I awoke at 6:50 and then left the house by taxi at 10:30, just missing the 10:45 train. The 10:59 got me to SoToN by 11:30 and I was at the City Cruise Terminal soon afterwards. Here I met Lauren and Ian Wright from Las Vegas, another of the speakers, as Maggie fast-tracked us through security At check-in I met Paul Stepien the Polish multi-instrumentalist and I was on board by 12:15.
Unfortunately my key card wouldn't work, so I had to queue up at Guest Relations to get another one. Once inside my outside double stateroom, I ate my packed lunch, before having two glasses of my favourite cherry flavoured fruit punch (but no more food) in the buffet. I then slept for an hour and a half, until I was awoken by the Captain's safety drill announcement. In the huge theatre we watched the amusing safety film, before adjourning to the Activity Manager's office for our briefing.
I then slipped into my swimming trunks and spent half an hour in the jacuzzi watching the sailaway down the Solent. Here I chatted to a couple from Palm Beach in Florida and a gent from Tucson in Arizona. We passed FOCL's Balmoral which was repositioning from DoVeR to SoToN empty. I then did six lengths of the indoor pool.
At six o'clock there were enormous queues for the main dining room, so I went up to the buffet instead. Here I had the mixed grill with chips, followed by ice cream smouldered in M&Ms (which we would call Smarties)! Back in the stateroom, I started work on this blog. At 8:30 I went to the ballroom dance set, but only two couples and one single chap danced.
At 9 o'clock I went to Polish Paul Stepien's multi-instrument showtime. It was the first time that I had seen the use of loop technology for a one man band number. Although good, it wasn't as great as Ed Sheeran, the pioneer of this technique! When it ended at 10 o'clock, I went to bed after a long day.
I awoke at 6:50 again, but it was now only 5:50, so I dozed for 40 minutes. At 6:30 I got up and breakfasted when the buffet opened at 7 o'clock. However the egg station hadn't yet got going, so I made do with two small croissants with smoked salmon, crispy bacon and cheese. Back in my stateroom, I updated this blog and worked on my presentations.
At 9 o'clock I went to Ronald's interesting talk on criminal forensics. He showed a picture of Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys from Leicester University the inventor of DNA fingerprinting, whose wife Sue I used to work with when I was a lecturer there!
At 10:00 I was pleased to hear Allan's destination highlights presentation as it gave me things to add to my port talks. In particular he announced that we would be berthing at pier 88 on Manhattan not at the usual Cape Liberty cruise terminal in far out New Jersey! This did mean that I missed the salsa dance class in the Grand Foyer. I then popped into Pete's office to check tomorrow's programme.
At 11 o'clock I enjoyed Ian's talk on the Beatles before they were famous with his original photographs. Next up at noon came Harry's interesting talk on the story of the movies. Four lectures in four hours!
I lunched on the minute steak with green beans and a jacket potato, not chips, at one o'clock, sat with a lady originally from Halifax, Yorkshire but now residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia! Her husband rose from being a maritime apprentice to being a ship's captain, ending his career as a Halifax harbour pilot.
I then slept for an hour and a half only to be awoken by Kadek with my daily canapés. This did mean that I missed the 'fun' line dancing class in the Grand Foyer. I only managed two lengths of the indoor pool as the water was sloshing about too much. I then spent 20 minutes in one of the hot tubs.
Back in my stateroom I updated this blog and worked on my presentations. At 5:45 I dined in the main restaurant sat with Joe and his wife from Pensacola, Frank and his wife from Daytona Beach, Amy from Thatcham near Newbury and Richard from Cornwall. I had the peppery chick-pea soup to start, then the Caesar salad with anchovies, my main course was the beef and I finished with cherries jubilee.
At 9 o'clock I went to Shane Hampsheir's (sic) excellent swing showtime. He did several Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Michael Bublé standards. He sang "Chicago" a capella and Sam Smith's "The Writings on the Wall" falsetto! Afterwards I had one small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch before bed at 10:30.
I awoke at 7:30, but it was now only 6:30. At 7:10 I had the full English breakfast with coddled egg watching a glorious sunrise behind the ship. I went to the theatre at 8:45, but the England versus New Zealand world cup rugby match was over-running. I eventually started my 40 minute lecture on the "Story of the North Atlantic" at 9:10.
