Day 56, Easter Sunday, April 20, At Sea, MS Amsterdam, Formal

The Crystal Symphony is in Dalian, China. The Crystal Serenity is in Bordeaux, France.

While we gained an hour overnight I put off changing my clock, setting my alarm off at 4. With the extra hour, my walk was approaching completion when the 6AM sunrise service began. Sunrise was 5:50, still covered in clouds, but today they are thin enough that a glow showed through.

I normally worship in an Interfaith Center (IFC), a concept adopted by the developers of Columbia in a period of great ecumenical activity. Originally my congregation shared a building with several other protestant denominations and with Catholic and Jewish congregations. Most of the other tenants have moved away and it is now just us and the Catholics, along with a Hispanic Catholic group. Most of the groups still band together for a sunrise service on our local lakefront. I felt very much at home today as Pastor Don and Father Bob joined forces and a service was set up around the Lido pool, so even the water was a familiar element (although the pool was sloshing a bit heavily). I can’t say the service was packed, but it was certainly more people than I normally see at that hour. We also had our individual services in the Queens Room.

It was no holiday for the crew as we had a packed schedule of activities. The senior officers joined together for a Q&A session at 10, followed by a presentation by Tom Goltz on “Spanish Galleons, Then and Now”. When I returned from all these activities there was a box of chocolate truffles on the bed. I hope this is fleet wide and not just a World Cruise extra as fellow Cruise Critic member and choco-holic RuthC is currently on the Oosterdam.

A special Easter Brunch Buffet was set up in the dining room. This elaborate affair took up the entire center section of the dining room, leaving huge stacks of chairs in the aft exterior stairwell. The brunch opened for photos at 11 and for dining at noon. It must have been extremely popular as I waited until after the Captain’s daily report, and there was still a line to get in at 12:45. I skipped the brunch and enjoyed the very uncrowded lido.

In the afternoon Jill Eyers spoke on “Stories in Stone” exploring the things we can learn by studying rocks. I did get up for afternoon tea in the Crows Nest, soon followed by a Mariner Appreciation Cocktail Party in the Queens Room.

We had a nearly full table for our final formal night of the cruise. People on the full world cruise are starting to pack, I’m not ready for that yet with over 7 days left before Fort Lauderdale, as much as the full length of many regular cruises.

There is often a pillow gift on the bed on formal nights. We did not have one, but still there was a nice surprise as we get an extra hour tonight. I thought the last hour would come after our upcoming ports, but now that Daylight Savings Time is in effect on the East Coast we may be getting back on Eastern time. The evening entertainment was a repeat performance by the Incognito Artists.

Today’s parting shot concerns the Serenity Prayer, used by Father Bob in closing his homily. “Grant me the courage to change what I can, the grace to accept what I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference”. I used to be a fan of that prayer, but have recently soured on it. Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me fine as far as it goes but has a major omission. Why is there no mention of “The gratitude to savor what should not change”.


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