Day 7 - At Sea
|Saturday, February 26: We slept in the tiniest bit late on our second and last day at sea. Our first order of business was to check the list of movies for the day. "How to Marry a Millionaire" is on today? Score! It wasn't until the last night of the cruise that we found the booklet containing every single movie and showtime for the entire cruise. We're morons.
|As promised, we approached Makatea Island.
|It's not very big -- you can see the entire length of the island in this shot.
|Douglas, the onboard French Polynesia expert, was at the front of the ship telling us all about the island. We listened to his broadcast out on our deck and in our cabin. At one point, while telling us that the island had only four phones, he gave us the full phone number of each one in case any of us wanted to call them.
|The island's cliffs are stark and gorgeous, ...
|... but then they give way to perfect white beaches, most likely made of broken coral.
|Several types of birds flew overhead and Douglas told us all about them. One of the types was the frigate birds that we love so much.
|We learned all about the current and past industries of the island. You can read all about it on Wikipedia, but not here.
|Coming around to the back of the island, ...
|... we saw our only trace of civilization. There are between 30 and 60 inhabitants, but we didn't see any.
|Douglas continued to narrate in his stylish capris until ...
|... we finally turned away from the island to get back on course for Raiatea.
|Next up on today's agenda: a cooking demonstration hosted by the executive chef and the maître d'.
|We ordered Diet Cokes from the beverage steward, and amazingly enough, we were served two cans. Apparently, Diet Coke cans did exist on the ship, but mysterious forces prevented the entire room service staff from producing the 12 cans we had pre-ordered.
|The cooking show was hilarious and informative.
|The executive chef showed how to make a pasta dish, caesar salad, tiramisu, and shrimp fra diavolo.
|Immediately after the show, we went on a galley tour, making one extremely long conga line leading from the Cabaret Lounge, through the room service prep area, ...
|... down the stairs (where we saw the front of the conga line coming back up the escalator), ...
|... past the dishwashers, ...
|... and the carved fruit and vegetable displays, ...
|... and the bread displays, ...
|... and the menus for the day with photos of how the entrees were to be plated.
|The daily dessert extravaganza featured a cheese cake decorated to look like a block of cheese, complete with adorable vermin. Debbie had to wait in line behind another person who was photographing the same thing.
|Since we were at sea, we took photos of the ship for your viewing pleasure. Here is the hallway on excellent deck eight that leads to our cabin at the end. The door beyond our cabin led to the officers' quarters.
|Here's a shot of the staircases, ...
|... and here is the atrium.
|Behold its magnificence and tiny size. It was nice being on a small ship, but it never felt too small.
|Here's the deck plan for the tiny ship.
|Debbie somehow bullied Tom into participating in the Marriage Show when the cruise director continued to beg for a third couple to play. It's every cruise ship's version of the Newlywed Game, except featuring old people. This photo was taken when we were on stage for the introductions.
|First, the ladies went backstage while the gentlemen answered questions. This is the female dancers' dressing room. For the second half, our husbands also came in here.
|This hallway is the male dancers' dressing room, the nice dancer told us. We ended up coming in second place to the couple who participates in this game on every cruise they attend, a little secret that the winning husband confided to Tom while backstage. Guess it's an easy way to get a free bottle of champagne on every cruise when you already know all the answers.
|We ventured into the fancy specialty dining room to try afternoon tea. To our horror, each couple that walked in was escorted to open seats at tables for 8. We left for a few minutes while Debbie tried to come to grips with sitting with total strangers just to try afternoon tea, and when we returned, we were escorted to an empty table for four. We got to enjoy tea in peace for 10 whole minutes before total strangers were seated with us, but it was enough time to wolf down some cute little sandwiches and cookies.
|At dinner, Debbie enjoyed two of her favorite things: fruity drinks and cold seafood appetizers in martini glasses.
After a surf (filet) and turf (shrimp) dinner, Debbie had Sacher Torte for dessert. Our waiter was concerned that we might not like it and asked if we had ever tried it before. It turns out that we had -- at the Hotel Sacher in Austria eight months earlier.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy