Saturday, February 15
Today I was able to carry out my plan for yesterday. I awoke at 9:40 and was sitting by the pool by 10:20. It was really windy but hot (about 84F/29C). I swam for awhile and then had a cheeseburger and fries from the Lido grill. Two hours in the sun is still about my limit so at 12:30 I came back and sat on my balcony (out of the sun) for about 30 minutes while Shirley (my stewardess) finished cleaning my room.
There is a port presentation a few days before arrive at each port. Besides telling about the shore excursions Cunard offers, Gavin (the port presenter) tells some of the customs, history, money, location of important places, etc. Watched the presentation for Tonga before getting ready for Needlework/Knitting group. There were very few present today probably because the theatre was showing The Butler. I wanted to see the movie but have a hard time sitting in a dark theatre when it is so beautiful outside.
My "something different" for tonight was lamb curry. I was expecting it to be spicy like the chicken curry but it was not. I actually liked the lamb. After dinner I planned to go to the show but we finished early so I stopped in the casino. I won $1.52. The show tonight was a magician. I left after about 30 minutes. Sitting on the balcony watching the moon and stars was much more interesting.
I received a special invitation to a jewelry auction by the same company that did the auction the other day. A chance to own "certified pieces owned by ... Elvis Presley" among other things. One invitation I will not accept!
Tonight around midnight we will cross the Equator (the water will go down the drain counter-clockwise) and it will officially be summer.
Sunday, February 16
Another beautiful morning and I was sitting by the pool by 10. There was far less wind today. I swam in the pool twice and sat out until 12:30. Once again sat on the balcony while Shirley worked on my stateroom. Changed clothes and then to the Lido for a quick lunch before the big Equator ceremony.
Not sure about the origins, but cruise ships at least put on a "Crossing the Line" ceremony. Those who have never crossed the Equator are called "polliwogs" and are judged by King Neptune. They are always found guilty of the charges brought against them and then punished be having to kiss a fish and get slimed by all kinds of colorful gunk. Afterwards they are thrown in the pool (which has to be drained and cleaned afterwards). It was fun to watch and the captain as well as a select few passengers (I heard too many signed up and they had to draw for who actually went through the ceremony) and all the polliwog crew were "punished" and then became shellbacks. Standing in the sun, however, burned my cheeks and nose and I am piling on the aloe lotion.
It was time for Needlework/Knitting group after the ceremony. Only seven present today. After a quick stop for more aloe I decided to sit in the Commodore Club which has the most beautiful views, especially in the late afternoon. Splurged on a Pepsi. The free lemonade in the Lido is good but I am feeling a bit overdosed on it. I am considering getting the soft drink package for the Sydney to Tokyo segment. It is one of the shortest segments and I can decide if the variety is worth the cost or go back to the lemonade.
Some of my Cruise Critic friends came by and we talked for awhile. One of my dinner companions came over and said our wine tasting party date was changed to today so I had to excuse myself to get ready (another formal night). Six of us got together and tasted two different wines. It was then time for dinner and again we had a lot of laughs. No show for me tonight although I did stop to watch the Neptune's Ball. It was actually to hot to sit out on my balcony at 11 pm!
King Neptune and his "lovely" Queen
Captain Clark before being dunked
Captain Clark after being dunked