The Banks - Half a World Away travel blog


At Sea

Day did not get off to the best start today as we realised that our breakfast venue had closed half an hour early – i.e. we had missed it.

The main “sitting down” breakfast venue had also closed early, leaving only the Buffet open at one of the busiest times. Nothing puts one off food at that time in the morning so much as the queueing and jostling that goes on – and all for no reason. Seriously, the food is not going to run out, so it is ok to back off a bit and wait your “turn”…..also, attempted a plain yoghourt in a pot – it is the first time I have seen “gelatine” as an ingredient for yoghourt. Take it from me, it does not work.

Bearing in mind that this Buffet is available for pretty much 22 hours out of the 24, it is extraordinary that there were people saying, yes, we have finished, “except for getting lunch” – which meant they were off to fetch the rolls and cheese to make up for later……are they seriously too lazy to come back at lunchtime to GET a ready made up cheese roll ? which would also be free – it’s not like using the hotel breakfast buffet to make up a free picnic lunch – it’s ALL free……Cruise holidays are a gift for anyone interested in people……

Anyway, the reason for all the closing of venues and haste in grabbing food was that we had an “Emergency Drill” scheduled for 10am. (Yes, ok, it was a late breakfast – we’re on holiday, right?) This meant all the passengers (except those who joined in San Francisco who only had a joining drill 3 days ago) had to grab (rediscover?) their lifejackets and process to their “muster stations”, which of course are the big public spaces on board, ie the dining rooms. Which therefore had to be cleared of leftover breakfast and loose china well before 10am. Then we practised putting our lifejackets on (not so easy just after breakfast – fortunately they come with a VERY long strap), and processed back to the cabins to stow them away again. Being on a cruise holiday is such fun ! So many jolly entertainments laid on……Apparently Maritime Regulations say we have to practise every 30 days, in case we forget what to do…..

After that it was a nice quiet day……we crossed the Tropic line, so it is now officially “tropical” out there, but there was almost no sun, too much cloud at first milky and then thicker. The air is warm, however, so Mr Foghorn (left) and Mrs Balcony Furniture Jenga (right) were also both out most of the afternoon. There was a stonking tropical sunset later as it dropped redly behind the cloud bank at horizon level – yes, J took photos.

Dinner back to normal tonight, no queues, usual efficiency, excellent food, entertaining company (we had a table for 2 today !)



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