I was followed at 10 o'clock by Steve talking AND singing about Broadway musicals in the 1950s. I slipped out ready for the ballroom waltz class at 10:15 in the Grand Foyer. Thomas taught the box and turning box only to 18 pax, but was counting to 8 not 6! There were no single ladies present, so I got to dance with Olivia the professional dancer from Liverpool. They finished after only 20 minutes, so I was able to catch the end of Steve's lecture, where he sang "Edelweiss".
Although the sun was shining there was a cold wind that prevented me from eating al fresco at the Mast Grill at 11:30. Instead I had the fish and chips in the Oceanview buffet at noon, followed by two scoops of ice cream with M&Ms out on the rear verandah. I then had a deep sleep for one hour.
At 3 o'clock I went to Ian's second Beatles lecture with details of their early performances in Sunderland and his home town of Darlington. He had been a photographer on the Northern Echo under the editorship of the great Harry, later Sir Harold, Evans. My daily canapés having arrived, I ate them as my afternoon tea snack. The indoor swimming pool was still sloshing about even though the weather and sea had improved, so I just spent half an hour in one of the jacuzzis. Here I chatted to a lady who had been a journalist on Hello magazine with her husband and a couple from Henley on Thames.
Back in my stateroom, I worked on my computer. At 5:45 I dined with couples from Iowa, Arizona and Nashville. I began with the corn soup, continued with the Caesar salad with anchovies, had the fillet steak Diane as my main course and finished with the after eight mint choc ice cream!
I caught the end of the first house of the Elton John tribute show including the "Circle of Life" and "Candle in the Wind". Just after eight I went to the ballroom dance session, but only four couples danced and there were no single ladies present. At 9 o'clock I went to the second packed house of the Elton John tribute artiste. His singing was very convincing, but he broke the spell when he spoke with his strong Yorkshire accent!
Afterwards I had one small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit squash, before adjourning to bed at 10:30. I had come on to the ship with a cough and a sore throat, today it developed into a full-blown cold.
I awoke just after seven o'clock ready for my first cheese omelette, which was made quickly and properly, together with crispy bacon and a tomato. I was able to watch a magnificient sunrise over the aft of the ship, but the wind was howling. At 9 o'clock I gave my 37 minute talk on Christopher Columbus, followed by Ronald's 55 minute talk on the "Rich Kid Killers of Beverly Hills".
At 11 o'clock I listened to Steve's talk on the musicals of the sixties, with him singing some of the classic songs, including the "Impossible Dream" from "Man of La Mancha". At noon I lunched on the doner kebab, chips and dips, but not pitta bread. I then had a deep sleep for two hours and a quarter, thus missing more 'fun' dancing in the Grand Foyer.
I then walked five circuits, one kilometre of the top deck jogging track in the sunshine. The Captain was taking us at 19 knots further north to avoid a storm further south. We were heading for Newfoundland, not New York! In the indoor pool I did six lengths and spent 25 minutes in the hot tub with a German couple.
At 6 o'clock I dined on the ham & pea soup, the Caesar salad with anchovies, beef bourguignon and sugar free pecan ice cream, sat with couples from Windsor in Ontario, San Diego in California and Odiham in Hampshire. At 9 o'clock I went to the Life production show. This had great dancing and acrobatics, but only two songs that I knew: "The Story of My Life" by One Direction and "Hold My Hand" by Jess Glynne. After one small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch, I went to bed.
I got up just after 7 o'clock, but it was now only just after six. After working on my computer, I had TWO eggs Benedict for breakfast as the dawn broke, but there was no sun rise this time.
At 9 o'clock I went to Harry's interesting talk on "Famous Females in Film". He spent 30 minutes on Marilyn Monroe including the "Prince & the Showgirl" with Laurence Olivier, but not "Some Like it Hot" with Tony Curtis. The last 15 minutes covered lots of stars including Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady". He ended with a fascinating YouTube mash-up of lots of famous female faces.
I stayed on for the talk on the brand new Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, but having already been on the former, I slipped out after ten minutes for the dance class.
Olivia and Dario, a different male dancer this time, taught the Social Foxtrot. They began with a reverse rocking step on the spot as a warm up, but this threw a lot of the pax. They then taught the usual SF basic and the rock turn. They finished with alternate side walks into a ladies lean back which was very dodgy on the stone floor of the Grand Foyer. I danced with Gertrude from both Frankfurt in Germany and Palm Beach in Florida.
