Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day 6, May 9, 2015, Serenity Crossing – Third Day at Sea

When we got up at 8am (although our bodies said it was 7am), the seas were almost like glass with just a few ripples.  It was cloudy and warm, about 72 degrees.  We walked on deck 7 again, this time with a ton of other people.  While we were walking, we saw a school of dolphins (or porpoises) and maybe a bit later the back of a whale (it was bigger than the dolphins and only breached a couple of times).  But we didn’t see any spout, so we aren’t sure what we saw.  Bob wasn’t feeling great (probably the too rich food last night) and only did 2 miles, while Julie did 4. 

We then got ready and went to the 10am talk by ex-CIA spy Ronald Marks who was speaking on “Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World.”  He talked about what it was like to be a spy, essentially finding out information using several different techniques.  He spent most of the time talking about human espionage where you work to build up a relationship with someone who has information you would like and how that happens.  He then spent a short time talking about internal spying and how in his view it is worth it to try and stop people that are home grown terrorists.

After that, we stayed for the 11am talk by ex-Captain Glenn Edvardsen, who retired from being a Captain of the Serenity at the end of 2013 (he is now CEO of an on the water car shipping company).  He discussed how he ended up being a sailor and his experiences, which included working on oil tankers in 1980’s in the Persian Gulf during the Persian Gulf Wars. 

Next up was trivia.  We got two new team members and did reasonably well, but still not good enough.  This time four teams got 14/15 and had to do the tie-breaker.  How many times is the phrase “Let it Be” sung in the song by the same name (41 times).  After that, we went to lunch and had a salad and a small sampling of the Chinese menu items (the pot stickers were amazing).  Julie loved the miso-grilled salmon.

We skipped the 1:30pm talk and relaxed and read email.  We then went to the Mozart Tea at 3:30pm.  It was as great as usual, with a wonderful assortment of finger foods and of course the hot chocolate Amadeus (hot chocolate and dark rum).  The Astoria Strings quartet played.  They are four Russian women who went to the same school and ended up meeting in St. Petersburg.

We then got ready for dinner and went to the 5pm show “Memoirs of a Broadway Asian” by Sandra Allen.  She discussed her life growing up and wanting to be in show business, while her Chinese Mom wanted her to be a doctor or engineer.  She didn’t talk much about her American father. Anyway, eventually she became a Broadway star and also did modeling, TV, and other gigs in show business.  Her big hit was the lead in the Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song.  She sang a ton of songs from different eras.  Her voice was excellent and very strong.  It was quite a show.

Then it was off to dining by reservations dinner at 6:15.  We got to sit by the window and began with appetizers as usual.  Julie had the Freshly Baked Lobster Strudel with sauce Americaine, while Bob had the Fresh Green Asparagus “En Fete” in lemon vinaigrette, with tomatoes, olives and herbs.  We both thought that they were very good.

For the second course, we both had the Crunchy Greens tossed in fig-balsamic dressing, cheese truffles, pecan nuts and grapes.  These were great, the dressing was marvelous.

For the entrée, Bob had Boeuf “Bourguignonne” – braised beef in burgundy red wine sauce , with pearl onions, champignons, bacon, and brioche dumpling.  It was good, but filling.

Julie had the Red Snapper Fillet, with warm tomato, caper, and green olive relish, fresh lime, grilled vegetables, and olive oil roasted potatoes.  Julie thought that the snapper was good, but a little bland.  It was good that it had the relish as that added some flavor.

For dessert, Julie had the “Lemon Mascarpone Trifle” with ladyfinger, lemon syrup and lemon mascarpone cream, while Bob had the coconut custard pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I think that we both liked the pie the best.

After dinner, we went to the Cruise Critic cocktail party.  We got to meet several of the cruise critic members including Roy, Nancy, and Silvia.  We also had a chance to chat briefly with Keith, Ann Marie, Les, Beverly and Roger.  We then went to the evening show.  It was a show by guitarist Byron Johnston.  We thought that he was going to do classical music.  Boy, were we wrong.  What he basically did was play the music of the electric guitar legends including George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and many others.  At one point, he played the music of Gypsy Flamenco from Southern Spain.  It was unbelievable.  He was amazingly talented.  His hands were moving so fast over the guitar during the flamenco part that you almost couldn’t see them.  He concluded with who he said started the electric guitar sound of rock-n-roll, Duane Eddy.  We were absolutely blown away.

After dinner, we wandered around and then went to bed.  Bob managed about 5 miles and 10K steps while Julie had about 2K more steps.

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