Friday, October 28, 2011

Hawaii Cruise - Day 4

Rachel woke up about 6am and I was up just after that. Given the time change, we got about 8 hours of sleep which was plenty. I found her out on the Verandah working on her blog and decided to join her. It was overcast, but there were streaks of blue showing through the clouds, so I'm expecting another beautiful day. The air is warm and pleasant, so I really do believe that we're going to Hawaii now. Amazingly, we still have 2 days at sea before we arrive!

Hmm, where to start? We got to breakfast at our usual time in the main dining room and ate fairly lightly. Rachel went off to her various exercise classes after breakfast while I had a shower and relaxed with a bit of Sudoku. At 11:00 it was time for our hands-on cooking class. When we arrived at the Queen's Lounge, it was full of old mariners. Apparently they had double booked the room, and the 200+ days mariners were having their party. However, because this was the only kitchen setting, we were able to kick them out and move in. After they cleared away the ice sculpture, we thought we were ready to go, but there was no power to the kitchen. This eventually was remedied, and we started the class. Our teacher was once again chef Pablo, and he was really great. We divided into 3 teams to make the soup (5 onion soup), entrée (steak Diane), and desert (bread pudding). Rachel and I were on the soup team - I made the croutons and she diced onions. Most of the people in the class weren't experienced cooks, but it all got done, and we ate our creations in the Pinnacle Grill accompanied by some pretty nice Chilean wine. Chef Pablo plated our bread pudding so that it was much more elegant than we thought it would be.

The cooking class lasted nearly 3 hours, so it was a bit before 2pm when we finally got out. We had a short break and then Rachel went for her sports massage and I sat on our verandah and read. Not bad, not bad. She came back looking totally relaxed just in time for dinner. I had a decent lamb osso buco, but it wasn't anything to write home about. After dinner we came back to the cabin for a while, and realized that it was clear for the first time on the cruise. We headed up to the observation deck and enjoyed seeing Polaris at 23 degrees above the horizon (as opposed to 45 degrees from home). Jupiter was rising in the east, and Sagittarius was completely poured out, but still very far above the horizon. Very cool!

After that we headed up to the Crow's Nest to listen to Chris for a while. He always takes a break from n:45 to the top of the hour, so we thought we were safe getting there at 8:00. However, he had altered his schedule slightly and was still on break when we got there. No matter, he was back at his guitar soon enough. It is important to note that there is an invisibility cloak in the Crow's Nest, and we always seem to be in the middle of it. The spot where we sit is in full view of the bar, but the waiters completely ignore us even though we always order a club soda. Tonight was no different, but we finally did manage to place an order. A few minutes later, the waiter came out and started heading in the wrong direction with our drinks. He eventually realized that we weren't where he was going, and changed course to serve us. Very strange!

After listening to Chris for a while, we headed down to the Queen's Lounge for karaoke (to listen, not sing!). Our tablemate John was going to sing so we came out to support him. It turns out that it was really fun. There were some very good singers, and some very bad singers, but DL Brett made everyone feel like a winner and they sang "one of his favorite songs." After karaoke we popped into the piano bar briefly, but Rachel didn't really like the piano man's voice. We left after he went to take a break, and called it a night. Tomorrow is our last day at sea before Hawaii!

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