The Pacific, to be specific

Got up around eight o’clock after a great night’s sleep, and hoped we had finally got over the 8-hour time difference.  We went out onto our balcony, but there was quite a cold, brisk wind blowing which would have made it unpleasant to sit outside for any length of time.

As we made our way to the self-service dining room, we were surprised to see quite a few people out on sun loungers by the pool deck already; the difference was that they were covered in large checked blankets instead of the usual towels.  One lady had braved the chilly wind for the warmth of one of the Jacuzzis by the pool.  The sky was cloudy and we hoped the day would brighten up as time went on.

Looking at the daily programme we didn’t see anything, apart from one or two quizzes, that we wanted to participate in, and it was nice to have the time to ourselves and not have to let the clock rule our day.

In fact, by about 10.30am, we both found we were very tired (we were obviously still jetlagged) so we decided to return to 6009 and go back to sleep. We must have been exhausted because we went out like a light and didn’t wake up until it was time for lunch!  ☹

The weather had brightened up considerably by now; in fact, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  It was deceiving though, because the wind coming down from the north still had a bit of a bite to it and unless you found a nice sheltered spot on the deck it was still a bit cold to sit out in.  Trevor and I stood on the lee side of the ship in the sunshine, standing at the railing doing that very pleasant pastime of just watching the sea passing by.  At one stage we spotted the tell-tale spouts and black dorsal fins that indicated a school of porpoises.

We didn’t really do a lot this afternoon.  We went along to the Den and enjoyed a couple of cocktails at the bar, then we took part in the quiz, at which a pleasant American couple, Peter and Georgia, joined us.  The questions were themed around Japan; we didn’t do very well, only scoring 11 out of 20.

The next quiz was based on music from the 1960s, and we did a little better at that, scoring 15/20 – I was the one who got most of the answers.  Still not enough to win though, but at least it was fun and in pleasant surroundings with interesting people.

We finished with one more drink (they do a nice Aperol Spritz on board!) then returned to stateroom 6009 to get a little more glammed up for the Captain’s Cocktail Party later on.  On Azamara ships there is no dress code; smart-casual is the order of the day, but old habits die hard and I always make the effort to dress more smartly for the evening, so I had brought a long black evening dress and sequinned wrap to wear tonight.

Another Azamara difference is that there is also no set dining time and no set tables – you can go in to eat when and where you want and, although this does undoubtedly have its advantages, we prefer to have a set table and get to know our table-mates over the two weeks, and in the past we’ve had a lot of fun, good conversation and laughs with other couples at our table over the years.

Because we wanted to be out of the restaurant in good time tonight for the cabaret and then the Captain’s Welcome, we decided we’d just ask for a table for two this time.  We enjoyed the usual scrumptious meal washed down with rosé wine and amaretto, then made our way to the Cabaret Lounge where we were able to get front-row seats.  Tray-bearing waiters and waitresses flitted among us, dispensing prosecco, martinis and gin and tonic, and the band played lively tunes in the background, before the captain was clapped onto the stage to the strains of Anchors Aweigh!

The captain on the Azamara Quest is called Captain Magnus Davidson and hails from Norfolk; a fellow Brit like us.  He gave an amusing speech and thanked everyone from choosing Azamara, and introduced us to his senior officers.  A waiter came around offering us canapés, but after our giant dinner we had to reluctantly refuse.

The show tonight featured the show company performing snippets of songs and music from different eras and venues around the world; the one for Britain featured “The Pub” and they sang the Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) which was less-known to the USA passengers but joined in lustily by the British crowd:

Now I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
To be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door…

All in all, it was a very good show which was something a little different.

We weren’t tired at all after our mammoth nap earlier on, so we just went back to The Den and sat at the bar and enjoyed a couple more cocktails, before returning to our cabin around 11.45pm.  Sliding open our balcony door a little, we were met with a blast of cold wind, even though the Pacific Ocean looked very calm.  We decided against going out and sitting on the balcony for a short while, which was a shame when we spent so much time doing it on our last cruise.  The temperature here was about 15 or more degrees colder, however.   😊

Tomorrow we were due to arrive in Muroran, another port in Japan, and we settled down for the evening and, once again, slept well.

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