I then worked on my Caribbean presentations for my Silversea cruise in December, nearly completing Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda and then making a start on Roadtown on Tortola and Falmouth on Antigua. At noon I lunched on the lamb pie with green beans and NO potatoes, sat with couples from Warminster, Bristol and British Columbia. I then slept for an hour and a quarter thus missing the Elton John tribute matinée.
At 3 o'clock I listened to Ian's interesting talk on Pop Stars in the Swinging Sixties. I then did six lengths of the indoor pool and spent half an hour in a jacuzzi. Here I chatted to a lady ex-teacher from Brentwood in Essex.
At 5:30 I dined on the rare sirloin steak sat with a couple from Peebles in Scotland and a couple from Seattle in Washington State. I then caught the last couple of songs of the first showtime. Up in the Sky Lounge, there was only one couple dancing to the recorded music.
At 9 o'clock I went to Aimie Atkinson's excellent singing show. This was half pop: Adele & Ed Sheeran, and half musical theatre. I knew all the songs bar one by the late Amy Winehouse. Afterwards I had one small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch, before bed at 10:30.
I got up at 6:45 ready for my breakfast of TWO eggs royale, but only ONE arrived! I made do with just the one together with a glass of orange juice, having had a cup of decaff coffee in my stateroom already. I then worked on my laptop.
At 9 o'clock I went to Ronald's interesting talk on the Manson family murders. This was followed by Harry's talk on the Coolest Guys in Hollywood.
I slipped out after fifteen minutes to go to the rumba class, where I danced with German Gertrude again. Olivia and Dario taught left/right on the spot, big step left and right/left on the spot, big step right as a warm up. They then did the rumba basic and New Yorks. They went on beat two consistently, but most of the pax inevitably went on one! They only taught for 20 minutes in the Grand Foyer, so I caught the end of Harry's talk as well as the beginning. I then touched base with Allan the Destination Concierge.
I lunched at noon on the Greek moussaka with green beans, which they call stick beans. (Celebrity was originally a Greek shipping line and still has Greek Captains.) I was sat with a couple from Surrey who spend the winter in Florida, crossing over at this time of year on this type of re-positioning cruise. I then slept for an hour and a quarter.
At 3 o'clock I gave my 40 minute talk on New York City: the Big Apple in the theatre. I was mobbed at the end with questions! One Jewish lady took me to task for mentioning the Italian immigrants of Little Italy, but not the Jewish ones! I then did six lengths of the indoor pool with the sun shining in through the large picture windows. I spent half an hour in the hot tub with the ex-school teacher from Brentwood again.
At 5:30 I had to queue for five minutes in my Hallowe'en costume to get placed on a table for six again in the main restaurant. I was sat with a couple from Caterham who were both Baptist ministers and a couple from Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. I had the steak with just FOUR large chips, but the British couple had ordered extra French fries which they shared. I caught the second half of the Chinese violinist's show and watched the entire preformance at 9 o'clock.
At 10:15 we had the Hallowe'en fancy dress parade, where I wore my orange polo shirt, black trousers, black witch's hat and Harry Potter illuminated wand! I had one small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch, before getting to sleep at 11 o'clock.
I awoke at 7:05, but it was now only 6:05. I watched my New York talk on the TV, before having two eggs Benedict at 8:10, sat with a couple from Chicago who have a log cabin in Wisconsin. At 9 o'clock I went to Steve's interesting talk on the "British Influence on the Musical". At 10:15 I again touched base with Allan the Destination Concierge.
At 11 o'clock I gave my 40 minute talk on "Boston: the City on the Hill". At noon I lunched on the Italian buffet, before sleeping for two hours. At 3 o'clock I listened to Ronald's very interesting talk on O. J. Simpson. I then did six lengths of the indoor pool and spent 15 minutes in one of the jacuzzis.
Back in the cabin, I updated this blog. At 5:45 I dined on the sirloin steak sat with Ron & Bev from Rochester, New York State and a couple Orlando, Central Florida together with Malcolm from Winchester. At 9 o'clock I went to the production singers cabaret of musical theatre songs. I knew about half of the songs in total and half of the Les Misérables medley which surprised me. After a small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch, I retired for the night.
I awoke at 6:45, but it was now only 5:45 on Eastern Summer Time (EST). The Oceanview café was heaving at 7 o'clock, so I made do with the full English breakfast with scrambled egg. We went under the Verranazzo Narrows suspension bridge in the dark. At 7:15 we passed the Statue of Liberty as the dawn was breaking, but it was drizzling. I stayed out on deck for the next hour as we sailed up the Hudson river to pier 88 in midtown Manhattan.
