Day 55, Saturday, April 19, At Sea, MS Amsterdam

The Crystal Symphony is in Tianjin (Beijing), China. The Crystal Serenity is at sea from Southampton, England to Bordeaux, France.

The cloudy weather continues with the sun only being really visible for a while through some broken clouds midday. It was another day of mixing my morning walk with laundry. I did not actually finish the walk until nearly 8, first with the laundry room detours and then hanging around the TV. I missed the Captain’s Good Morning Amsterdam interview and saw most of it on TV, but missed one story while brushing my teeth. Finally, about 7:30 I caught up with his tale of a fire on a cargo/passenger vessel off Ascension Island and being adrift for 3 days in open lifeboats in shark infested waters. Fortunately, everybody was fine except for one sailor who broke his leg going from the lifeboat to the Ascension pier.

It was a typically busy morning. Protestant devotions were well attended but there were a few empty seats. The day’s lectures were “Volcanoes of the Caribbean” by Jill Eyers and Tom Goltz on Bartolome de las Casas, a 16th century defender of the native people of the Caribbean. When I returned to my room there was a ribbon and medallion on my bed commemorating my 100th day on HAL.

The highlight of the day was the 3PM Filipino Crew Show. Mostly a showcase of Philippines culture, there was one number that I couldn’t fit into that mold. One of my favorite shows on the Crystal Symphony is Diva starring Karen Grainger. (See entry for March 4). She does impressions of many singers, including “On My Own”, a duet between Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald. As the song goes between parts she turns around, flips her hair into a slightly different style, and raises or lowers her voice to match the singer she is imitating. Beverage attendant Nestor did something very similar with a song “Forever”. His costume had a business suit on one side and a long, red dress on the other, and as he went between parts he brought the appropriate part of the costume to face the audience and went into a falsetto voice if needed. I didn’t see the connection to Philippine culture but he was spectacular and brought the house down. The other special highlight of the show as always was the Tinikling (Bamboo Dance). I arrived a half hour early to snag a (not very good) seat and there were people seated on every available ledge and many standing.

My fellow blogger Pat is on her feet again, but was not at dinner tonight as several of my tablemates were in Canaletto. The evenings entertainment was Irish Soul, the Amsterdam Singers and Dancers only production show this segment. Cruise Director Gene Young came out to introduce the show wearing a large bunny hat. It’s a bit difficult to judge an entertainment team based on a single show but I’ll try. I think my expectations started out quite low since most of my tablemates seem not to like them, and I was just moderately pleasantly surprised. The team consists of 5 singers and 4 dancers. I think the dancers were far better than the 2 female “bookends” from recent R and S class cruises, interacting in ways that they just couldn’t, but Alex and Natasha from the Prinsendam were superb and just a notch above these 4. The singers were fine, but I didn’t relate to them as much as I did on the Prinsendam or the Veendam. Part of that may be that they performed so rarely to avoid repetition on the World Cruise but they just didn’t click with me. Still, I enjoyed the show.

Debby Bacon in the Piano Bar teamed up with her husband Ron on the guitar for tonight’s shows. We gain another hour tonight which I think brings us to Barbados time, with only one more hour to gain in the final week.

Today’s parting shot is a simple one. A blessed Easter to all who celebrate it.


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