Day 38 – At Sea – June 28th 2015

Santorini, Greece to Venice, Italy

After the initial flurry of cloxs we got used to the extra hour of sleep, but until last night we had gone almost 2 weeks without cloxs, so last night’s extra hour of kip was a welcome change. You know, it’s rather tiring not working and having all this fun!! Our biggest challenge currently is a definite lack of heat, if we are in the Mediterranean, this must be the Northern Meddy, because everybody is griping about the cold. The few hardy souls that brave the pool deck almost have to chip the ice off the pool to go for a dip. We noted Vancouver is basking in 30 degrees, while we struggle to hit the 20’s.

Temperature: High 26C/79F, Low 22C/72F

Wind/Weather: N’ly at 15 kts, lights seas, partly cloudy

Sunrise/Sunset: 05:20/20:28

Clox: Z+2 (clox back again last night)

Distance to Noon: 425 miles since departure Santorini

 

Navigation

The Navigator’s comments in the Princess Patter were yet again not even close to factual – they advised Westerly courses in the morning followed by Northerly courses about 1500. In the early morning we had already rounded the south of Greece and were already heading up the coast towards the Adriatic, steering NNW’ly courses and then NW’ly courses. The English was also very poorly written. When I worked on these ship our Navigation blog had to be thorough and accurate, and went through multiple proof readings. Errors that went to print and noted by other departments would result in the Navigator contributing a case of beer to the Wardroom. Mind you, that was the easy consequence, as the subsequent chat with the Captain definitely wasn’t fun, ensuring that error was never repeated. 

Currently, I note errors almost daily and the written English is poor, which for me is not acceptable. During the Noon announcement, the language was mostly unintelligible except for the glaring error where the water depth was quoted in nautical miles, rather than feet or meters. He did however pick up on this error and provided a correction.

 

Activities

Today was a generally relaxing day prior to 2 busy days in Venice. Being a Sunday at sea, we are getting the long awaited Sunday Brunch. This is something I had read about from blogs of previous world cruises and the reports were always positive. However, not having read any details, I expected something up on deck with omelette/egg station, BBQ station, salads, fruits, etc. but was surprised to find it was scheduled for the dining room. This meant no breakfast was available in the dining room this morning.

We headed up to the buffet for a quick breaky, then down to sit in the Wheelhouse Bar, where I continued working on Istanbul photographs and completing the posts on the Istanbul tour. About 11:00 the Purser’s Dept issued a rather panic call trying to drum up some customers for the buffet, as nobody showed up at 10:30 when it opened. It was the announcement that advised it was a special Italian Buffet, which isn’t our favourite, especially as I can’t do cheese. Regardless, we headed down about 11:30, which was perfect timing as by Noon they had a significant queue at both at the door for a table and also the buffet line. 

Arriving in the dining room the Head Waiter kindly assigned us to our dinner table, which was quickly filled with 6 others – 2 couples and 2 separate ladies. The company was most interesting and we experienced one complete melt down and another partial. Wow! some people really need a chill pill. The waiter was excellent, explaining you can go to the buffet, or order hot food from the right side of the menu. One lady refused to give the Waiter her order, requesting the Head Waiter, as she has special needs of steamed fish and vegetables. When the Head Waiter came over he advised it was a fixed menu for the special brunch. She accused him of starving her and stormed away from the table in a huge scene. Sad smile The Head Waiter advised her husband that she was notified of this fact last night and requested to provide her special order at that time, but refused. Also with allergies, we can attest that the staff are brilliant in addressing any issues and are extremely diligent. Quite frankly her performance was completely unacceptable. The 2nd performance was a lady as she arrived at the table, the gap was rather small, but rather than a simple “Excuse me, could you pull your chair in slightly”, she whined I can’t get through. She then complained she couldn’t visit the buffet as she couldn’t get in or out. Well, I am bigger than her and have sat many times in that chair and have no problems. Fortunately, she ate quickly and left. Once the performers departed we enjoyed some pleasant conversation. With all the performances, I almost forgot about the star of the show – the buffet:

  • The restaurant had been well decorated in the Italian theme
  • The fwd tables next to the Galley were removed and the buffet lines set up
  • Buffet line started with a huge selection of cheeses, then numerous salads, followed by smoked salmon & caviar and a massive vat of prawns. At the end was a large tray of various smoked meats.
  • A 2nd line had an amazing selection of fresh breads
  • A 3rd line had a selection of deserts

While I have questioned the temperature most meals are served, today was an exceptional display and an excellent job from the galley and wait staff. Today they worked extremely hard and delivered an excellent product.

At 13:00 we headed for the unhosted Caravaners (RV’ers) meeting in Razzamataz. There had been a couple of earlier meetings, but this was the first we could attend. About 6 couples attended and we had some great discussion regarding the various types of caravans and places we visit. We were the only North Americans, consequently the only ones with the proverbial palace on wheels. Most of the others had 18’ to 25’ trailers and most boondocked, avoiding caravan parks. The general opinion was that Australia has no caravan parks that could accommodate our RV. A great time was had, as we sat and chatted for over 2 hours.

Planning to attend the 18:30 pre-dinner show, we knocked on our tablemate’s (Bruce& Viv) door on passing to see if they wanted us to save them a seat again. They declined advising they saw him last night and the show was terrible, worst they have ever seen. That worked for us, so we joined them for refreshments, watching their holiday photo slide show and chatting about the mutual places we have visited.

Dinner was one of the better ones and was even served if not hot, at least warm. After dinner we attend the show, which was a singer from Montreal. Nice singer, who put on a reasonable show.

 

As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.

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