A day at sea, Thursday 27th February

The clocks changed overnight, we added 1 hour to Uruguayan time, not too sure why as it reverts back when we return to Argentina, ships time normally stays the same unless travelling East/West. Anyway instead if waking up at 0800hrs it was 0900hrs, no difference as Breakfast in the Ocean Cafe goes on ’till 1130hrs.

Following on from yesterday’s cursory look at future cruises, after some thought and discussion, we went back to the sales office, this time with the Far East cruises in mind. They gave us many alternatives, all priced including the inevitable “book now for discount” prices and they all looked very inviting! We will give it a lot of thought over the next few days; watch this space.

With the late start to the morning and the time in the sales office brought us to our first lecture in the theatre. I was looking forward to this one, it was given by the Chief Engineer and all about what makes this Ship move. It was a fascinating talk but unfortunately the Chief Engineer was not very good at presenting, Christine left after about 5 minutes, though I stayed ’till the end. The Propellers are fixed to two pods hanging below the stern linked to an electric motor. These pods can rotate 360 degrees and naturally make this Ship very manoeuvrable in Port etc. there are also 3 bow thrusters so “parking” her into a tight berth is easy peasy. The Electric power generated to supply the these drives comes from two massive gas turbine and one huge Diesel engines. There are also back up emergency generators if needed. One thing I have noticed throughout this voyage is the total lack of vibration and engine noise, I now know why!

We had time to collect a tea/coffee before returning to the theatre to listen to the Argentinian Ice Pilot aboard. He has recently retired from the Argentinean Navy where he was the Captain of their Ice Cutter, so knows these waters and the ice flows very well. Thanks to him we penetrated right into Paradise Bay, many cruises don’t get right into this area, He also recounted a remarkable rescue he was involved in of a German Cargo Vessel caught up in, and stranded by winter ice. Apparently any vessel travelling south within the Antarctica Circle, has to carry sufficient supplies for up to a year, just in case they get frozen in.

Next was “dancing with Officers” where 10 officers and 10 guests have a dancing competition. I think this was probably the funniest show of the 15 days, hardly anyone could do a dance step, there had been no rehearsals and the dance tunes came out of the blue. 6 were eliminated in the first two rounds then the four remaining couples were judged by the audience. Probably the best of them one, but one couple gave the most impressive entertainment, but it was a dance competition.

A cup of tea and cake then back to our stateroom for a rest before dinner; tonight is our third formal night, so hopefully we can fit our frocks and suits and participate. We have booked the USS United States restaurant again for tonight, perfect service, perfect food, perfect atmosphere.

After showering and changing we went to the theatre for the last production show, “I Broadway” ; again this was a very slick show with many changes of costumes frenetic dancing and numerous Broadway Hits. We both have to agree the standard of entertainment in these evening shows is second to none.

We skipped the Martini Bar tonight, as we were hungry, would you believe that? Though we were half an hour before our booking, they had a table by the window waiting for us. Tonight we decided against the Chateaubriand, after all we had enjoyed it twice before! So Christine opted for the Dover Sole whilst I enjoyed the rack of lamb, again great food though tonight we were let down by our wine waiter, we must have offended him the previous occasion as he made us wait whilst serving other tables who had arrived after us; I had something to say, we then got the service we had been accustomed to, but not with the wine waiter, his boss!!!! We were determined to go the full hog and manage all 4 courses tonight and we did but waddled out with our tummies about to explode: Oh dear tomorrow we have to suffer a Brunch!!!!!

We went up to the Constellation lounge in time to have a laugh at the Celebrity Infinity’s take on of Mr & Mrs, three couples from newly weds to long timers, very funny! When the Disco took over we took our leave and off to bed walking through the Casino, this was the only time in our 14 days aboard we saw it busy!

Tomorrow we are in Montevideo, should be fun.

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