Friday, December 19, 2014
Reluctantly I rolled out of bed in time for the 8:00 am Mass, but no one else seemed reluctant. This is a great singing group even at 8:00 in the morning. There was a Cake Decorating Class this morning. I didn’t see any point in that. It was followed by a Fruit and Veggie Carving demonstration/class. I did not see any point in that either. If you’re going to cut it, eat it! They reported the Steel Drum Seminar. Only on a day when you can’t get off would they think of putting this on. I found a quiet place in the Crow’s Nest and read all morning long. There are Board Games in the Library which is next to and opens into the Crows Nest. By 10:30 the kids were up and awake, and they take over that area making a little more noise than I care for when trying to read. This cruise has more children of various ages than I’ve seen on a Holland America Ship before.
Lunch was poolside today, and there was a Name That Tune Trivia Contest. I would have won if I was allowed to play. As it was, I kept prompting a couple sitting near me, and they did win. Later in the day I was surprised by a bottle of wine they sent to my room. Then I went to talk by the Captain entitled “Driving the Hotel: What it’s like to drive a 86,000 Ton ship.” It was fascinating. I learned a lot about the mechanics of the ship. It is a diesel electric system. On this ship there are 2 twelve cylinder generators and 2 16 cylinder generators. The water system was interesting. On this ship fresh water is made on board from sea water. A ship this size uses 100,000 gallons per day which means about 60 gallons per day per person. Sea water is heated in a vacuum and then cooled desalinating making fresh water. Holland America ships are being retrofitted with reverse osmosis plants that are more efficient and produce more water faster. The waste water (grey and black) is kept separate, filtered, treated with chemicals, and when discharged into the ocean more than 4 miles from shore is as clean as most urban drinking water. I also learned that in an emergency they can stop the forward movement of the ship in three ship lengths. He said, if that were necessary it would be very exciting for everyone on board! There were questions about the turning radius, emergencies, and of course, someone brought up the Costa disaster in Italy. He told us that the incident there brought about some big changes in procedures and training.
Attending his Q & A talk meant that I missed the Anti-Aging Seminar. It was too late for most of us on this ship anyway. Maybe the children should have been there rather than the Lido Pool which they took over in the afternoon.
I had dinner with Rabbi Packman and his wife, taking my gift wine. We had a great conversation reviewing the past 20 years of faith life in central Oklahoma City. He was at the Synagogue through the years I was at the Cathedral, and we often saw one another and were on some panel discussions on occasion. Before dinner however, I went to the Wine Sampling, and I sampled a little and sniffed a lot. I have always wondered who writes those descriptions. You know that goes: “a hint of raspberry with a chocolate overtone while a touch of vanilla rests on the pallet finished off with a wisp of gardenia, and bit of slate on the tongue, smooth and silky powerful on the nose.” All of that to say “It’s a good Merlot.” By the time we got the Cabernet and the Port, the speaker ran out of adjectives, flowers, spices. The stage show tonight was better than the earlier show on Tuesday, and I finished off the day with two miles on the Promenade Deck to push my walk up to 4.5 miles today.
There wasn’t much to photograph, but the sunset tonight was wonderful as is often the case. Tomorrow we are at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.