Days 1 and 2 - at sea

Trip Start Feb 04, 2012
1
2
20
Trip End Mar 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Diamond Princess Cruise Ship

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting comfortable in our sailaway home - Days one and two

These two days at sea gave us time to do more exploring around the ship and checking out the hot spots for food!  There are four restaurants plus an endless buffet in another location.  We chose "anytime dining", meaning we can go eat wherever and whenever we feel like it.  One advantage of "anytime dining" is we with different people each time, so we get to chat with a variety of fellow passengers this way.  There are several restaurants over and above the four I mentioned which offer only traditional dining – people go to dinner at the same time every day with the same people.  And there actually are a couple of restaurants where people pay MORE money for a meal.  Can't imagine why they’d do that when all our food (and an abundance of it, I might add) is included in the cost of the cruise.  Why spend more when . . . oh well, it’s their money

The service in the restaurants is constant.  Servers hover to make certain we have what we need, and if  the food isn’t just right, they will replace it with something else of our choice.  A menu is offered with certain items available every day, but each day has a specialty menu, too, of probably twelve to fifteen possible items.  One can pick anything off the menu – I mean anything.  If I would like six menu items one day and two the next, it doesn’t matter.  Overeating is a constant, daily problem.  The presentation of the meals is enough to make one want to eat more.  The desserts are as decadent as they come.  Enough on food, though – but I will probably end up posting some pictures of food.  It’s all so beautiful.    I’m wondering who is going to open up my linen napkin and lay It on my lap when I get home?

I think there are four swimming pools on board.  I swam in one of them and experienced the water sloshing at one end and then the other end, washing up on the pool deck like waterfalls – all set in time with the rolling of the ship.  Weird feeling. 

I can’t help think about the Titanic while roaming around the fifteen decks of the Diamond Princess, especially when the string quartet is playing in the Atrium of the ship, or I’m watching people dancing in their formal gowns and tuxes.  There is a great deal of activity at all hours of the day and night – many pubs with live entertainment, game shows, LGBT gatherings, singles gatherings, a running track (yea for Peter), hot tubs and swimming areas, a spa (I got a massage!), classes on health and fitness, lecturers on various topics. We went to a comedy/magic act, which was quite amazing – Name billed as the top comedy/magic show in Australia.  We also went to hear Al Brown, another comedian.  Definitely there is  too much going on to experience everything. 

I took part in several of the lectures.  One of the lecturers named Hutch, gives tips on what to do in the ports.  He has traveled the world and has good, helpful information to help us get the most out of our port days.  I also attended a lecture given by a man in his 80s who has written about 8-9 books, some of them on the stories of the Titanic.  He was fascinating to listen to, and his stories, which he gained through in-depth interviews with Titanic passengers before all died, certainly made life on the Titanic more vivid, especially in the last hours before it sunk.  I will go hear him again in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Peter and I have done some ship deck wandering together, but he takes time to listen to education lectures he has along.  He does a daily run on Deck 7 and loves it. We have yet to take in a movie under the stars, meaning on Deck 14, which is open to the sky and the stars!  There is a large jumbotron screen with movies and concerts playing.  (Tonight it is a live U2 concert!).  Blankets and popcorn are always available, as is a little soft serve shop right in the movie area for ice cream and Belgian waffles.  Oh, did I mention that also in the pool area there is a pizza place and grill always open for as much pizza or burgers as one could possibly want.  No extra charges!  No charge for the beautiful starlit sky hanging above us, either. 

As we walk around, there are pockets of conversation everywhere – people speaking various languages, some playing cards or writing journals or reading books from the ship’s library.  Peter and I are committed to our church’s Year of the Bible, which means we read a prescribed set of scripture texts each day of the year 2012. 

Life is good, with no worries and people always on top of our needs/wants.  As I write on our balcony, I am witness again to more beauty – we are passing through beautiful islands which are drowned mountain ranges – and see the fishing boats out along the mountainous coastline.  Breathtaking, of course! 
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