I spent the morning in my stateroom reading the magazines I had picked up in the SoToN cruise terminal coming out. At 11 o'clock I had a second breakfast of two fried eggs and some crispy bacon just before they closed. I had tag number 37 with an estimated departure time of 11:15 for the US immigration process. I actually got called at 11:30 and was through immigration by 11:45.
I walked south past the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier and the Circle Line pier to the northern end of the High Line elevated linear park. The latter was glorious with red, gold and green trees alongside the traffic-free walkway. This ended at the Whitney Museum of American Art, but at $25 I declined to go in. I found free wi-fi in the Brookfield Place shopping mall, but gave the Westfield mall next door a miss. I did however photograph the spectacular Oculus shopping mall. I eventually reached the 9/11 memorials which were very moving and I nearly cried.
Having walked four and a half miles, I headed back north again at 3 o'clock. I again sidetracked on to the High Line, but came off to see the brand new Vessel which is a honeycomb of staircases up to viewing paltforms. This is part of the Hudson Yards complex of shops and offices. I then went in the Javits convention centre which was hosting stalls concerned with the upcoming marathon race.
Back at the ship at 5:30, I freshened up and found I had gained a blister having walked nine miles during the afternoon! I dined on the prime rib of beef sat with Amy from Newbury, Sid & his wife Audrey from Las Vegas and Joe & his wife from Pensacola. The latter couple had spent $299 each on the matinée performance of Moulin Rouge. Had they come to my lecture they would have heard where to get them for just £150 each! The latter couple also have a holiday home in County Donegal, so I was able to tell them about the Glencolmcille folk museum which I had visited from Killybegs cruise port.
There was only one showtime, at 10 o'clock, with Paul Hughes the excellent swing singer from Manchester. I was sat with German Gertrude, but I kept falling alseep, so I had to slip out just before the end. Up on the top deck, the fresh but still mild air woke me up and I was able to photograph midtown Manhattan all lit up. I went to bed at 11:30, after just one small slice of pepperoni pizza and a glass of fruit punch.
I awoke at 7:30 having slept for EIGHT hours, ready for TWO egg Benedicts. We hadn't departed as planned at 2:00 a.m. as a storm had gone through in the night. It had brought some of the ceiling down on the aft verandah and jammed one of the gangways into the ship!
At 9 o'clock I went to Ian's interesting lecture on John Lennon in Bermuda, which I didn't know about. At 10 o'clock I heard the start of Steve's talk on the Gershwin brothers. I slipped out at 10:15 for the swing dance class in the Grand Foyer. Olivia from Liverpool and Thomas from Australia taught the rock jive basic and the ladies spot turn, but the latter was too fast for most of the pax. I danced with German Gertrude as usual.
A mobile crane having arrived shoreside, the gangway was being hoisted up and away from the ship. At 11:40 I ate a cheeseburger with fries but no bread al fresco at the top deck Mast Grill. I then slept for THREE hours, but missed the sailaway past the Statue of Liberty. After awakening, I gave Ronald's talk on the Old Lady Killers a miss as I ate my canapés with two cups of decaff coffee in my stateroom updating this blog.
A cruise offer came through from one of my agents offering two FOCL cruises back-to-back in the Caribbean over Christmas and the New Year, but I am already commited with Silversea's Silver Wind in the Caribbean and Saga's Spirit of Discovery to the Canaries! Although the sun was shining brightly, it was chilly outside, so I just did six lengths of the indoor pool. I then spent 15 minutes in one of the hot tubs chatting to a teacher from a prep school near Hastings.
At 5:30 I dined on the lamb shank tagine sat with couples from Florida and Alabama, both of whom lived in gated retirement communities. Just after 7 o'clock I slipped into the theatre to see the mature juggler. He dropped things a few times, but that added to the performance, but it was all kid's stuff really. At 8 o'clock I went to the dance session, but only one couple danced.
At 9 o'clock I watched the juggler who again wasn't perfect. Afterwards I had one small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch, before going to the Sky Lounge for the production company's mini-show lasting just 20 minutes. I enjoyed the Queen and Robbie Williams songs, but when it turned into a disco I left. I went to sleep at 11 o'clock.
