After the fun of going through the canal yesterday, Saturday was a relaxing day at sea. We have two sea days in a row as we journey the approximately 1000 nautical miles to Huatulco, Mexico.
We got up early and went and did our weight lifting and core exercises. We managed to exercise every day except the Panama Canal day (either weight lifting or walking). Speaking of walking, here are the total number of steps that we’ve walked each of the previous days (at least using Bob’s pedometer):
Sunday (embarkation): 5569, 2.9mi
Monday (day at sea): 6087, 3.1mi
Tuesday (Grand Cayman): 13218, 6.8mi
Wednesday (day at sea): 5467, 2.8mi
Thursday (Cartagena): 10,122, 5.2mi
Friday (Panama Canal): 10,016, 5.2mi
Saturday (day at sea): 7,347, 3.8mi
We have also remained “elevator free”. This means that we have never taken the elevator for the entire first week on the ship. That is our goal as a means of trying to keep the weight from piling on.
The morning lecture was from Brigadier General (retired) Nick Halley. He talked about leadership under fire. He was an excellent speaker, had a nice command of the audience and hit some interesting points. He talked about experiences that he had, mostly in combat situations where he learned leadership. It was a great talk. His next talks will be about his experiences in the first desert war.
That was followed (as usual) with trivia. Our regulars, Philip, Donna, Arlene were joined by Marion. The first question was great: how many time zones does China have? We tried to reason it out, comparing with the US, but it like most of the rest of the questions were very difficult (the answer is one time zone - the government has mandated it). Somehow we managed to score 11 out of 15, however we lost again to the same team that has won all previous trivia contests by one point again. After that, Marion left and the five of us decided to go to lunch in the dining room together. It was a very pleasant lunch, although Bob had the Mexican Fajita salad and it was very, very different from those that he eaten back home. We spent so much time at lunch enjoying our lunch that we missed the afternoon lecture by the Panama expert who was talking about the future of the Canal.
We then decided to go and see the afternoon movie, Buck, which is a Sundance audience award winning documentary about a real life horse whisperer. It was very well done. By the way, just as Crystal always does (thinking of everything), they offer popcorn at the movies.
After the show, we hung out and got ready for our second formal night. Pre-dinner, we went to the Starlight lounge for a cocktail. Both of us had a drink on the Solstice last year in its fusion bar called a 3G. We loved it so much that we got the recipe and often make it at home. The drink as we make it (slightly modified from the original) is (notice, it is made up of three ingredients which all start with G):
3 parts Tangurey Gin
1 part St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
½ part Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
Then you float a sprig of fresh thyme on top. It is a little sweet, but very yummy. We had asked the previous night if they could make the drink, but it turns out that they do not stock Domaine de Canton. At home, we had tried to make it without the Ginger liqueur and it was just not the same. Mariya, the bar tender in the Starlight Lounge suggested using a candied ginger. We also had her make them back in the original proportion of 2 parts gin and 1 part St.Germaine because we figured that it needed that slightly extra sweetness. The result was something very close to the original and we were very happy. We call this the 3GS (ha ha).
Formal dinner was French night. Julie and Bob both had the Veal “ala Mama” which was veal, breaded and stuffed with ham and cheese. It was great. For desert we had a Grand Marnier soufflé which was fabulous.
After dinner was the Crystal Society party in the Starlight. We went back and had another 3GS and mingled with other guests and met some new folks. They said that there are 269 Crystal Society members on the ship (so of the 750 passengers, about 1/3 are repeat customers).
We then quickly went to the production show: Standing Room Only which was a collection of songs and dances from hit musicals. Again, another excellent show.
We next walked through the casino and saw some folks playing craps and throwing a lot of numbers. Bob got $100 from the cashier and played for about 30 minutes. He walked away with about a $30 profit. After that, it was bed time. We finally gained an hour as we moved into the central time zone.