After several days of Island hopping we had a quiet sea day today. Although quiet is relative when looking at the daily program. If you would want to partake in everything you would basically have to split yourself in 3 parts and then have a fourth part available to go to the Bar, as the Ocean Bar opens its doors at 10 am. in the morning.
Still 1200 people had to be kept occupied and that means activities, either in active form or passive form. There are always a number of guests who are happy to enjoy the peace fullness of a deck chair with a good book or music but a larger number on board want to be entertained. Then there are many choices and you cannot do it all at the same time. Today I was thrown in the mix by holding my HAL History Lecture which took about 500 people out of the equation. By careful planning I managed to finish the moment the Mariners Luncheon started. As nearly all guests this cruise are Mariners it was quite a nice parade from the bow of the ship all the way to the stern of the ship. A good way to build up some appetite. A few guests left the lecture early to get a head start as of course you never know if the ship runs out of food, so better be early than late.
Sometimes we have days where there are little gaps in the daily program but today one could have gone all day nonstop:
0630 – 0700 Continental Breakfast. 0700 – 0800 early morning stretch. 0800 – 0900 Church (two flavors available) 0900 – 1000 Photo Editing. 1000 – 1100 Hal history lecture. 1115 – 1230 Mariners lunch. 1230 // 1300 Poker class / Cooking Class/ Bingo/Art Action / Health. 1400 – 1500 Dancing under the Stars. 1500 Trivia // Cocktail mixing // Tea time. 1530 Movie time (the hundred foot journey) 1630 Computer classes. 1700 Cocktail hour/ social gatherings/ music in the ship. 1800 Dinner. 2000 Main Show (Livewire playing Celtic Music) 2100 Classical live music 2215 Live music dancing. 2300 Disco // Late night buffet.
And that is only for one of the three parts as I have not even mentioned the marvelous invention of happy hour. Available to kill time between activities or to fill a larger gap in the daily activities for half price.
Compared to the longer and more unusual cruises there is less port lecturing than on a European Cruise. This has mainly to do with the fact that everybody has already been there before. Shorex and the Port Shopping Ambassador hold their talks but it is more to refresh the people’s minds and maybe point out something new but most of our guests are very well versed in the ports to come. Some do even know the difference between dock A, B and C in Oranjestad Aruba. Those will be happy to know that we will dock at Dock C, which has the shortest distance to walk to the gate and thus to town.
We are going to Willemstad on Curacao first and we should be there around sunrise which has been scheduled by the Navigator to occur at 06.43 tomorrow morning. We will be docking at the Mega Pier, which is the pier in the open ocean. This is a mixed blessing. The ship can nearly always dock there as wind and current do not hamper the ship sailing into the narrow entrance of Anna Baai but it is further from the main town of Punda. Luckily this side of Willemstad, Otrabanda (or “the other side”) has been renovated so much in the last few years that people can spend a few good hours there as well. There is a small restaurant on the corner which serves excellent Sate, – with spicy peanut sauce – the way the Dutch like it and as are there until 11 pm a few of the Dutch officers might make a pilgrimage in that direction.
Weather forecast for tomorrow; Warm and very windy. Dangerous for getting a sun burn as with the wind you do not feel the sun that much.