I awoke at 6:20 ready for TWO eggs Benedict just after 7 o'clock as a beautful sunrise came up as we headed north past Cape Cod. At 9 o'clock I went to Ronald's amusing talk on crooks in a packed Celebrity Central cinema. I stayed on at 10 o'clock for Harry's talk on Charlie Chaplin, but slipped out after half an hour to see the sail-in to Boston in glorious sunshine. We went past the original fort on Castle Island, before reversing into the cruise berth at 11:30.
I started queuing at 11:40 and eventually got off at 12:15. I walked the couple of miles along Summer Street past the Convention Centre to the Boston Tea Party Museum with two replica ships. I then reached the Downtown Crossing, where the two pedestrianised shopping streets meet. I continued up Winter Street to Boston Common to go in the visitor centre at the southern end of the famous Freedom Trail. Unfortunately for some reason the cathedral was closed to visitors, so I just had my banana and carton of skimmed milk lunch sat opposite it.
I then took a selfie outside the Massachusetts State Hall, before doing the first half of the trail. I went in the famous burying ground to see the gravestones of Paul Revere and John Hancock, plus the Benjamin Franklin family obelisk. Next I popped into the King's Chapel. I then went in the impressive Faneuil Hall and the heaving Quincy Market.
At 2:45 I had had enough and so headed east off the trail to the harbourside walkway which took me back to the South Station. Here a Silver Line 2 bus pulled up at the kerbside as I arrived and they weren't charging as the usual trolley bus tunnel was being repaired over the weekend. So I was back at the ship by 3:45 ready for my canapés and two cups of decaff coffee. I was too tired to swim, but didn't have enough time for a siesta.
At 5:30 I dined on the roast leg of lamb with Ron & Bev from Rochester, New York State and a couple from Las Vegas, Nevada, the former couple for the second time. I went up to the top deck to watch the sailaway from the bright lights of Boston, before catching the last 15 minutes of the excellent Runaround Kids rock & roll show time. I went back to see their entire show at 9 o'clock, but I kept falling asleep! I knew all the numbers from the 50s and 60s. When they finished, I went to bed at 10 o'clock.
I awoke at 7 o'clock ready for TWO eggs Benedict up in the Oceanview Café. At 9 o'clock I gave my 40 minute talk on Bermuda. At the end I had a lot of questions to answer!
At 10:00 I heard the first ten minutes of Ronald's lecture on the shooting of Robert Kennedy also in the theatre, before slipping out for Allan's 10:15 talk on the ship's tours in Bermuda & the Bahamas. He had technical problems with his laptop and was ten minutes late starting to talk to a packed Celebrity Central cinema. He only spoke for half an hour and so I was able to back-up my New York & Boston photos from both my mobile phones. I had used my latest Honor 10 lite from the ship, but had taken my old Honor 5 ashore with me in case I was mugged!
At noon I had some of the Mexican lunch specialities up in the Oceanview Café, followed by two hours of siesta. At 3 o'clock I went to Alejandro the cruise director's amusing talk on Argentina his home country. At 4 o'clock I ate my fresh canapés, before doing six lengths of the indoor pool and spending twenty minutes in the hot tub with the ex-teacher from Brentwood and the ex-nurse from Coventry.
I then watched my New York talk on the TV for a second time, days after we had been there. No sign of my Boston or Bermuda lectures! At 5:45 I dined on the sirloin steak sat with Jean from Austin, Texas, a couple from Calgary, Alberta and Ron & Bev from Rochester, New York State, the latter couple for the third time. At 9 o'clock I went to Dima's excellent piano showtime. He covered classical, swing, musicals AND pop! At 10 o'clock I had one small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch, going to sleep at 10:30.
I awoke at 6:30, but the sun was already up. I had TWO eggs Benedict in the Oceanview Café as usual. I then worked on my laptop, as Bermuda grew on the horizon. As we drew nearer, I went up to the Sky Lounge to watch the passage past the North East corner of the island, the transit of the northern lagoon and the approach to the Royal Naval Dockyard.
We berthed at 10:30 and I got off at 11:20. I walked around the Royal Naval Dockyard taking photographs in the hot sunshine. I headed south west as far as the first bridge between the islands, before turning back.
Back at the ship, I had a late lunch of minute steak, green beans and jacket potato (not chips). I then slept for an hour and a half, before heading back ashore again. This time I walked to the Snorkel Park beach which was no longer charging for entry.
