Capricorn Crossing

Sunday, 20th January 2013

Crossing the Tropic of Capricorn at 23° 27′ south in the early hours of this morning, Arcadia left the warmer waters of the tropics on her passage towards Uruguay.  Today and tomorrow would see our last two sea days before our arrival in Montevideo.

We enjoyed a bit of a lie-in this morning and when I got up I was reminded, if only slightly, of my previous day’s consumption of caipirinha and prosecco.  🙂   Outside on deck, the weather was still sultry at 24°C but there was a bit more cloud cover, making it more comfortable for sitting outside.

At 11.00am we made our way to the Palladium theatre where the political historian, Mike Harvey, was giving a presentation about the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of John F. Kennedy in 1963.  As ever, it was a fascinating talk and it reinforced my own personal belief that Lee Harvey Oswald was set up as the fall guy, and didn’t actually do it.  Fifty years later, the assassination of JFK still intrigues people and provides and interesting topic of conversation.

After the talk we enjoyed a light lunch up at the Aquarius pool deck and wandered around the ship before having a couple of drinks.  The afternoon passed in its pleasant way before we went, once again, to the Palladium theatre for a talk about the historic Portuguese empire of Brazil.  One of the many aspects of cruising is that you can treat the voyage as a cultural and educational experience; it isn’t all about drinking, partying and sunbathing (unless you want it to be, and then you’d be better of taking a Carnival or Royal Caribbean cruise than P & O or Cunard).  We have listened to a great many very interesting talks and presentations, covering history, geography, science, crime and often fascinating personal experiences, for example from celebrity guests such as Dame Kate Adie.

Back in our cabin we sat out on the balcony for a while before starting to get ready, as tonight was a formal night once again, in fact the last one.  Donning our glad-rags we went along to the restaurant and enjoyed the usual convivial company and excellent cuisine before making our way to the Palladium theatre once again, and taking our usual seats at the front.

The show tonight was called “Destination Dance” and presented a colourful extravaganza of dances from around the world.  In fact we’d seen this show before, last year on the Ventura, but we still enjoyed it a lot; it was one of the better shows.

Later on in the Rising Sun we were joined by Frank and Brenda and Chris and Sue for a rendition of the TV game show “Name that Tune”.  We didn’t do very well (again!) but we decided to stay for the karaoke, by which time the Rising Sun was filling up nicely as those from the second sitting were coming out of the show lounge.

The usual suspects got up and sang; some of them clearly only know one or two songs because they get up and sing the same ones all the time; at least I’ll get up and do different songs from my repertoire of about a dozen.  It was when one of the regular singers, Keith, got up and did his usual ‘Matt Munro’ number I was talking with Sue and, afterwards one of the guys from Keith’s table came over to me and said “When you are up singing you expect everyone to listen to you, but when other singers are on all you can hear is your voice in the background”.  Then he walked away without another word.   I sat there open-mouthed in astonishment and even Chris said “cheeky bugger”, glaring at the guy on the other table.  I mean, it’s a pub; it’s not exactly the Albert Hall!  If people want to listen to me, fine, but if they don’t that’s up to them.  I get up and sing in the karaoke because I enjoy it, not because I expect everyone’s rapt attention.

It was after midnight before the karaoke finished, so after a nightcap it was back to cabin C149 and bed for the night.

Monday, 21st January 2013

When we woke up this morning the skies outside were a bit greyer, although it was still very warm and the South Atlantic was calm.

We spent the morning pottering about, browsing the shops to see what ‘bargains’ were on offer today (15% off cigarettes and tobacco, so nothing of interest to us then) and passing the time of day with our fellow passengers up on the pool deck.

A couple of times we sought the shelter of the canopies by the Aquarius pool as brief, passing showers sent everyone running for cover, but the rain didn’t last long.

Around 3.00pm we headed along to the Palladium theatre once again for the Passenger Talent Show.  Usually you get some pretty good entrants entertaining us with a variety of performances, and then again there are those who are not as good as they think they are.  🙂  We had a bloke playing the piano, a lady reciting a poem she had written, a guy who did a bit of comedy and a tap-dancing troupe who had only learned to tap dance on this cruise!  Then again, there was also the usual selection of mediocre singers, including Keith of karaoke fame who did a (you’ve guessed it) Matt Munro number.  Shh, no-one had better talk.  😉

The talent show passed a pleasant hour, after which we went along to the Spinnaker bar and had a drink before going back to the cabin for a brief power nap.  Sometimes sitting doing nothing all day makes you really tired!  🙂

Tonight the dress code was smart-casual and we enjoyed the usual delicious dinner before making our way, in good time, along to the show lounge as tonight’s entertainer was well-known TV game show host and comedian Tom O’Connor.

We managed to get seats down at the front again, and the drinks waiter brought our usual tipples before the show began.  Tom O’Connor is a Liverpool comedian who first became a household name in the early 70’s on the TV programme The Comedians.  During the 70’s and 80’s he was one of the most well-known faces on TV, but now he’s obviously still making his money by doing the cruise ship circuit.  One of his most famous quips was when he was at a function and he asked a snobby-looking bloke “What do you do for a living?” and the bloke says “I’m in oil.”  To which Tom replied, quick as a flash “Are you a sardine?”

We really enjoyed the show; instead of the usual 45 minute slot Tom was on for an hour and a half, so it was 10.00pm before we left the theatre.  We went straight to The Globe where they were due to host the game show The Weakest Link at 10.30pm and where we met up with the rest of the ‘gang’ from table #187.

So once again it was around midnight when we headed back to cabin C149.  We were due to dock in Montevideo, Uruguay tomorrow, so we went to bed looking forward to what the new day would bring.

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