Wanderung 25

Fall Follies

August - September 2011


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Friday, September 2nd, 2011: At Sea


After a great night's sleep I was rested and ready to go. After breakfast we attended a port lecture on Akureyi and Reykjavik, our next two ports of call, in the Princess Theater. We have found that port lectures come in at least two very distinct types: one type focuses on the officially sanctioned shore excursions and shopping available in the port, and the second type focuses on the actual history, landmarks, museums, and cultural offerings of the port. I was very happy that the port lecture for our stops in Iceland was the latter type, and we were given a lot of detailed information about the port, some of which turned out to be useful the next day.

Later in the morning a cha-cha ballroom dance class was offered, and we decided to take advantage of that. Cha-cha has a very unique, rhythmic pattern to the movements, and I was pleased that it seemed to be coming back to me as we went through the introductory lesson. Although I am no doubt rhythmically impaired, there might be some hope that I can at least cope with the music sufficiently well to dance and not trample the feet of my partner, which is my fundamental goal!

After lunch we watched a couple of the chefs make those carved fruit-and-vegetable animals that we had seen on special occasions. One made a poodle out of cauliflower heads !


A day at sea on a Princess ship means more than just lounging around. There was a port lecture to attend and after that a cha-cha lesson to participate in. The port lecture was on Akureyi and Reykjavik our next two ports of call and was very informative, especially since we planned to just walk around and get the feel of the land.

Cha-cha lesson was lead by the cruise director, Sam, a very personable young lady. She did a really nice job at first teaching the basic step and then giving us some additional steps and putting it all together into an easy choreography. And she did not bother about the odd counting in cha-cha (dancing starts on the second or forth beat of the music) just started us off. It was really a lot of fun.

When we walked past the atrium we saw people looking down onto the center. So we stopped, of course, and watched in amazed chefs creating animals out of vegetables. Really great, and we were happy that we did have our camera to snap some pictures.


We continued with another rehearsal for the passenger Pop Choir. The rehearsal went well, Val added choreography to the rest of our performance numbers and I seemed to be learning the melody lines by ear with simple repetition. Val had also dumped her I-Tunes versions of the music files on my thumb drive, but when we tried to listen to them on Baby-baby we could not find a way to make it work. The files were a format I had never encountered, and I suspected I was running into one of those basic "Mac vs. PC" differences that still plague us.


The afternoon was taken up with rehearsal for the Pop Choir. We had asked Val for a copy of the music and she did put it on a stick, but Baby-baby unfortunately did not want to play it. Oh well, we just have to keep trying to learn the songs during the rehearsal. Luckily this is long cruise with lots of sea days, so we do have time.


At dinner that evening we had another couple to fill the six seats at our table. Their names were Laurie and Janet, and they were British like Peter and Liz. They certainly seemed nice enough, but I was glad our table was the small, 6-person version as they spoke softly and I have trouble hearing folks converse at a larger table. Our conversation rambled around many odd topics, and on that night I think we discussed linguistic accents as Liz mentioned that Laurie was at one point "speaking Black". What the hey?

Liz took pity on me and explained that meant Laurie had grown up in the "Black Country", the name the English use to refer to the old coal-mining areas to the North of London, I think. Not only is there a general accent for that area, but Laurie clarified that sometimes even people living just a few miles apart in different towns where different accents had developed, would have trouble understanding each other! For the rest of the cruise, however, Laurie kept to standard English and I had some great conversations with him about such odd topics as motorcycle racing--it turns out that not only was he an old motorcycle rider but that his wife Janet had also been a riding bikes when they met!

After dinner we wandered around the ship and had our pictures taken by one of the studio photographers who was using a plain white backdrop for her setting. I was wearing black shirt and pants with a vivid Bugs Bunny tie and Monika was wearing a purple-maroon outfit, so I thought the white would be a nice, neutral background color.


Dinner with Liz, the Brigadier, Laurie and Janice was a pleasant affair and we did learn more about English and Wales.

After dinner we stopped at one of the places set up for taking photographs. Since selling photographs is one of the income producing activities on the ship, there are usually a lot of places to have your picture taken. Some people do not like it, but I feel, getting good portraits of the two of us is worth a little time, and if we don't like the pictures, we don't have to buy them and there is no sitting fee involved. The photographer we chose was quite good and we did buy on of the pictures that showed Bob's wonderful Bugs Bunny tie, and we were not too bad either.


We finished up the evening attending the champagne art auction. We brought our invitation with and were under the impression that there would be a drawing for something during the evening, but as it turned out that did not occur. Although that was disappointing, I really did enjoy seeing the rather eclectic combination of styles that were on display and up for sale. I found that I like paintings that have at least some kind of coherent central theme to them, whether realistic, impressionistic, or modern. In contrast, paintings that combined everything all over the place in a "buzzing, booming confusion" were just not my cup or tea, or more accurately my glass of champagne in this case. Afterwards we headed to bed early on the presumption that we would be up early when we arrived in port the next day and walking around for several hours to see the town.


And at the end we attended the wine and cheese (and champagne) art auction. Princess has their own art show and besides the midday auctions, they always have one evening were people can bring pictures up for auction. They also usually have a raffle and on a previous Princess cruise, we had won a nice lithograph entitled "Anniversary Song" that now hangs as the centerpiece on the wall of our dining room. This time we just enjoyed the wine and cheese and looked at all the pictures, but did not win anything.

Copyright 2012 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt


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Prolog Map of Drive in England Map of Transatlantic Cruise Epilog

August 2011
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September 2011
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