Saturday, October 22, 2016

Australian Cruise: On Board – Days 10 and 11

Written: Tuesday, 18th October

Day 10 – Monday


The Sea was like a mill-pond

We’re now at sea for two days on our way to Benoa, Bali.

We skipped the Gym today, in favour of a quick breakfast in order to gain some time and secure a suitably warm/shady spot on the Deck. Being on Deck that much earlier made all the difference and we found the ideal area – in position and suitably ‘greased-up’ just after 9am!

We’ve cruised many times, and the relaxed atmosphere in more-or-less ideal surroundings normally brings out the best in all the guests. Not today however! Around two hours in, our neighbours in the sun-loungers to our right got into an altercation with a guy opposite. We’re not quite sure exactly what it was about, but like many conflicts, it seemed to centre around territory and space. The whole affair only lasted a few minutes, and there was no need to test the ‘man overboard’ procedure, but it was so unusual to experience!
Surprised smile 

Our only other to-do today was to pay a return visit to the Hot Glass Show where, as usual, the team were in fine form.


Another Masterpiece in the Making

A quick ‘feet-up’ and then some advanced packing and we were ready for our final culinary visit – as part of our ‘three restaurant package’ – to another of Solstice’s speciality specialty restaurants tonight - Tuscan Grille (Italian Cuisine).

Before our meal, we dropped into the Theatre at 7pm to see Australian ‘Popera Star’ Daniel Mallari. Perhaps other guests knew more than we did as the Theatre was nowhere near full. Introduced by ‘Ken’ the Cruise Director - who always appears to be overly excited and/or ‘on something’ (lucky bugger!). Based on his enthusiastic description, we anticipated that we were in for a treat.

Over the years, for these situations, we developed a strategy of sitting on the end of a row, so we can easily ‘slip away’ if things turn out bad. For whatever reason, tonight we ended up a third of a way along a row and our exit was sealed by an American savouring a very large beer – it looks like she was here for the duration, and therefore, so were we!
Surprised smile

On came Daniel and launched into his first song. Although he had a powerful voice, for us, he rapidly turned into ‘Mr Shouty’ - and combined with him slipping from English to Italian and back again at a moment’s notice, it all started to sound a bit complicated! We stayed until the end, and by the final song, we were disappointed but clearly we’d missed something, as the front row were on their feet approaching the stage, giving him a standing ovation. ‘Each to their own’, as they say!

TuscanGrille

Then it was off to the Tuscan Grille for our last of our three speciality specialty meals. Wow! this was a large restaurant, with very tasteful décor and probably the most comfy chairs we’ve ever sat in - anywhere! The menu was extensive – and looking through the options I realised straightaway, that even with my love of food, I wasn’t going to be able to handle ALL the Courses.
Surprised smile

In the end we settled for the sharing variant (sorry, no pics!) – Anti-Pasti to start followed by spaghetti and meatballs and Sea-bass on a bed of Spinach with Polenta and Mozzarella Fries. All we needed was a nice glass of Chianti to wash it all down with, but apparently they didn’t have any! As a substitute we settled for an Italian Cabernet Sauvignon, that tasted even better, as they offered it for free after feeling slightly embarrassed for not having our first choice..
Thumbs up

An hour-and-a-half later, we were comfortably full (the best type of ‘full’!) and we headed out on deck – and what a pleasant surprise! It was beautifully warm, even at 9.30pm and was a perfect end to the evening.

Another lizarding day tomorrow on-deck. Clocks went back one hour tonight.


Day 11 – Tuesday

Breakfast in our room this morning, but not before another visit to the Gym. Even at 7am it was already pretty full. As usual, a 30 minute walk for me, whilst Ann was more varied involving weights and the Swiss Ball.

By 9am, we were on deck – but it seemed that everyone else had had the same idea! All the best spaces had gone, but after a good look round we found a sunny/shady spot all to ourselves. And that’s where we stayed for the whole morning.
Smile

12.30: and we’d had enough Sun for the day o we headed for the Café – again, everyone else seemed to have got their before us, and my alterative name – The Troughery – looked at felt about right with people jostling for position at every food station. We managed to find a couple of seats where I got chatting to an Ozzy who gave me the lowdown on tomorrow’s Port. From his description, it didn’t sound too exciting – but we’ll see!
Thumbs down

With lunch over, we headed for our fave event on the Ship – The Hot Glass Show. Today’s session was less about actually seeing stuff made, and more about the science of glass and glass-blowing itself. It was absolutely fascinating, and we’ll never look at hand-blown glass in the same way again.


DSCN0954

Like everywhere else today, it was a full-house, and we were lucky to get a seat. Just under two hours later, suitably educated we headed back to the Café, that by now Thankfully) had quietened down considerably. Ignoring the temptation of the freshly baked scones and the ice-cream station (yum!) we limited ourselves to just a cuppa (boo!).

We finished our day in the Blu Restaurant and opted NOT to visit the Theatre where an X Factor (Philippines) finalist was performing – not really our cup of tea at all!

We sail into Bali tomorrow for 7.30am, and it’ll be interesting to see if our experiences match the description offered by our Ozzy friend from lunch-time!
Eye rolling smile