Day 45-46 - At Sea
|Thursday, November 23, 2023: We mixed it up a bit for breakfast this morning, with Tom getting French toast and Debbie getting muesli with pineapple. We didn't mess with the Diet Cokes though. We aren't savages.
|LEGO Debbie and Tom want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
|There was a suggestion on the Facebook group for this trip that we all put out our No Thanks signs on our cabin doors today so that our cabin stewards can have the day off.
|How many holiday decorations are on this ship? Is there an inflatable Easter bunny somewhere in the hold?
|We were headed to the Lido Pool to see the towel animal display. We assumed that there would be four or five, but no more than ten, towel animals for people to look at. Instead, the entire pool area was filled with them.
|There were swans, mice, turtles, ...
|... pigs, elephants, lobster, ...
|... birds, crabs, and other animals that we couldn't identify.
|There was a crew coverall stuffed with towels smoking a cigarette, ...
|... and another large one in a suit, ...
|... and one more drinking a beer. Clever.
|One of the tables was covered with multi-color mice, ...
|... and the whirlpool deck was covered with big and little turtles (and a monkey and an elephant).
|A giant dog-man headed to the pool for a swim.
|This plaid crocodile made from promenade deck blankets had a swan in its mouth.
|Camels! Towel camels!
|It was interesting to see how the same animal looked different depending on which color towels were used.
|A pool towel cobra loitered in one of the planters around the pool.
|Towel monkeys hung from hangers all over the front of the pool area.
|When we got back to the cabin, Tom took the LEGO set that we'd bought in Durban down to Guest Services so that it could be added to the donations for the Bernhard Nordkamp Center in Namibia.
|That's South Africa out there.
|At 11:30 AM, we were back at the Lido Pool for the charity silent auction. There were a bunch of watercolor cards for the auction that had been made on board in the art room, ...
|... and some unique items made by the crew. Debbie place a bid on the mask worn by the cruise director, Ian, during the masquerade event earlier in the cruise.
|We passed on Potato Delights, ...
|... and opted instead for a Taste of Singapore.
|At 2:00 PM, there was a Questions and Answers event with Captain Friso in the World Stage. We got there plenty early and took seats in the balcony by the stage.
|It was hosted by the cruise director, Ian. The captain was as funny in person as he is over the daily announcements. He gave very direct and honest answers to all of the questions, ...
|... including Tom's question about how often they have to leave guests behind in port. The entire audience laughed when he asked the question. The short answer was that they try really, really hard not to but some times they have to.
|We went directly from the Q&A session to the main dining room for the special Thanksgiving Afternoon Tea.
|The card at the table welcoming us to tea reminded us to save room for dinner later on tonight. That's a great idea, ...
|... but with this many delicious treats, it's going to be hard.
|There was the usual tower, ...
|... and we started at the bottom layer. There was a baguette crostini with turkey salad and cranberry jelly, a sandwich with roasted eggplant and white bean on whole wheat, and another sandwich with salmon, cucumber and dill cream on white bread.
|The middle layer was two scones and one muffin. One of the scones was a raisin scone, the other was plain, and the muffin was banana, maybe. There was very little documentation for this layer.
|The top layer was a pistachio cookie, a chocolate caramel pecan cupcake, a pumpkin cheesecake, and a tart that was missing its documentation.
|We were experiencing fairly large waves known as Cape Rollers. One side effect of the waves was that the wake was quickly erased.
|Thanksgiving dinner was in the main dining room.
|The menus were decorated with the Thanksgiving theme.
|Looking good, Tom.
|Looking good, Debbie.
|The rolls had little marzipan stems that transformed them into pumpkins.
|For starters, Debbie had the escargot bourguignonne which came with the most adorable little piece of French bread, ...
|... and Tom had the roasted pumpkin soup, served tableside as all soups in the dining room are.
