Super Bowl at Sea!
Plans continually change on the ship depending on weather conditions & satellite reception. The original plan was to record the Super Bowl and play it back for passengers on a delayed basis but as it turned out, we were able to get a LIVE feed from a good satellite. Ship time at kickoff was 1:30pm, Monday afternoon. What a party! Similar to last year, the main theater was draped with a football theme, ornaments and streamers. Food included popcorn, wings, nachos, mini-burgers, chips, hot dogs, deli sandwiches & pizza. Unlimited drink packages were available at a very reasonable price. The theater was packed on both the main floor & balcony – the fan base was split fairly equally creating a very festive, competitive atmosphere! The game itself (including pre-game) was broadcast on 3 screens – one large, center screen, and two smaller screens on either side of the theater – sound system was superb and you felt as though you were actually in New Orleans at the game. The crew on the ship did a first class job! We were seated with some very good friends of ours from Tampa who were also on the cruise last year – Dr. Bill and his wife, Mary. Coincidentally, it was his birthday as well – Cheryl and I made arrangements for a cake & song during halftime – Bill’s only comment was…”Bob, you two throw a helluva birthday party!”
The only negative was that the commercials were blacked-out. We still don’t understand why but will try to get an answer. The crew filled commercial time with trivia questions, and the audience entertained themselves bouncing a huge plastic (inflated) football around the theater – was a lot of fun! We were able to watch the halftime show in its entirety which was received with mixed reactions. For me, the most moving moments were pre-game…the Sandy Hook school children singing America the Beautiful followed by the National Anthem. Despite the mix of nationalities and countries represented among our passenger base, it brought tears to my eyes when EVERYONE in the theater stood in unity when the Anthem was performed – it was very moving, and I know other people felt that same sense of unity and bond as did I. Notwithstanding cultural & ethnic differences, we are truly ONE.
We were exhausted by the time the game ended (I lost a $10 bet) and certainly had no desire to go to dinner, so we were in bed by 6:30. Clocks were set back yet another hour overnight, so we were actually retired for evening at 5:30pm – up this morning at 3:00am!
Weather forecast for today is overcast & rain, challenging seas, but expected to clear by the time we dock in Auckland at 5pm this afternoon. Very much looking forward to New Zealand!