Tasman Sea. Tuesday February 15 and 16th 2011.


IMGP5343We’re both pretty well exhausted given all our ports of call in New Zealand and the amount of time we’ve spent walking around the various ports of call.  So 2 days at sea are welcomed by just about everyone on board.


We’re often asked “Don’t you get bored”; or “How can you spend 4 months together in a cabin”, or “What’s to do on board the ship”.  Let us tell you that we can NEVER be bored and there’s tons to do on board the ship and yes we can spend every minute of the day together but we’re not telling what goes on in our cabin for 4 months – you can work that out yourselves.  Enough to say that you can be as busy or take it easy as you like.  We’ve had cooking demonstrations and hands-on cooking lessons.  Gerrit attends tech sessions and helps

anyone who needs help with computers.  Pat attends a creative writing class each sea day, has a group of knitters or needle work people who get together each morning.  Night time entertainment on board the ship is just amazing.  We’ve had some fabulous singers, dancers, magicians, jugglers and we’ve had an Olympic gymnast, Lance Ringnald,  do some amazing acts for us.  We had a Belfast born, now living in Australia comedian (Paul Martell) about 2 nights ago and he was so incredibly funny.  It’s lovely to hear some of the words he used and listen to his lovely lilt. 


The days can start as early as 7am with fitness class, there’s always a travel talk on our next port of call, we have daily quizzes and Sudoku’s, there’s Wii challenges (all sports), there’s ping pong and Paddle Tennis; there’s more board games, many of which we’ve never heard off, and of course there’s always at least 6 puzzles going.  The chess set is usually in full swing with many spectators giving advise (whether needed or not).  Of course, we have our Team Trivia Challenges and the questions can be really tough.  Each day there’s always an exploration speaker examples, Dr. Robert Schrire, A professor of international relations and the Director of Policy Institute at the University of Cape Town.  He has published a dozen or more books on political and economic issues and recently directed the UNESCO project on global politics. IMGP5357Another speaker, Dan Ostler is a graduate in Biophysics from the University of Waterloo and works in the disciplines of forefront research, product design, manufacturing and marketing in modern diagnostic radiology technologies such as CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Ultrasound with the surgical applications of the NdYAG laser thrown in for good measure.  Recently we had a lady called Donna Geisler, affectionately known as the “Star Lady”.  She provided an introduction to astronomy and sky watching.  She has stargazing workshops all over the US and Europe.  She led after dark expeditions to the top of the ship and had us lay down on the loungers and helped show us stars all over the heavens.  Really neat. There’s a new speaker every couple of days so lots of education to be had. 


There’s all denominations of church service on board (catholic, protestant, Jewish) – usually mass is celebrated each afternoon.  Then we can attend digital workshops; writing courses, arts and crafts, watercolours and the list goes on and this is only in 1 day and the events change daily.  Alternative, you can take a book or your Sony reader and find a lounge chair on IMGP3404deck 3 and read or just enjoy the sea air.  Of course all of this is served with meals, teas, coffees, drinks, hot soup or sandwiches are offered on deck – so we don’t even have to get up to get something to eat.  We are just so spoilt.  In the evening ,we have a celebrity guest on board to entertain us and after that we can go dancing in the many bars on board or just twist it up with the DJ in the crows nest (floor 10).  We also have a pianist/song writer/entertainer, Diane Fast, who plays every night in the Rembrandt Lounge. Very witty, she creates a port song for every port of call. They will be online for your listening pleasure sometime after Hong Kong.


Our cabin is 156 square feet and we’re quite adept at managing to live in this little space.  After all we only sleep and use the washroom facilities there, everything else is done for us.  Our cabin is cleaned everyday by our 2 state room attendants (Eric and Aris).  Our meals are served each evening by our dining room attendants (Budi and Iful).  These guys are just amazing and we’re just spoilt.  We don’t have to do a thing.  Gosh, how are we ever going to manage when we get home. Smile

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