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South Pacific Cruise: 10 November 2007

At sea

We went through our normal morning ritual. At breakfast, I decided on eggs instead of cereal. While I waited for my eggs to be fried, I looked around the buffet. There behind the oatmeal was something that looked like grits. I knew it couldn’t be, but I got a bowl of it anyway. It turned out to be cream of wheat, which was close enough to grits for me. Chris also had a hot breakfast with an omelet.

Exercise and Shopping

Chris went to the gift shop after breakfast. While she shopped, I let my breakfast settle for an hour and then worked out in the fitness center. As I was walking back to our room, I passed La Boutique and saw Chris inside. Our friend Rich was standing outside waiting for Nancy. We talked for a minute about how much time our wives could spend shopping.

Back at the room I showered and dressed. I hung the “Service” tag on our doorknob so Helen would know we were out and went back to La Boutique. Chris was still there. I killed time waiting for Helen to finish our room by taking a walk around the ship. It’s not a large ship, so the walk didn’t take too long. By the time I passed La Boutique again, Chris was no longer there. She had moved down the hall and was working on the jigsaw puzzle.

Around 10:45, the room was ready. I spent the next hour writing this journal. I would have used La Palette, but there were activities planned for that room throughout the morning.

We had a light lunch at Le Grill. Afterward, I started cranking on the journal again while Chris swam and read by the pool. While she was there one of the galley staff put on an ice carving demonstration. Afterward, there was a fashion show featuring Les Gaugines and dresses from La Boutique. Chris video-taped both events.

I get my nails done

While Chris was busy by the pool, I headed to the spa for my first-ever manicure/pedicure. Ivy, the manicurist trimmed my nails, pushed back my cuticles, and buffed the tops of my nails. She didn’t recommend a top-coat of polish, and I agreed with her. She went through the same process with my feet. All my nails looked their very best. However, I’d have to say that I would rather have had a massage than the “Royal Hands and Feet” treatment.

After a brief visit with Chris poolside – where she was waiting for the fashion show – I employed my newly manicured fingers to continue typing this journal. I was slowly catching up.

An Anniversary Gift from Back Home

After the fashion show, Chris came back to the room and lay down for a nap. I listened to my iPod through my noise-cancelling headphones while I typed. Around 4:30, Chris got my attention to tell me someone was knocking on the door.

I answered the door to find a room service waiter there with a cart. The cart held a tray with a small plate of hors d’oeuvres and a cake with “Happy Anniversary” written on it. He also had a champagne bucket with a bottle of champagne in it. Unbeknownst to us, our friends Bruce and Michelle had sent the champagne to us. There was a card with their greeting on it and another card signed by the ship’s captain. We were speechless.

I tore the foil and cork cage from the champagne bottle. I left it in the ice while I threw them away. While my back was turned, I heard a “pop!” from behind me. The champagne had opened itself. Fortunately, the foam that came from the mouth of the bottle drained harmlessly into the bucket of ice. We drank champagne and ate hors d’oeuvres on our balcony. We left the cake for later.

Mutiny on the Bounty – The Real Story

At 5:30 we went to another lecture by Mark Eddowes: Mutiny on the Bounty – What really happened? The true story is quite different from the story told by the various movies of the event. Captain Bligh wasn’t overly tyrannical or sadistic. Fletcher Christian was a spoiled nobleman who didn’t like being berated by a commoner captain. While the Tahitian people did welcome the crew at first, the ship overstayed its welcome. Tahitian women seduced the sailors, but they would never have chosen them as husbands the way the movie makes it look. (Compare your typical, unwashed 18th century English sailor to a strapping Polynesian warrior. Which would you choose?)

We really enjoyed the lecture, delivered during 90 minutes without notes and – this time – without even slides. Mark’s knowledge of the material was truly impressive.

Dinner and a Show

We ate dinner at a group table in L’Etoile. This time we lucked out. We ended up with two really great couples: John and Ann from Minneapolis and Dixie and Gary. We had eaten lunch on Motu Mahana with Dixie and Gary. Chris had met Ann in La Boutique earlier in the day, but we hadn’t met John before. We had great fun talking until we all realized we were late for the 9:30 show in the Grand Salon.

We rushed to the salon to listen to a performance by Pete Neighbour, our clarinetist tablemate from two nights before. He was excellent and the Orion band that backed him up was also very good. We had a great time.

After Pete’s performance, we went to the piano bar, but the music wasn’t our style. We went back to our stateroom at 11:00 and shared our “Happy Anniversary” cake. Before we knew it, it was almost midnight. We were about to transition from Saturday night to Monday morning.

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