Up and At ‘Em

Monday, May 28, 2018

One of the things that Pokey and Gumby were adamant about on this cruise is that we all get up early – especially on the days at sea so we can enjoy the full day of cruising. Today is our first and only sea day on our journey south, and to the delight of our rubbery friends, we are up around 8. The facts that our cabin is on the east side of the ship and that we don’t close our curtains has helped with our early awakening – it is hard to sleep with the sun peeking in on you.

Jeff is more awake than I and has already dressed and reviewed today’s “Princess Patter” for events we might be interested in. He found a good one! The steel drum musician is giving lessons this afternoon, but you need to pick up tickets at 9a.m. We hurriedly get dressed, grab our thermal coffee cups and go the place where tickets are being distributed. We get there about 7 minutes before 9 and get the last two tickets. Since the lesson is not until later this afternoon, we get our fancy coffees and have a very small breakfast of coffee, fruit and bran muffins. Then we go back to our cabin to change into workout clothes. I decide to walk around the Promenade deck and Jeff goes to the weight room. Around and around I go; each time I go around the front of the ship, the wind is fierce and I struggle to stay on my feet (seriously). I have to go up and down a set of metal stairs to make this circle and each time I make the circle and descend, I aim myself for the side of the stair railing because, as I make the bend, the wind is now pushing me forward. I don’t want it to shove me down the stairs. What a great workout! Walking, walking with resistance, balance practice (i.e. not getting blown over) and almost trotting to stay on my feet. I walk only for a couple of miles though it seems like more with the humidity, the rocking of the boat and the wind. Returning to the cabin, I find that Jeff has also returned and is studying his Spanish.

We get cleaned up and change clothes. This is the third set of clothes I’ve had on today and it isn’t even noon! Our drumming lesson is at 11:30 and it is quite fun. Pokey and Gumby enjoyed it, though Gumby was better at holding the mallet.

Gumby on the steel drum

The lesson was very easy for Jeff and I. The drum had little letters stuck on it showing where the notes were on the pan and we had a piece of paper written like: GAB 1 2 BCC 1 2 F# ADD which indicated what letters on the drum to smack and the numbers were to count when you didn’t hit it (rests). I had a little bit of a hard time with the letters because my brain was trying to translate them into musical notation rather than just smack the letter. The man next to me was just awful. He was hitting the drum like it was alive and he was trying to kill it and the poor guy had NO hand/eye coordination at all. Good thing it was a metal drum otherwise I think he would have broken the drum head. Our lesson was 45 minutes – just enough time to get a feel for the instrument. We aren’t sure we’ll take the next lesson or perform in the show at the end of the cruise, but we’ve had fun today.

Time for lunch – I had some nice tomato basil soup and fruit; Jeff had a wrap and a salad. It’s a little after 1pm and we think this is the perfect time for a nap! Going back to the cabin, we flick on the TV and are surprised to see a wide variety of movies available. I’m excited because there’s a disaster movie, “Geostorm” that I’ve never seen (I love disaster movies; the hokier the better), so we leave the movie on while I write and Jeff naps. I ask him if it is stupid or wrong of us to be in our cabin watching tv, and he points out that we’re on vacation. Perfect answer.

What a relaxing afternoon! Tonight is formal night and though we didn’t bring any truly formal clothes, we do each have a nicer outfit to wear. The first formal night of the cruise is also the “Captain’s Welcome Aboard Party and Champagne Waterfall” which is always fun, plus all the free champagne you can drink (and I love champagne). We get dressed and go down to the festivities…our plan is to hang out, snag a couple of glasses of champagne and get in line for dinner. All goes according to plan. We get seated for dinner almost immediately because we want to “share” a table. Jeff and I both had red snapper for dinner; I liked mine but his was a little dry. One of the items on Princess’ dinner menu that I really enjoy is their soups – especially their cold fruit soups. And tonight I am having that for dessert, trying to save calories where I can. Being on a cruise ship is a challenge not because there are not healthy choices, there are; but because there are many, many not-so-healthy options tempting me at every food venue. It is difficult to keep a healthy mindset.

We sit with two other couples and enjoy the conversations at the table. Sharing a table is a crap shoot but we usually have nice folks, some experienced cruisers, some not and tonight everyone is participating and sharing stories.

Leaving dinner we quickly run upstairs to our cabin for wine and dash back down to the 9:30 show in the Princess Theater. Tonight is a special presentation, “Bravo” involving the ship’s entire cast and a guest soprano, Kate Gordon. Bravo was excellent – it was light opera and pop opera songs (Queen!)

Afterwards back in the cabin, we pour more wine and stand on the balcony watching the waves and looking at the stars. A wonderful, relaxing day on the high seas.

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