After another night of rock and roll, which we both surprisingly managed to survive with a fair bit of sleep, I woke early. Not intentionally, but unlike Sue who paid fastidious attention to all shipboard announcements I hadn’t re-set my watch back yet another hour. To compound this I ventured onto the balcony at the same time that the bow broke through what must have been a rather big wave and a spray of cold mid Atlantic mist washed away any lasting residue of sleep. brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Now refreshed and soon after warmed by our internal shower we both dressed and decided on one of the self-service restaurants for breakfast. The one we have been frequenting has been waiter serviced and it has the advantage that the portion size have been determined by someone other than myself. Today I fell into the trap of over indulgence, and didn’t feel better for it! Over coffee we chatted to a couple who had links with education, so you can guess what the conversation was about.

It is worth a mention about the hygiene regulations on board. The inaugural speech from the captain welcoming us on board was mostly focused on personal hygiene, pointing out the necessity of hand washing and the touching of surfaces in passing on germs etc. He spent a great deal of his speech on this subject, much to the unease of those passengers around us, particularly when he discussed the prevalence and unpleasantness of Nora-virus. Besides there being electric hand wash machines at the doorways to each section of the ship, directly situated behind each one are two crew
members with sprays to squirt a blob of alcohol onto the hands of those that failed to spot them. They take no prisoners. On a circumnavigation of the ship your hands are quite likely to become intoxicated and prone to pick up random food items. I fear that when I return home I shall have to book mine into re-hab and place the rest of myself on a carb’ free diet.

After breakfast Sue and I sat in the lounge at the front of the ship and watched huge waves smash themselves on to the deck. Very spectacular. Fingers crossed, we hope the bow continues to win its battle against the elements, but after watching the film in Southampton, I am not quite so sure!

Up to lunch time we were very busy. We took in first a seminar on the sights of New York, than after coffee we attended an excellent lecture by Ellen Baker ‘Working and living in Space’, who was three times an astronaut on the now retired Space Shuttle. We followed this by another coffee and a further lecture on ‘New York and the American Civil War’. Sue then visited the market in the Queens Room on deck 10.

We met up again in time for lunch. We chose one of the buffet restaurants and shared a table with a couple from Bridlington celebrating their Silver wedding Anniversary. After finishing this section of the cruise in NY they then board another one to the Bahamas (very nice). She was suffering from sea-sickness and had spent the last couple of days confined to their cabin.

After lunch we watched the film ‘Paranoia’. I thought it was fairly good, but Sue fell asleep halfway through so I guess it didn’t hold her interest sufficient enough to stay awake. We attempted to attend a lecture on, ‘A Journey through Time’ the subject of which was the history of clocks. I say attempted, as the lecturer needed the attention of one of the ship’s IT technicians. First he had difficulty in cloning the laptop onto the projector, then he didn’t seem to understand the Macafee was blocking the file he wanted, when he eventually worked that out and brought up the PowerPoint presentation, he had no idea how to start it. I could have chipped in and pointed out a few obvious errors he was making, but British reserve prevented me from doing so. Having watched these shenanigans (he was an Irishman called Breenan Sheeney) for half an hour and then witness him starting to boot up the system again we called it a day and left, before I lost the will to live. You could say it was a waste of time. A refreshing drink of fruit juices followed with a return to our cabin and a read of our books until dinner, was our next and more successful activity.
Dinner was informal, but it still meant jacket, shirt and tie. The meal as usual was lovely, and so far I have finished off each meal with a substantial cheese course, though this time Sue seems to have acquired her sea-legs and she made it to the cheeses with me. We ate with our usual table partners and afterwards watched the show in the theatre. The act was a pianist from Manchester. She had a wicked sense of humour, quite glamorous and of course played the piano rather well. She played a lot of Gershwin, who is not my cup of tea though I did enjoy a certain song from Casablanca.

We finished off the evening with coffee and further reading of our books. In my case that is Biggles.

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