Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day 13 - Wed Feb 28, 2018 (Gisborne NOT!!! On to Tauranga, New Zealand) - Crystal Symphony - Sydney to Tahiti

Day 13 – Gisborne, New Zealand  NOT!!!!  Wed Feb 28, 2018

We missed the port of Gisborne today.  It is a tender port and the Captain determined that with the fierce predicted winds that it would not be safe to tender us ashore.  Safety for the passengers is always the first priority.

The start of our day was spent walking on the Promenade Deck, and it was noticeably warmer today than it has been, and the sun is shining brightly.

Interesting aside, Bob has an Apple Watch. When he walks, he tracks his walk. Today he did 60 minutes and burned 457 calories. His distance was 13.94 miles, a pace of 4 minutes 18 seconds per mile. Since the ship is moving, the watch determines distance using GPS. Next day we will be walking on a docked ship and we can see how far he actually goes in about an hour.

We are proceeding to our next port of call – Tauranga and will arrive at 1:30 pm this afternoon (a day early), and will overnight there.  The staff put together activities quickly for our day including two lectures:
·       “Tauranga and Auckland” by Brian Lawrensen, Destination Lecturer
·       “The World in Conflict-Russia Challenges the West” by General Nick Halley about the geopolitics of Russia and why Russia is acting in an extremely dangerous and aggressive manner. 
Bingo, Trivia, a Moviemaking class, golf clinic, social bridge, Zumba class, art class, a galley tour, and more have been organized to fill our time during our unexpected time at sea today.  We keep really busy onboard, and you can see why.  Usually after our cruises we reflect on the fact that we were too busy and didn’t take enough time to relax.

The port is a short walk from Mount Maunganui, which we decided would be our destination this afternoon.  It is a beautiful shore side walk (about a mile each way) and the scenery is beautiful. We did not walk to the top, although that is an option - which should take about an hour to get up there.

A view from Mount Maunganui to the ship.

Tonight was Black Tie Optional night, the second of this cruise.  We ate dinner in the Waterside Dining Room.

Julie had Oysters, Butternut Ravioli with Sage Butter and Lemon Sole as her entrée.  She wished she had had the King Crab Legs for her entrée, but had decided to try the Lemon Sole instead.  She enjoyed Crème Brulee for dessert.

Bob enjoyed a Mixed Green Salad, Butternut Ravioli and Beef Wellington for his entrée which he declared was superb.   For dessert he had "La Pergola" (Chocolate Coffee Mousse Cake, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, Whiskey Espuma).

The Crystal Society Reception was held at 7:45 pm in the Starlight Lounge.  It offered an opportunity to greet the Captain and other officers.  Guests who are onboard with between 40 and 138 cruises on Crystal were recognized.  Pauline, who lives on the Serenity, according to the board in the Crystal Cove holds the record with 400 Crystal cruises achieved in 2016.  Clearly she will be hitting 500 cruises soon.

“Speakeasy” is a new production show featuring the Lead Vocalists and the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers.  The Galaxy Theater was decorated in the genre of Prohibition and the 1920’s, and you even had to have a password to enter the theater.  It is a fresh, new show that we found very enjoyable.

We watched a few minutes of the Lord of the Rings movie in preparation for our visit to Hobbiton.  Bob brought an HDMI cable that allows us to play downloaded movies from his computer on our TV in our cabin.  The new 42” TVs in the staterooms are very nice.  And the placement at the foot of the bed is great for viewing from the loveseat or the bed.

We walked 7.71 miles, 18,545 steps, and 32 flights of stairs.

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