Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 11 - Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013 - Half day at sea (really) and Gibraltar (The Rock)

We slept in a bit today and got up around 7am.  We had sailed all night and still had about 5 more hours before docking in Gibraltar.  So, we had a TRUE sea day (at least half of one).  There was entertainment scheduled and even a lecture at 10am.  Wow, it was wonderful.  No pressure to get off the ship and explore another unique place first thing in the morning.  We have heard lots of grumblings from many people on the cruise that so many port days in a row is just not good.  It seems that a few people love all of the destinations, but an awful lot complained that they needed the break that you get from sea days.  Plus, it just isn’t the same to stay on the ship while in port as there are no activities, so, even though on the ship it isn’t like a real sea day.  Thus we really appreciated the half day.
After our breakfast, we checked out the photos to see if the ones from the previous night were any good.  They looked pretty great, so we are debating what to buy.  Next up, we went to a lecture by Professor Roman Pryjomko on “Addressing a Global Crisis: Why Good Governance Really Matters!”.  The talk was quite good.  He talked about democracy and freedom.  He had a really good definition of freedom, which is essentially that the population can choose to do what it wants to be as successful as it wants.  He then talked about difference between governance (the rules and processes that define the democracy) and government (the roles and functions that execute the rules and processes).  Governance is apolitical.  It includes things like transparency as in how transparent is a government.  It was a great talk although we both wished that he had described more situations with existing governments.  He mentioned that trust is a key governance indicator and the citizens trust their government most are New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries at between 70 and 80%.  So, we would have liked to see how some of the countries with excellent governance ratings what their governance indicators look like.  Some of that came out in the questions, but really not enough for our tastes.  However, we both liked the talk and thought that it was a nice way to think about things.
After that, we went up on Deck 13 to watch us pull into the Gibraltar dock for a 12 noon arrival.  This is Gibraltar in the background.

A better view of the Rock:

Just a nice pix of Bob:

We had considered taking the rest of the day as a “sea day” but Bob decided that since we hadn’t walked our 10K+ steps for the day that we would walk the approximate .75 mile walk to the main square and then walk down the main street another mile or so.  The shopping is supposed to be pretty unique because the prices are both duty free and do not include a VAT.  We noticed a lot of typical British stores (such as Marks and Spencer) and a zillion jewelry, watch, liquor, and electronics stores.  It reminded us of St. Thomas.  

We stopped at the Burger King on the way back in the main square and ordered a Diet Coke to get access to the free wifi.  We sat for about an hour updating things on our phones and watching the people walk by.  After that, we returned to the ship.
Bob worked on the blog and Julie took a siesta.
We got ready for dinner, had drinks in the Palm Court, and then went to dinner at Prego.  The show was pianist Jonathan Ainsworth in the Stardust Club at 8:45pm.  We both thought that ht was ok, not great.  Bob thought that he missed an awful lot of notes.  Julie was disappointed that he didn’t play any Beatles songs as promised.  He was widely varied, but just wasn’t great.

After that, we went back and got ready to hit the sack for a very early tour (leaving at 7:45) in Cadiz to the town of Seville, Spain.

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