Back at the ship again, I did six lengths of the outside pool for the first time this cruise and spent fifteen minutes in one of the outside jacuzzis as the sun went down. I then watched my New York lecture on the TV for a third time. At 5:45 I dined on the saltimbocca chicken sat with Ron & Bev from Rochester, New York State for the fourth time and a different couple from Austin, Texas.
At 9 o'clock I went to hear the American comedian who was quite funny, but had a hard time getting some laughs. The jokes about talcum powder struck a chord with me! I then had a small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch in the Oceanview Café. At 10:15 the Runaround Kids gave their second show al fresco by the pool. It wasn't cold out and I sat on the stairs to listen. The only dancing was disco, not rock 'n' roll! I went to bed at 11 o'clock.
I awoke just before my alarm at 6:30 and grabbed a croissant stuffed with cheese and bacon for breakfast. At 7:30 I caught the morning's first ferry over to Hamilton the capital for $9 return. I got to the National Library just after it opened at 8:30 and to the Tourist Information Office when it opened at 10 o'clock. In between I photographed all the important sights, bar Fort Hamilton on the hill. I then caught the 10:30 ferry back to the Royal Naval Dockyard, ready for all aboard at 11:30.
At noon I gave my 37 minute talk on Nassau to a reduced audience in the theatre, as we sailed away from Bermuda and lunch was being served. I then lunched myself on beef & chicken tikka masala with rice and dahl. I was able to watch the passage through the narrow channel to the north east of St. George's island. I then slept for an hour and a quarter.
When Kadek arrived with my fresh canapés, I had two cups of decaff tea for a change. I did six lengths of the outdoor pool and spent 25 minutes in one of the outside hot tubs. At 5:50 I dined on the prime rib of beef with an Asian American man & his Latin American / Swiss / American wife and the couple from Odiham near Basingstoke that I had previously dined with.
At 9 o'clock I went to the Cosmopolitan production show which featured big cities. They sang the Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" for London and Adele's "Rolling in the deep" amongst others. For the first time on a Celebrity ship they didn't sing "Uptown Funk"! The two acrobats were as brilliant as ever, but this time three dancers and one singer also flew across the stage on wires, which I have never seen on a ship before.
At 10 o'clock I had my second hot chocolate of the cruise, but resisted the pizza as I had had my first indigestion of the cruise. This was not really surprising given the quality and quantity of food I have consumed on this cruise! I went to sleep at 10:30 having done nearly 15,000 steps equivalent to six miles of walking!
I was awoken at 6:30 by a mechanical sound, but took 50 minutes to get up and out. I had TWO egg royales, which they call salmon delights. Having eaten, I was still sat in the Oceanview Café when I heard a crash and a scream directly behind me. A tea and coffee trolley had fallen over and a seated waitress had hot water on her legs. She fled the room crying followed closely by the supervisor. I was wearing my shorts and liner socks for the first time this cruise, so it could have been me!
Back in my stateroom, I worked on updating my presentations with my new photographs. At 9 o'clock I went to hear Steve's interesting talk on 1970s musicals. He sang Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" amongst other songs. He over-ran into the Captain's annoucements as usual.
At 10:15 I went to the revision dance class. Olivia from Liverpool and Lilly from Orlando recapped all the dances they had taught, including the social foxtrot, cha cha, rumba, waltz, salsa & merengue. I danced with the two professionals for the first half of the class, before Caroline from Weymouth arrived.
At 11 o'clock I listened to Captain George's 50 minute talk, billed as the Secrets of Navigation, but actually a general talk all about running the ship. The question and answer session ran on for half an hour, before I was able to slip out.
I lunched on the roast pork al fresco on the rear verandah, at first in the hot sun and then in the cooler shade. I then slept for an hour and a half. When Kadek arrived with my fresh canapés, I had two cups of decaff coffee. My laptop running Windows 10 crashed with the infamous blue screen of death for the first time in decades! I did six lengths of the outside pool and then spent 20 minutes in one of the four outdoor hot tubs on my own.
At 5:50 I dined on the proper beef Wellington sat with ladies from Idaho & Atlanta and Ron & Bev from Rochester for the fifth time. At 9 o'clock I went to see Jason the Magician, unfortunately I didn't get many of his American jokes and there was a time delay on his Go-Pro camera, so his lips were out of sync with his words! I had one small slice of pizza and a glass of fruit punch before retiring at 10:30.
