Cruising the Pacific

We awoke early this morning; in fact, at 6.00am I went out onto the balcony hoping to watch the sun rise, but we were on the wrong side of the ship!  Nevertheless we lay in bed for a while, looking out at the mesmerising sight of the sea passing by, then got up around 6.30am.  The weather was cooler than we expected, and although it was bright and dry there were quite a few cumulus clouds in the sky and we hoped the sun would come out later.

Today was the first of four full days at sea, so we looked forward to what the day had in store for us; there was certainly a packed programme of events lined up.  Such a large ship, with so many passengers, meant that several different types of entertainment was on at the same time in different parts of the ship, and it meant it was difficult to choose what to do, and what to leave out.

We enjoyed our breakfast in the Ocean View café, and took a walk out on deck, where we were pleased to see that the sun was out, although there was still quite a brisk sea breeze.  We thought we’d spent some time exploring this beautiful ship, and we went up to Deck 15 where we were surprised to visit the Lawn Club; yes, they have real grass growing on a ship!  There was a neatly manicured lawn of perfect grass, like a bowling green, with signs up asking passengers not to wear heels or place deck furniture on the grass.

Near the Lawn Club was a glass-blowing centre, where you could learn the art of sculpting hot glass, and in fact could make your own souvenir to take home.  This looked fascinating, and something I might participate in later on in the cruise.  😊

At 10 o’clock we went along to the Eclipse theatre to listen to a talk by a music historian called Bill Powell. It was called “My Rock and Roll Heroes” and featured the lives and music of Chuck Berry and Little Richard amongst others.  Even though rock and roll is not my era it was still a very interesting talk.

Afterwards we had time to go along to the nearby Casino Bar and grab ourselves a beer each. Even though it was only 11.00am, we figured that it was 7.00pm back home, so not too early for a beer.  😊  We took our bottles back into the theatre to listen to a talk about the Hawaiian Islands we would be visiting, and what excursions were available to book.  Hawaii looked absolutely lovely, and we looked forward to visiting.  In the meantime, however, we had four great sea days to enjoy.

The end of the talk brought us nicely to lunchtime, and we went along to the Ocean View café once again, where there was a huge array of dishes from all over the world.  I was quite restrained and enjoyed a plate of salad with crisp vegetables and ham, washed down with a glass of prosecco.  Then we had a dish of ice-cream each and went out on deck, where the sun was out but there was still a brisk breeze blowing.

We spent some time walking around the decks, exploring the ship and people-watching.  We went up to the Sunset Bar at the stern of the ship, where it was a bit more sheltered, but all the bar stools were taken and it was quite busy.  We therefore got ourselves a drink each and walked round to the Lawn Club, sitting on a deck chair each at the edge of the grass (!) and watching the world go by.  It was a pleasant way to pass the time.  😊

Afterwards we returned to stateroom 8166 for an hour’s nap, to try to eliminate the last of the jet lag.  It was still too cool to sit out on the balcony so we just read, watched a bit of TV and napped.

We noticed that there was an afternoon Trivia Quiz on in the Sky Lounge up on Deck 14, so we went up there and took a couple of stools at the bar.  A few minutes later a bloke came over to us and asked if we would like to join his team; we certainly agreed and made our way over to his table, where he introduced himself as Kendal, and the rest of the team as Norm, Frank and Janet.  Trevor and I were the only Brits on the team, which was named “It’s Only A Game”.  😊

We enjoyed the quiz and the conversation in between.  We scored 12/15 which was the winning score!  Yay!  Each member of our team received a rubber wrist-band with “Celebrity Life Activities” emblazoned on it; apparently the wrist-bands are traded in at the end of the cruise for prizes.

We remained in the airy and spacious Sky Lounge for a while after the quiz, talking and laughing.  Then we thanked Kendal for inviting us to join their team (it had been fun!) and said we’d see them at the next trivia quiz.  How nice that in the crowd of 2,000+ passengers we’d made some friends already.  😊

We then decided to go out to the pool bar into the sunshine, if we could find a spot sheltering us from the brisk breeze.  I enjoyed an Aperol Spritz as we sat with the sun on our backs, listening to a lively group playing and watching as the Celebrity Eclipse made her way effortlessly through the mild blue Pacific.  We sat for one more drink before going back inside.

As we made our way back to our cabin, we walked through the shopping precinct and saw that they were selling quite good-quality t-shirts at two for $20.00.  Of course, a holiday wouldn’t be a holiday without buying the t-shirt, so we each chose one; mine in a bright yellow with “Hawaii” proclaimed across it with scenes of palm trees and hibiscus, and Trevor’s in a navy blue with “Hawaiian Cruising” written on it and pictures of yachts and surf boards.  I decided to put mine on straight away. 😊

The time passed in its pleasant way until it was time to start getting washed and changed for dinner.

There were two new people at table #350 tonight; Gary and Nancy.  We now had a full house of 12 people at our table and, as usual, there was much excellent conversation and food and drink as is traditional on cruise ships.

As our dinner is fairly early at 5.45 pm and the main show doesn’t start until 9.00pm, we had some time to spare.  As we were making our way to the Quasar Lounge to do the music quiz, we stopped to join in with the Battle of the Sexes quiz, which is teams of men versus teams of ladies.  It was all very amusing; the ladies won!  😊

The music quiz tonight was called “British Invasion” and featured the famous music of the 1960s which had taken the USA by storm.  There were 10 questions, and you had to listen to a music clip and name the song title as well as the artiste.  We scored 13/20 (I was a bit too young when a lot of these songs were around!) but the couple adjacent to us at the bar, whose paper we marked, scored 19/20.

We then went into the Eclipse Theatre for tonight’s cabaret, which featured a comedian called Michael Gaffney.  It was typical American humour, so while most of the audience were rolling in the aisles, Trevor and I barely cracked a smile.  The transatlantic sense of humour is so different from the British, which is based largely on sarcasm or irony.

Afterwards it was karaoke night again, so we went back to the Quasar Lounge where we met a few more Brits, including a young lass in her 20s called Charlotte, who was with her mother.  Quite a few singers got up; I did another Amy Winehouse, You Know I’m No Good, then put my name down to do Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time.

We enjoyed ourselves at the bar, drinking (including tequila shots, at Charlotte’s suggestion!) and talking.  Charlotte put our names down to do a duet, singing Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, which went down a storm.  😊

When I got up to do my Cyndi Lauper number, Charlotte also came over and joined in with me half-way through.  Considering we’d never met before, our voices actually went quite well together!  😊

After the karaoke finished (it overran, because a lot of singers got up) I got a nightcap and we returned to cabin 8166.  It was too chilly to enjoy my drink on the balcony, so I just settled down and drank it reading some magazines on my iPad.  We’d had a full and interesting day today, and we slept very well.

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