Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Monday, March 25, 2013

Australia: Melbourne and the ship

Day 3 ~

1st day at sea – a wonderful breakfast – it’s actually been great food all day everyday.  That’s the most important part, right?? 8-)  First day to sleep in – then we just explored the ship.  LOVE LOVE LOVE the feel of the ship and the people here – cute widowed black bling-from-head-to-toe lady Molly chatted with us for awhile about how great it is to see people enjoying their older age, and how great it is that we’re here as a younger couple b/c people usually grow old and don’t get to do the fun stuff b/c they’re not able to. Good reminder to live everyday to the fullest.  The captain made his morning announcements, then said – “thought for the day: We all have photographic memories.  But some of us just don’t have the film.”  Hilarious!  One entire upper deck has grass growing – right next to a Venetian-style glass-making class.  We realized why the ship feels so much more empty – this cruise has only 2800 people compared to the 4000 of our usual ships.  We enjoyed the Skylounge – a big room at the front of the boat – we saw dolphins and a whale as we sat on our comfy chairs and read for hours.  After lunch, we did a couple miles around the track with all the other cute walkers – everyone walks!  Formal night dinner and a show…

Day 4 ~

Melbourne : hopped on a tourbus that took us all around town to look at everything.  Pics are from a nice botanical garden and Australia’s version of all our war memorials rolled into one single shrine, honoring all the Aussie’s and New Zealanders who’ve died in all their wars.  Daron told me I’m NMI at dinner tonight – so rude – just because I took the first bite of his chocolate NY cheesecake before I tasted my own dessert, but his looked better so it’s not my fault. He says I’m Nautically Mannered Ignorant which is totally not true.  He is. Mostly because when I say I can not eat another thing, he walks STRAIGHT back into the buffet and gets another ice cream and pizza, and what am I supposed to do? Just sit there and not eat too? He’s the one with NMI.  We’re in the Indian Ocean now, heading toward the lovely Sounds of SW New Zealand – will arrive in 2 days. We sat in the hottub today with 2 colorful characters – an aeronautical engineer from Boston who designs guidance systems for submarine-deployed missiles, and an RV repairman from California who hates his welfare-dependent neighbor… it was very entertaining.   Tonight we enjoyed a performance from Australia’s 7-time Outstanding Instrumentalist of  the Year Winner – Bernard Walz . A pianist who’s fingers were practically on fire – unbelievable.

Day 5-6  ~


This morning we were awakened by the Captain doing his regular morning announcement at 10am, although it was only 9am to us because we had to move our clocks ahead an hour last night.  Have to do the same again tonight.   All of these time changes are great except for the fact that we have now been cheated out of 2 hours of our cruise – that is not fair!  They didn’t say anything about losing 2 hours when we booked the cruise.  After pulling our exhausted bodies out of bed, we meandered up to the exercise room where we watched the pretty mountains of Tasmania float by while we walked and talked for a good hour.  We then got cleaned up and catapulted ourselves to the 14th floor (hereafter referred to as “food heaven”) and enjoyed a marvelous variety of food for lunch.  The food is really quite stellar on this cruise and makes us want to cry tears of joy…real tears, and real crying.  Thus far, Mel claims that the custom made eggs benedict (poured over Canadian bacon and English muffin) is her favorite solid food, while the mint chocolate chip ice cream is her favorite semi-solid food.  The ice cream assortment of about 10 flavors changes every day, so there is always a lot of work waiting for us every day as we have to sort through all of the new flavors and re-classify our favorites.  I do not have an overall favorite – although I do enjoy the startling variety of foods – today I had some food from the Indian bar, salad bar, soup bar, custom pizza/pasta bar, BBQ bar, stir fry bar, fruit bar, bread bar, and of course the desert bar.  They also have a theme for a special bar every day.  Yesterday it was Australian food, and today it was Greek food.  After lunch we were treated to another gift from the ocean (we got to see some giant jelly fish yesterday) as we saw two large families of dolphins swim past the ship.  The second group had about 15 dolphins and was incredible to see them all playing in the water. 

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