|For the main course, Debbie had the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, which came with Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots, corn, cranberries, candied sweet potatoes, and apple-sausage stuffing. Or more accurately, a single Brussels sprout, a single sweet potato slice, and a single carrot, which was just fine with Debbie - less to scoop onto Tom's plate.
|Tom chose the honey-baked ham, which came with green beans, sweet potato mash, cornbread dressing, and pineapple chutney.
|Very large waves kept the dining room rolling and it was fun to see the size of the waves through the windows.
|Dessert was chocolate pecan and walnut pie for Debbie, ...
|... and apple and pear pie à la mode for Tom. There wasn't actual ice cream so we may be a little confused about what à la mode meant here.
|We were also presented with a tray of mini desserts.
|Back in our cabin, our stewards had already been there, leaving a towel animal and fancy chocolates for us, along with tomorrow's program.
|Since we were now headed west, sunsets were happening in front of the ship.
|The city lights of a South African city were visible on the horizon when we went to sleep.
|Friday, November 24, 2023: After a breakfast in our cabin of French toast for both of us, we went out on the balcony and surprisingly encountered some sprinkles, likely from those dark clouds behind us, ...
|... but by late morning the Bundlings Weather Luck had prevailed.
|After thinking long and deliberately about what to have for lunch, ...
|... we both realized that we really wanted salads. Don't worry though, there's meat in both salads. We haven't gone over to the dark side.
|While we were eating our greens, Debbie pointed out at the ocean and tried to get Tom to see the sea otter that should have been somewhere in this photo if she had reacted in time.
|Back on our balcony, we encountered very tired moths resting in various places that were out of the wind. We found this one when we pulled Tom's foot rest out from under a chair.
|It was time for the South African Pringles taste test. The Chilli Tangy Prawn chips, on the left, were good but spicy. The Fruit Chutney chips, the small can on the right, were better than plain, but only just. The limited edition Sizzling Mmmeat Lovers Pizza were surprisingly the best eat-them-at-any-time chip.
|The most diabolical thing showed up in our afternoon mail: a Holland America Journeys booklet. It's a sticker passport, but for collecting the itineraries that you've completed on Holland America cruise line. If you know us, you know that this is both a fantastic and cruel thing at the same time. Debbie immediately peeled off the itinerary stickers and pasted them in the book.
|We had burgers from the Dive-In for dinner. We realized that they cannot serve a burger without cheese or Dive-In sauce, no matter how you ask them to remove them. Luckily, cheese and Dive-In sauce are delicious, even if they are unwanted.
|Apparently, there's New Soap Day on long voyages. We were surprised to find the partially-used soap at each of our sinks gone and new unopened boxes of soap in their places.
|It was the day after Thanksgiving, when everyone gets out their holiday decorations. Even LEGO Debbie and Tom got into the spirit and decorated their habitat.
|At 6:30 PM, we headed down to the atrium on decks one through three for the Holiday Cheer event, ...
|... and to watch Ian run the Polar Express model train.
|Crew came around with glasses of spiced punch for everyone. Cheers!
|We found five moths resting in the slats of our table, including these two spooning. All of them were gone by the morning.
|This was our last sunset viewed from the Indian Ocean.
|At 8:30 PM, we were dressed warmly and out at the Sea View Pool for stargazing with the ship's Navigation Team. It had been cool today, only reaching the upper 60s throughout the day, which was a very pleasant change.
|While the navigation officer had everyone gathered on the starboard side of the ship, we headed to the port side for to look for the Southern Cross. Here's a shot with a short exposure, ...
|... and here's a much longer exposure. Way more stars are visible in the larger version. We grew weary of the cold and our fellow passengers and went back to our balcony, ...
|... where we were able to see the lighthouse blinking on Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point on the African continent.
|Just before bedtime, we changed the direction indicator on the LEGO magnet that shows our position on the Africa wall map. We had rounded Cape Agulhas and were now heading northward toward Cape Town.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy