15.  So, I had just enough time to primp & dress in formal attire.  Everyone looked so festive.  My bridge partner, Elaine & her SO (Victor) showed up wearing the family tartan plaid; he in his kilt & her in a matching long skirt.  They looked so cute.

Peggy & Elaine also looked lovely; & we joked that we CAN clean up pretty good if we try hard.

Keith & Anne Marie were tripping the light fantastic on the dance floor.  They were recognized at this party for having passed another Crystal milestone (40 cruises).

During the Crystal Society party, they acknowledge those who have sailed with Crystal a ton of times.  In addition to Keith & Anne Marie, there were many whose names were read for having sailed 40, 50 or more times.  The infamous “Mama Lee” was mentioned for her 90th Crystal cruise.  [Knowing that Mama Lee ‘lives’ onboard; & has for several years, I thought that number sounded low.  But after pulling Jaque Brown (Crystal Society Hostess) aside, she confirmed that the number is correct; Mama Lee (who is from FL) has been onboard this ship for about 3 years.]  There was one couple who were on their 142nd; & Mr. & Mrs. “T” from Japan who were on their 197th Crystal cruise.  They are my heroes!

For most of the evening, I sat close to the dance floor; & lots of people stopped by or sat down to chat.  I met Janice & Joanna (both from CA).  Rabbi Maury (who I had heard so much about through Keith & Anne Marie’s blog) sat with us a while.  World Cruise Hostess, Elise, also stopped by & chatted with our group.  It was a good night to be out.

Since I made the effort to dress up, I thought I’d stick my head in Silk Road & maybe have some sushi appetizers if there was an empty seat at the sushi bar.  Most nights one has to make advance reservations to get a table in this Asian restaurant (run by world famous chef, Nobu Matsuhisa). There is limited seating at the sushi bar; first come first served.  Formal nights are the least crowded in the specialty restaurants; & I got lucky.  There were several empty seats; & even Nick & Kazuko (that I sat with in the D.R. last Sun. night) were seated next to me.

It is so entertaining to sit right across the bar from the chefs as they prepare these elaborate platters of sushi & sashimi.  They welcome questions, comments & the oohs & aahhs.  It’s truly an interactive experience.  I ordered the house special roll, which is filled with 5 different types of raw fish.  It was outstanding.

After 2 hours, I’d had enough of playing dress up; & I headed home.  The ship is really rolling & pitching tonight.  Every now & then you hear a thump & feel a little ‘shimmy’.  This sound usually means that the stern has been raised up out of the water while going over a swell.  The thump & shimmy comes when the tail comes back down & hits the surface of the water.  So, unless someone tells me otherwise, I’m not going to concern myself with this ‘sensation’.  It makes things a little more fun when moving about in the cabin; & settling into sleep mode that much more relaxing.  (Or on 2nd thought………..could this be what Capt. Glenn meant when he said we would ‘feel’ it when we crossed the equator?)

The French menu is one of my favorites; so I already knew what I wanted for my main dinner.  I gave my order to Liz; & got in my PJ’s.  About 9:15 she knocked & brought my order.  One must have the escargot on French night.  Amazingly, mine was still very warm (not hot) when it arrived.  I think someone forgot to put the garlic seasoning in the butter; because I could taste none.  It was still very good.

I had another appetizer sampler, called the ‘seafood rendezvous’.  It consisted of 3 bite size samplings:  a poached scallop with lemon oil; a lobster medallion with a dollop of roulade; & a tiny crab & squash tartlet.  Beautiful; & delicious.

For my main course, I had an appetizer portion of tonight’s pasta special.  Fusilli (corkscrew) pasta with pancetta, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, cream & drizzled with white truffle oil.  Yes, I had Italian on French night; but it was excellent.

I’ll probably wait till in the morning to try to upload the blog.  I’m pleasantly tired; & would like to just lie in bed & enjoy the rocking until I fall asleep (which hopefully will be soon).


January 27th
Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific

I enjoyed another wonderful night’s sleep.  Thank you to which ever divine influence allowed that to happen.  The restful sleep & finally being off all those antibiotics have made all the difference in the world.  I’m enjoying getting out &  chatting with friends, both old & new.  I continue to run into more familiar crewmembers that bring smiles & revive good memories of cruises past.

You hear this said all the time on Cruise Critic & in the various blogs I follow, THESE PEOPLE ARE CRYSTAL.  Sure, the surroundings are fabulous & the food is outstanding.  But the heart & soul of Crystal is their staff.  Every time I return & see crewmembers that have gradually worked their way through several different departments as they move ‘up the ladder’, I feel so proud for them.  Their hard work & devotion to the company is greatly rewarded.  They promote from within if at all possible; & rarely does a crewmember choose to leave the company until they decide to retire from ship life altogether.  This speaks volumes in the area of customer service.  Other companies should take note; & try to follow these same principles.  You are only as good as your weakest link!

I was awake about 7:45; & made a list of a few things I wanted to attend to today.  After watching the morning show, I went up to the Bistro for breakfast.  I stuck with the usual; except this morning prosciutto was on the buffet.  I do love prosciutto; & this was extremely sweet & not too salty (which is hard to find in the U.S.)  Capt. Glenn’s report from the bridge stated that we had traveled 951 (land) miles since leaving Lahaina day before yesterday.  He says we’ll be crossing the equator sometimes tomorrow evening (which is celebrated with great fanfare at sea).  Today’s weather is looking great, 80 degrees, calmer seas.  He says now that we’ve “got a little in the pocket”, he’s going to slow our speed down a tad.  His thought for today…..”The past is knowledge; today is an opportunity; & the future is possibilities.”

When I left the Bistro, I ran into Bruce McGill & his lovely wife by the elevator.  I just had to introduce myself & tell him that I was one of the guilty ones……someone who had spotted him on day one; knew he looked familiar for some reason; but didn’t know why.  I told him that if I had heard him speak, I would have recognized the voice & put it with a name right away.  He got a laugh out of that.  We talked about the upcoming season of Rizzoli & Isles, which he will begin filming after he disembarks.  He’s very excited about the emphasis that was put on his character toward the end of this current season; & that this will allow him to ‘stretch’ himself a bit when the new season returns during the summer.  I was really tempted; but opted not to ask him to pose for a photo.  It was pleasure enough just to speak to him; & commend him for always finding work during his long standing career.  Lots of bigger stars will admit that’s not an easy thing to do.

I then went up to the Computer University to inquire about photoshop classes during the next segment.  They will indeed conduct the same schedule of classes; so I chose to drop out of the current class & enroll in the next series.  I shouldn’t have tried to do both during this voyage.  I will benefit more from sticking with the bridge for now.  Then it was on to bridge class, where Eddie taught by himself today.  After rehashing what we learned yesterday, we played a few hands of mini-bridge so that we could learn the consequences of leading off with the right & the wrong cards.  It made some sense of yesterday’s confusion; & taught us that the first card that’s laid on the table can determine the outcome of the whole game.  No pressure there???

I next went down to see Paula Jean (the onboard sales consultant) to create an ‘open booking’ for a future cruise.  Doing so while still onboard, guarantees that I will get double the amount of past passenger discounts.  A simple $100 deposit; & I will be given 6 months in which to decide what my next voyage will be.  We chatted for a little while, as there was a flurry of activity going on in the Crystal Cove as they were setting up for the Gala Luncheon Buffet (which is held once during every voyage).  I NEVER get tired of viewing this spectacular display of culinary artwork.  No matter how many photos I’ve taken at various grand/gala buffets, you have to sit & marvel at the artistry each & every time.  Funny thing is, quite a few of these little ‘tricks’ require very little skill.  With some imagination, we could even garnish a simple plate of fruit & cheese like this at home.

At 11:30 they open the buffet for photographs & to introduce the chefs that made this gastronomic extravaganza happen.  I noticed a LOT of new iPad owners trying out their camera feature at the buffet.  It must feel awkward holding this large tablet in front of your face & using it as a camera.  That would take some getting used to.

I had a chance to chat with Kamel (my Turkish waiter friend).  He was manning the dessert table, which didn’t require any work on his part.  He said he’s leaving the ship in Singapore; & going to Istanbul for a much deserved vacation.  I told him how envious I was that he was going to be back in my favorite city.

I gathered up a few of the ‘big ticket’ items & had a pre-lunch snack.  I couldn’t let those little lobster tails & all those jumbo prawns go to waste.  I tried the mini crab cake for the first time; & it was excellent.  The mini eggplant parmigiana was also very good.  And I had another bite of prosciutto.  And all the while, the stringed quartet played relaxing classical music while we grazed.

Another long time friend, Raymond

Then I trekked up to the salon to see if they had a stylist that was especially talented with razor cuts.  They introduced me to Rachael; & she made appointments to cut my hair in 2 weeks; & then again in 6 weeks.  Thought I’d go down to Tastes to see what might be on their dinner menu tonight (just in case the main D.R. menu turns out to be a bust).  Tastes is not open every evening; but it is an excellent option if you want to remain in ‘day clothes’ during your evening meal.  It was pretty quiet down there; so I decided to find a shady spot where I could catch a bit of a/c & read a while.  I read for a long time.  Pat (SnoBird Cruiser from C.C.) sat down & talked with me a while.

Benjamin, who usually moves at break neck speeds, was in ‘slo-mo’ today.  He actually had time to stand & talk a little while.  He’s expecting an email from his wife with their latest family photos.  He will print them out & share them with us.  Benjamin’s practically a staple around here; & his family is like part of our family.  I look forward to getting to ‘meet’ them.

I’ve been enjoying the mindless reading of the new book I started yesterday; so I found a cozy spot in our little secluded area aft on deck 8.  Throughout the late afternoon various people would venture out there to play shuffleboard.  I had no idea if it was ever used; but it obviously is.  As 4 sets of couples came & went, I noticed that all but one spoke with British accents.  Guess the average American has given up on this sport that used to rule during the days of grand ocean voyages.

As the sun got lower in the sky, I began to feel cool & crusty from the salt air.  But it was so beautiful out there; that I didn’t want to give it up.  I found a locker of clean pool towels; & wrapped up.  The ship has been rolling all day long; & it was almost hypnotic watching the railing raise & fall against the horizon.  I think I may have even dozed off a time or two.  Once the sun set around 7:15, it got pretty cool; so I came in.

Comparing the dinner menus between Tastes & the main dining room, I decided I’d go with the D.R.  Even though it’s a casual night, I didn’t want to shower & get redressed at 7:45.  So, I wrote up my dinner order & left it outside for Liz.  By the time I got out of the shower & all cozy in my PJ’s, Liz was knocking on the door.  (BTW, since I told her how the sound of the newly installed doorbell nearly makes me jump out of my skin, she knocks instead.  And she never forgets either.)

Tonight’s dinner more than made up for last night’s flop.  I started with an appetizer of fried calamari with a citrus caper remoulade dipping sauce.

I asked for an appetizer portion of what was designated the salad entrée; a grilled scallop sitting on a bed of garden greens tossed with creamy Italian dressing.  It was garnished with cubes of roasted butternut squash, wedge of tomato, snow peas & crispy fried waffle cut potato wafers.  Excellent salad; I may try it again later in the cruise as an entrée.

For my main course I had baked black bass which sat on a bed of tomato & almond pesto.  It came with sautéed spinach & heirloom potatoes (I didn’t know what those would be either; but they turned out to be roasted multicolored potatoes).  I’m truly amazed at how perfectly cooked all the fish courses have been; & especially how they can deliver it to the cabin still warm & succulent.  This was an outstanding meal. 

During dinner I watched a replay of the lecture given today by Harm de Blij.  Today he gave his suggestions on how the U.S. should change foreign policy & reset our priorities on the domestic level during this time of (so called) ‘recession’.  I have found his talks to be very easy to follow; & I come away with a better understanding of news topics that would otherwise go right over my head. 

After dinner, I started watching a movie on TV, “The Resident” with Hilary Swank & Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  I like them both; & little did I know it was going to turn into stuff that bad dreams are made of.  Let’s just say I no longer have a crush on Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

We are moving into another time zone; & therefore we’re turning our clocks back another hour tonight.  It’s nice to keep picking up a extra hours of sleep; but I still think I’m getting the raw end of the deal.  When we cross the International Date Line next Monday, I’m gonna end up losing a whole day!  That’s just not fair!!!

So, I’m going to try to stay awake long enough to read some of my romance novel; & hopefully put remnants of that scary movie out of my mind.  Signing off from somewhere way out yonder………..