Saturday, November 14, 2009…My Equinox diary
Today was our second full day at sea and we decided to sample as many of the onboard activities as we could. So, this morning we attended a culinary demonstration in the main showroom given by the Executive Chef Steve van der Merwe from South Africa and the Head Pastry Chef Bruno.
As anyone knows who attends such an event in a huge venue, there really wasn’t much to see…but the schtick between the two was fun and it was an enjoyable hour. And I always like to take away one cooking tip from such a demonstration and this time it was about how to use truffle oil.
Soon after we attended the daily trivia contest run by Cruise Director Gary Walker. Usually held in a much larger lounge, it had been moved to the small Martini Bar so that was a bit awkward. Also, we showed up without a team…so were paired up with two women, but we were at a disadvantage as most teams consist of 5-6 people. We didn’t do very well (except I did know the maximum number of clubs in a golf bag — 14) but I can see that the trivia folks are a passionate crew and there must have been well over 120 in attendance.
After another nice lunch in the dining room (more about that below), we headed to today’s maritime lecture given by David Perry. It was about the great age of ocean liners and the 45 minutes was quite informative. It is obvious that Perry is a hit as several hundred people attended.
Then we headed back to the cabin, answered some emails on my laptop, and then began considering dinner. The days pass quickly this way.
One tip about internet use on the ship:
When you board, you buy a package of internet minutes. We bought 200 minutes for $99. You can then either use these minutes at the laptops in the online center or you can use them on your personal laptop, either in your cabin or elsewhere on the ship.
To conserve minutes, it is best NOT to answer your email online. This burns up minutes. But with your own laptop, you can go online, download your email and upload your answers and then go offline immediately. You can even take a minute or so to update your Facebook page. This way you use only a few minutes.
Then answer your email offline and upload the answers the next time you go online. I have been on the ship for nine days now and I still have about $30 credit left, which is pretty remarkable, because it takes me about 15 minutes to post this blog each day.
Tonight we ate at the Murano speciality restaurant, which serves French food. We had an excellent meal and service was superb. Three of our four ordered the dover sole and declared it perfect. For $20 a person this is an excellent dining option.
Tomorrow we eat at the Silk Harvest Asian restaurant and will probably dine again at the Tuscan Grill before the end of this cruise. The quality of the food and the presentation is so much higher than in the main dining rooms.
Who we met today:
At lunch today we met two new couples: Joan and Paul Brite and Tony and Gloria Rossomano, all from Coral Springs, Fla.
They boarded the ship in Rome, after spending three days there. They have been enjoying their cruise but offered some good observations:
1. They believe the ship needs magnifying makeup mirrors in the bathrooms. “Women our age don’t see all that well and we need those mirrors.”
2. Paul suggested that it would be very nice to have telescopes around the ship at night with star charts so we could observe the night skies.
3. Paul, a smoker, noted that there is very, very little smoking space in the bars and asks why, late at night, when some bars are mostly empty that they couldn’t open up a few tables for smokers.