Since leaving Pitcairn, the weather has been warm, but overcast with sporadic tropical rain. We were advised yesterday afternoon that there’s a Typhoon north of us – (I believe Gary or Gaary) – we are expected to experience some of the effects, but when and to what extent is not known at this point. To date, with the exception of a couple challenging days after leaving Lauderdale, sea conditions have been near perfect.
For those of you on the World Cruise last year, here are some observations for you. The average age of the passengers this year is much younger – could be a function of the improved economy? The sail away parties are all well-attended by the aft pool. Last year we had a few decent turnouts, but this year it’s elbow-to-elbow…very lively crowds! Happy hour in the Ocean’s Bar is full everyday – last year we had about a dozen regular folks and it’s now tenfold – great fun, but service is slow. Speaking of service, the atmosphere in the Lido isn’t as personable as it was last year. Ron & Widi are still as friendly as ever in the morning, but the new cooks, although competent, don’t smile too much – most of them are new. Overall, it’s still a good experience – it just doesn’t compare favorably with last year. With less than one month into the trip, we (the passengers) still have time to train them!! Smiles often beget smiles – works both ways! Good Morning Amsterdam is filled to capacity each morning, as are all the game sessions, trivia, & Wii. The casino is constantly busy, though we don’t gamble. Last year I had a soggy $10-bill in my pocket left over from a rainy shore excursion – dropped it on a blackjack table, doubled my money and quickly cashed-out! Haven’t been back since! Stage entertainment is superior to last year, with the exception of one act, so far. Bottom line this year, I think the somewhat younger folks are keeping things pretty active. I believe they told us our average age last year was 76 – we’ve heard nothing official but if I had to guess, I’d estimate 65. Funny…twenty years ago I would have said “that’s old!” Amazing to me – most of the folks around 65 are in excellent physical condition – much better than me, but then, I have five years to catch up to them! The dynamics may change once we arrive in Auckland as I understand we’re losing approximately 300 passengers and picking up 200 – I’ll update those numbers once verified.
Most recent news on Typhoon Gaary is that it’s about 450 miles west of Bora Bora (our stop next Tuesday) heading southeast at roughly 13 mph. We should miss the bulk of this storm, but have been warned of potentially high seas a few days from now.
I have FINALLY tied Cheryl in Rummy – 11 games each!