I awoke at 6:40, but it was now only 5:40 on Bahamas time, so I worked on my presentations. At 7:10 there was a queue at the egg station, so I had the full English breakfast with scrambled egg instead. I then worked on my powerpoint presentations, until we got close to land, when I went up to the top deck for the sail-in. We berthed at 10 o'clock and I got off at 10:30. I headed south to Fort Fincastle, then west to Graycliff historical area and then north to the Hilton Hotel's private beach. I walked through the downtown area until 2 o'clock when I had had enough of the heat.
I lunched at 2:30 on fish and chips, before sleeping for an hour. I then started packing. At 5:45 I dined on the sirloin steak with couples from Austin, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama both for the second time. I got into the first showtime at 7:15 and enjoyed the aerial artistes. I went back at 9 o'clock, but only knew one song: Skyfall by Adele. The giant inflatable dolphins and dragons were particularly good. I received TWO offers of Crystal cruises by email, but was unable to accept either as I was already committed to Silversea! I went to bed at 10 o'clock, ready for an early start in the morning.
My alarm woke me at 5:30 ready for the final full English breakfast in the Oceanview Café at 6 o'clock. Back in my stateroom at 6:30 I updated this blog. I was off the ship at 6:50 and there were plenty of taxis available at that early hour. It cost $20 with the tip to get to Fort Lauderdale airport (FLL) soon after.
Unfortunately I couldn't check in for another hour, so I chatted to Canadians from Toronto and Halifax. Once I had checked my big bag in, I was able to go walkabout. The multi-storey car park had aircraft viewing areas on it's roof, which our airports no longer seem to have, but it was 86 degrees outside, so I didn't linger any longer!
I whizzed through security and finally found a power socket to charge my laptop as I updated this blog. We took off 20 minutes late, but arrived nearly on time in Chicago. The airbus was completely full. I had one complimentary Dutch syrup waffle biscuit with a glass of lemonade for refreshment on this first 2 hours 50 minute flight.
At O'Hare airport, I had to walk from terminal B to terminal C, but it was only ten minutes. Here I found a seat with a view and copious power outlets, so I was able to recharge both my laptop and my mobile phones. Outside the sun was shining, but the temperature was -1 degrees C, 30 degrees F! Snow is forecast here tomorrow!
The 767 was only half full, so I had a spare seat next to me. We pulled back on time and took off shortly afterwards. I had the chicken risotto in cheese sauce for dinner. I watched the Elton John biopic "Rocketman", but felt it wasn't as good as the Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody". I then slept for a couple of hours.
I woke up two thirds of the way across the Atlantic and watched the Apollo 11 documentary. I had one jam croissant and a large tub of strawberry yogurt for breakfast.
I then started to watch Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench in "All is True" the Shakespeare biopic. We landed in LHR on time, only one third of the way through the film, which I wished I had started watching earlier in the flight. I had one hour to wait for the £29 National Express coach to BoMoH and I was home by 11:35, after another super cruise!
Ian later wrote:
"Thanks for sending your fab pages, where do you find time to put it all together? The work of an oracle best sums it up."
6 Lectures given 4 Port talks (NYC, Boston, RND & Nassau) 3 New Ports (Boston, RND & Nassau) 2 Enrichment lectures (NA & CC) 2 New Cities (Boston & Nassau) 2 Old Cities (NYC & Hamilton) 1 Old Port (NYC)
New PowerPoints Created: Falmouth, Antigua Spanish Town, BVI Road Town, BVI
Old PowerPoints Updated: New York Boston Bermuda Bahamas
27 Cruise Ships sailed on: Saga Rose Saga Ruby (Saggy Booby!) Saga Pearl II Saga Sapphire Quest for Adventure (Q4A) Spirit of Adventure (SofA) Spirit of Discovery (SofD) Black Prince Black Watch Boudicca Balmoral Braemar Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Queen Elizabeth Queen Victoria Celebrity Edge Celebrity Eclipse Celebrity Solstice Celebrity Silhouette Seabourn Sojourn Seabourn Odyssey Crystal Symphony Crystal Serenity Sapphire Princess Discovery Oriana
9 Cruise lines: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (FOCL) Voyages of Discovery (VofD) Saga Shipping Company Seabourn (Carnival) Princess (Carnival) Cunard (Carnival) P&O (Carnival) Celebrity (RCI) Crystal