The Crystal Symphony is at sea from Yangon, Myanmar to Andaman Islands, India. The MS Amsterdam is at sea from Mahe, Seychelles to Port Louis, Mauritius.
The morning sky was relatively clear. The moon was still bright but was now noticeably smaller than the last 3 days. A big band of clouds was near the horizon but there was just enough space at the bottom of the band for the rising sun to peek through. I think Serenity and I are starting to fit together. At the end of my walk I go up to the lido cafe, generally for coffee and skim milk. I was just approaching the counter today as Lido Steward Mel brought my skim milk up to the counter.
The Morning Show with Rick and Stacey always features a trivia segment and questions always draw very fast responses. I finally got through today although my answer was wrong (The country for the second lowest body after the Dead Sea, I guessed Libya while the answer was Somalia). In my Serenity cabin I am usually at the desk on my computer and the telephone is at the opposite corner of the room, somebody has usually already called. I finally made it and must remember next time to take the TV remote and mute the sound before my call is answered. One thing that has been a joy this cruise has been getting copies of menus. On the first day I asked my Stewardess Edisa for them and without fail they have been delivered each sea day well before lunch.
Today’s Crystal Visions presentations were both in the morning. It was the first lecture for Rob Caskie, “South African History”, going back through the story of the last 1200 years. “Nelson Mandela and the making of today’s South Africa” was Ambassador Tony Leon’s final and to me finest lecture. As a 3rd party political leader and rival to both F W DeClerk and Mandela his passionate tribute to both of his rivals was riveting and inspiring.
In his noon update Captain Vorland reported that we appeared to be in good shape to make Durban on time with 3 generators, and that the nearest land was the Island of Reunion that we had passed about midnight. He indicated there was a low pressure system in the forecast and there might be 15-foot swells on Saturday.
Crystal Visions had the afternoon off but there was no shortage of activities. At 2 we had a pair of crew World Cruise Games events. There were about 8 teams entered in the crew tug of war from the deck team to housekeeping and front desk. While the deck crew fought valiantly the final was between the galley and the wait staff. The waiters captured the title with my senior waiter Petar taking a critical role in the victory. That was followed by the “Slippery Pole” where a greased pole (about 1 foot diameter) was placed over the pool with rivals approaching from opposite sides with a large medicine ball trying to knock their opponent into the water. Both events were great fun. Other World Cruise Games were in Shuffle Board, Table Tennis (With Art from Art and Ellie of the Crystal Cruise Critic forum participating) and Paddle Tennis.
I had just about enough time to get up to Afternoon Tea before going down to the Crystal Dining Room for a 4:30 Galley Tour. I’ve seen Symphony’s galley several times but I think this is the first for Serenity’s. Today’s Reflections had a lengthy article on the various latitude milestones on the globe including the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn today at 5:03PM.
It was the 3rd of 4 formal (Black Tie Optional) nights and table 102 was once again full with one of the Ambassador Hosts (George) joining us. That was followed by the Crystal Society Party in Palm Court where I wore my new double diamond pin for the first time. Guests were recognized starting with 80 cruises (I was included in the 24 celebrating their 20th cruise) and Sales Consultant Paula Jean Pfitzer was recognized for 15 years with Crystal.
The evening entertainment was Rocket Man, a tribute to Elton John (played by Jonathan Kane), supported by the Galaxy Orchestra, Astoria String Quartet, and the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers. We also gain an hour tonight as we get closer to South Africa.
As today’s parting shot I love a story told by Ambassador Leon in his talk. He was describing some of the rivalry between his party and Mandela’s with Mandela calling Leon’s party a Mickey Mouse Party and Leon responding calling Mandela’s the Goofy party. Months later Leon was in the hospital prepping for surgery and there was a knock on his door with Mandela dressed as Goofy wishing a successful surgery. Rivals caring for each other, what a wonderful idea.