No sunrise today…which had a whole lot to do with the less-than-desirable weather we’ve been having. One day, I’ll learn to pack both a winter jacket and a sweatshirt no matter where I’m going – T-shirts weren’t cutting it, but my leather jacket would’ve been clear overkill. I disembark at 8:00AM, so the next twelve hours will be quite interesting, but even this morning that was clear.
With none of the outdoor things really open (The hot tubs were, but only a handful of occupants), the rope course was a definite no-go. At my mom’s suggestion I had a parfait and oatmeal for breakfast; the parfait was beautiful; I wish I’d brought my camera. The oatmeal was very good, if not a bit sweet due to the near-excess of brown sugar applied.
I attended one of the demonstrations, regarding how to make a black forest cake. The head chef from yesterday was doing the actual demonstration. One of the restaurant managers was doing the ‘best effort’, showmanship-based method, and Dan Dan, our cruise director, was on the left, and made precisely zero attempt to follow the procedures, using lots of ‘creative license’. He made his cake into “Mt. Fiji” with incredibly liberal use of the whipped cream, while Restaurant Manager juggled the eggs for his batter (successfully; I was impressed at both his nerve and his execution), and invited all the kids up and gave them a handful of whipped cream, right into their hands, “communion style” – he remarked, “I didn’t know there were this many Catholics on board!”. I was certain it wasn’t going to end well. Dan Dan continued to turn his Mt. Fiji into a volcano, using the cherry brandy as ‘lava’…he quickly learned how to use the whipped cream for ‘spackle’, as the lava leaked pretty quickly. the cherries were used on the side and turned into a landslide…it was a hot mess. It was overall an utterly hysterical demonstration to behold; Head Chef had an actual-cake that was most definitely bakery-grade, Restaurant Manager had something that looked “basically edible”, and Dan Dan’s was the most hysterical train wreck of a cake, and the definitely crowd pleaser.
A bit later, they had another Q&A with the captain, the chief engineer, and the hotel manager from yesterday. They showed the ship under construction, compared it to a few other Norwegian ships, discussed the engines, and things of that nature. I had no idea that the top speed of this ship is 25 miles an hour. While also informative, the best part was undoubtedly the questions. One boy about seven years old asked the captain, “so, if you’re here, who’s driving the boat?” the entire audience lost it; the captain’s had a good sense of humor and knew to roll with it…the answer being that there are two navigation officers on the bridge at any given time. Another person said, “So, what do you do with the ships when they’re no longer used, do you sell them to Carnival?” Again, an outburst of laughter from the audience ensued. The captain indicated that sometimes the ships are indeed sold between cruise lines, they are occasionally gutted and revamped, and if none of those are practical, then the ship is sold for scrap; six figures of steel is still worth a hefty nickel.
Next, I went to an improv show, which wasn’t bad, but reminded me that I do indeed need to go to Friday Night Faceoff again, as they’re definitely better. Even so there were a few laughs to be had; I think the cast felt heavily constrained by their required PG-rating (and probably were). After that, it was packing time, a sad feeling as I placed my unused khakis, cargo shorts, and dress shoes into my suitcase, gathered my paperwork, and laid out my clothes for tonight and for tomorrow morning.