(Today’s coffee special is a hazelnut latte)
ABOARD THE SEABOURN ODYSSEY – We have now had several days at sea on board the Odyssey and life is falling into sort of a pattern. People are involving themselves in all sorts of activities – or not – depending on their interests.
One fact we have already learned is that lots of these passengers book these crossings every year. In fact, the cruise sales specialist already appears to be busy signing up folks now. Two days ago they left a flyer in our cabin featuring the four transatlantic trips on the Odyssey and Quest in 2017-18 and offered 5 percent off if you book onboard.
Facts: There are 406 passengers on board (capacity 450), including 58 holdovers from the previous cruise. Of that total, 288 are Seabourn Club members (that is, past passengers) and 109 are new to Seabourn.
I don’t think we have met any of those new people. Everyone we have encountered have sailed on Seabourn before, most many times. They are a very loyal group. But they do compare notes and discuss the other players in the ultra-luxury cruise market, notably Silversea and Regent and sometimes Crystal. Many are also discovering Viking Ocean Cruises.
But back to activities on board: There are three lecturers, two comedians and a bridge teacher who provide entertainment. There are singers, dancers, musicians a concert pianist and lounge piano players. Of course, the cruise director David E. and assistant Ross run that show … and they also lead the daily Trivia session, attended by well over 100 passengers.
The schedule of activities is pretty much the same every day but there have been a couple of distinctive events:
The executive chef, Tomasz Borucki, gave a fairly hilarious culinary session where he joked about everything from the slow internet to indigestion. He prepared Seafood Cioppino and Amaretto-flavored Tiramisu and after served samples, prepared in the kitchen, not onstage!
Assistant cruise director Ross Roberts performed a pre-dinner show last night to a packed lounge and had the audience pumping their fists to “Sweet Caroline” and enjoying his jokes about a Chinese karaoke bar back home in Nottingham.
Lecturer Paul Deegan had a more somber tale to tell. After becoming embroiled in the 1996 mountain-climbing disaster on Mount Everest, he returned to climb the mountain eight years later. His personal story was harrowing enough, but yesterday they showed the movie “Everest” based on the book by Jon Krakauer about that ill-fated expedition and Paul answered questions after. Strong stuff, but riveting.
Of course, there are lots of people reading and napping, the usual pasttimes of days at sea. And then there are all the wonderful meals.
More on that tomorrow.
Photos by Cynthia Boal Janssens