Friday, November 6, 2009

09th October 2009-- at Sea

Extract from the Deck Log

Throughout the course of the day, Ruby Princess continued to transit southeastwards through the Adriatic Sea towards the Strait of Otranto and into the northern part of the Ionian Sea. At 11:36 we altered course to 222 degrees where we rounded the "heel of Italy" after maintaining this track for 165.2 nm we set a northwesterly heading and set up our approach into the Messina Strait.

We boarded the Pilot for Messina at 20:50 at a speed of 19.5 knots and carried out the 40 mile transit navigating through the heavy traffic passing Sicily on our port side and the Italian mainland on our starboard side. We then disembarked our Pilot at 21:15 then increased our speed to meet our 0600 ETA to Naples.

Venice to Naples- 816 Nautical miles- average speed 20.8 knots

If you don't find that interesting, maybe over the course of the rest of the cruise postings you'll learn to skip the italicized stuff, hmmmmm?

Land Ho! Since we were on the starboard side, I guess that's the Italian mainland. Going out to the balcony upon waking became the daily ritual, not always terribly informative sometimes. More informative was the TV channel that showed a map with our current position marked. We were late rising today. Last night saw dinner in one of the restaurants, visits to clubs on board, karaoke singing, and ordering pictures for today's class. Did I mention how fortunate I was in roommate roulette? Janet R., hereinafter referred to as Roomie Janet, is fabulous! She is so sweet and fun-loving (requisite for hanging with me). I was a bit anxious signing on for 18 days in a stateroom with someone I had never met, but it couldn't have worked out better. I love the woman!

We hit the breakfast buffet at 11:00, and then we went down to pick up our pictures. Surprise! The kiosk we had used to order pictures was not plugged in to send anything to the printer. Four of us taking the class had no pictures to work from. Travel agent Vicky (need a good travel agent? I can make a recommendation.) sought out the manager to pitch a ring-tailed fit-- said we should get them for free. We gathered our materials and headed for deck 18, the Skywalker Lounge (and me without my lightsword). Janet did a lovely demonstration, and I tried to behave myself. But Carl pointed out some dolphins doing the dolphin thing beside the ship-- had to watch them. Then came time to set pastel to paper. I did have one pastel drawing under my belt before the cruise. Expect great things, huh? What to do, what to do....hmmmmmm.... I sketched in some buildings, started the sky, decided I didn't like the buildings, made them go away.... Better luck next time.

I headed back down to do some balcony sitting before dinner. Vicky called and said to go down to pick up my pictures. Too late for class, but, hey, I wanted 'em! They weren't free, but half price. I should have ordered more. Who knew?

Back up to the room to get ready for dinner-- formal night. Ughh... I hate dressing up! And the food! Too fancy! No, I don't like wine. No, I don't want fancy-schmancy appetizer followed by soup/salad. Forgot my reading glasses, so I couldn't quite make out the menu descriptions, especially since they were printed in gold on beige with low lighting. Anyway, I have decided that if a five-year-old would like it, it's my kind of food. I opted for pork roast, mashed potatoes, some kind of apple sauce, and then, just to ruin the whole thing, cooked red cabbage. I am not eatiing THAT! Well, just the meat that didn't get cabbage-corrupted and the potatoes. Chocolate sundae with some microscopic cookies with a far bigger name for dessert.

Afterwards, we came across the Captain's Champagne Party. Weirdest thing I've ever seen-- a whole bunch of champagne glasses with a cherry in each stacked in a pyramid. With musical accompanyment, people would climb some stairs so they could reach the top to dump champagne from a bottle onto the pyramid of glasses. Other folks took pictures. WEIRD! Very Titanicesque.

Next, we went to see a magician perform, got there relatively late, got seated on the side that didn't evidently register on the performer's consciousness, and saw very little presditigitation. Off to bed. Docking in Naples, meeting Mike and Janet, etc. at 8:00 A.M. Off to the Isle of Capri on a hydrofoil! Adventure awaits!