Friday, April 20, 2007

Panama Cruise, Day 2: At Sea in the Caribbean

Ahhh. Day two day started with room service on the balcony of our suite- a pot of tea, fresh melon and hot croissants while listening to classical music. It was a perfect way to greet the day while sailing through the Caribbean.

On the left is a map of the journey we are taking, sailing westward through the Panama Canal and then north to finish in Seattle. Looking at the map, its an amazing distance. I'm still in awe at how far we are going on this ship. The weather has been great so far, and the sea air is so warm and comfortable.

I spent most of the day relaxing poolside, occasionally going for a swim whenever I felt as though I might spontaneously combust. From my deck chair, I conspicuously observed the very attentive ship’s crew, who eagerly offered cocktails seemingly every ten minutes. Although I had a book in hand, I was quietly deciding on who my favorite ship crew members would be. The criteria were quite simple: Service, Looks, Smile and Personality-in that order. Surprisingly this task occupied nearly four hours, interrupted only by my occasional dips in the pool. I narrowed it down to my top four, but its still early in the cruise so no need to disqualify anyone before I start tipping heavily to my favorite select few.

After several hours of relaxing with the family in the sun, I decided to attend Traditional Afternoon Tea, held in the formal dining room. It was so elegant, miniature sandwiches (watercress, cucumber, smoked salmon, brie and walnut and cured ham), followed by English biscuits, scones and tiny eclairs. They even had clotted cream and jam for the scones, so I was especially pleased.

Afterward, I spent time exploring some of the ship’s art. While its not museum quality stuff, Princess has very tasteful works of art through the ship. These are some of my favorites:

Below: John and I relaxing in the Atrium lounge. Aside from all of its vitamins and minerals, champagne always taste even better when I'm wearing a tux.
It was formal evening for dinner, so we dressed in our tuxes and headed to one of the lounges a bit early for a glass of champagne. I enjoy seeing other people “dressed to the nines”, it’s so civilized. I chatted with several passengers and successfully managed to work in a plug for my hometown. After all as The Palm Springs Savant, it’s my duty to be an ambassador to all, especially the well-to-do with lots of vacation money to burn.

Below: The Vista Lounge, in the aft of the ship was packed with buzzed passengers ready to be dazzled by the 10:15 show. There are two full stage theatres on board, this one, and also The Princess Theatre, at the fore end.
After dinner we went to one of the theatres for a show. A chap by the name of Randy Cabral was performing a mix of comedy and juggling. At first I figured this would be one of those cheesy sage acts. He was quite good actually, and held everyone’s attention juggling knives, bowling balls and ping pong balls, all at the same time. The involved members of the audience to throw knives at him to catch, while he was jugging several other knives at the same time.

Day 2 was a splendid day, I’m actually looking forward to another full day at sea tomorrow.
-Rick Rockhill
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