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Cruisin’ day 2

Here it is day 2 of our 2-day cruise. It seems like day 17. Yesterday after we finally got on board and settled into our room, it was time for dinner. We ate with the early shift at 6:15 in the Burgundy dinning room. Since the ship didn’t sail until 6:10, we were still chugging through the Galveston ship channel when we sat down to eat.

The evening meal was the first good thing that happened on the cruise so far, sort of. Lynn and I carefully studied the wine list and selected what we considered to be the perfect accompaniment for our meal. The waiter informed us that since we were still in Texas waters that Texas law prohibited serving the wine of our choice—we should pick something else. We did. Instead of getting a glass of wine, we got a whole bottle and drank every drop. The cruise improved quite a bit after that. The meal was outstanding. I had a smoked salmon appetizer, a nice bowl of fungus soup (I think that’s what the Italian on the menu said), a fresh salad, and a rack of lamb that was delightfully seasoned and perfectly cooked—very rare. Dessert was a decadent chocolate concoction called Decadent Chocolate. Lynn had much the same thing except she ate it faster. She was really hungry.

After dinner we went back to our room to rest a bit before we hit the wild all night party scene. We woke up about 6:00 the next morning and either didn’t remember the all night party or perhaps we had missed it all together. Getting old is pretty rough, but restful.

Breakfast was the first major activity of the day. We were the first ones to arrive at our assigned table looking rested and eager to begin our first and last full day at sea. Breakfast was as good as our previous meal. We decided not to select a nice breakfast wine and went straight for the food. Lynn had locks and beagles for starters. (I’m not sure how to spell what she had, but I know how it sounded.) I had eggs benedict, a good choice if do say so.

The rest of the day had been carefully planned. First, I would call the spa people and schedule a massage for as early in the day as possible. The massage would be followed by a bridge game at 10:00 and another at 3:00, both scheduled for the Churchill library. I really like to play bridge. Lunch at 12:00, shopping at 1:30, the 3:00 bridge game, the captain’s cocktail reception and dancing at 5:00, dinner at 6:15 and a Las Vegas type show at 8:15. That was the plan. The implementation of the plan was a bit different.

The spa people informed me that they had only one massage time slot open—at 10:00 that night—a time that I am usually asleep. So I crossed the massage off the list. I could look forward to the 10:00 bridge game. I showed up in the Churchill library promptly at 10:00 to find a partner and enjoy a good bridge game. There were 4 or 5 other people there. Some were actually reading and 2 were using the computers. I ask each of them if they were here for the bridge game and got blank looks from them all. I asked the cheerful ship employee about the bridge game—got the same blank stare. Perhaps I was the only one who had read the day’s schedule. There was no 10:00 bridge game. So far I’m 0 for 2 in the morning activities category.

I was pretty sure the scheduled lunch would take place. It did and it was delicious. We had delightful table companions—Carlos and Heather—who were on their second cruise. They gave us tips on shipboard activity, mostly dealing with food. Lynn and I had more wine with lunch. Since we were now in international waters, we could have whatever wine we wanted. We drank another bottle.

We went to the shopping mall at 1:30 as planned. We didn’t buy anything. Nothing was particularly appealing that didn’t cost as much as a BMW Z-3. Well, there’s always the 3:00 bridge game. I went to the library at the appointed time. This time there was another bridge player there, but only one. While it takes only two to tango, it takes four to play bridge, so there would be no bridge on this cruise.

The captain’s cocktail reception was only OK. The cocktails were free and tasted like free cocktails. A live band played music that sounded good and would sound good again when we would hear it at the show later that night, but you couldn’t dance to it. Ballroom dancing requires specific rhythms at a specific tempo in order to do the dances. The band was not a dance band but a show band. The two don’t mix well. The batting average for the day’s activities now stands at 1 for 6.

Dinner was great. Lynn had roasted quail and I had prime rib. There was, of course, the requisite dinner wine. Dinner was just fine.

The Las Vegas show was so bad, we left at the halfway point. Unfortunately our stateroom was directly under the theater, so we got to hear the rest of the show anyway.

It’s nice to know that every thing on board ship is included in the price of the cruise—except things that you actually want and would enjoy—such as anything to drink. We had soft drinks and a bottle of water in our room. If you drank a soft drink, $2.50 was added to your bill. Drink the water and it will cost you $3.50. I mentioned the wine at dinner--$29.00 a bottle. It was, however, good wine.

All in all it was an interesting trip. Lynn was a lot of fun and the food was great. We also met several nice people. Would I do it again? Probably not. Because Lynn is sometimes a lot of fun on dry land and fine food can be had in Houston and even in Huntsville, if you know where to look. Nice people abound. So why pay big bucks for the same thing you can get at home without long lines and seasickness?