Saturday, April 21, 2007

Panama Cruise, Day 3: Another Full Day at Sea

There is nothing quite like a day at sea for relaxing by the pool, and reading a good book. Yesterday I had a bit more sun than I would have preferred, so I stayed out of direct sun most of the day.

After reading for a few hours in a nice shady spot, I attended an ice carving demonstration by the pool. I watched in amazement as the crew member started chipping away at a 500 pound block of ice. It was over 85 degrees outside, so he had to work fast. I learned two things about ice sculptures: 1) They use hot water to freeze a block, because it produces crystal clear ice, and 2) They use gloves to handle the ice sculpture, as the oil from bare hands results in the ice melting unevenly. Here are the photos of the ice block, which eventually evolved into a fish sculpture.
Above left: From an ice block to right: an ice fish...I think it was Nemo!
On the left is one of the friendly ship crew servers, Paul from Poland who was busy making a tropical drink for a thirsty passenger. The entire Princess crew have been exceptionally attentive and very hospitable.

Just for something different, I attend a lecture called: “The Good, the Bad and the Terrific”, by Leona Toppell. Leona is an actress who made a living as an extra in major motion pictures, public service announcements, and TV ads. She was a cute little lady who recanted numerous stories about her experience working with an impressive list of actors over the years. It was a little lame, but a nice diversion.
Later in the afternoon I attended a wine tasking, which was a nice way to spend an hour. The wines were decent enough, but I expect the “Reserve Tasting” next week to have far better wines to sample.

After dinner we went to see comedian Tony Daro. This was his second and final show on the cruise, but it was all new material and was a lot of fun. Thought this would be a good point in the cruise to share some fascinating and useless facts about the Sun Princess ship I am on:
Sun Princess Ship Info and Features
1,950 passengers
70% of outside staterooms include balconies -- 411 total
Wrap-around promenade deck
24-hour buffet/bistro with 270-degree view over bow
4-story atrium lobby with ocean views
Two showroom theatres
Spa with ocean-view gym
Sports court
Four swimming pools
Bay view listening library
Premium steakhouse
Wine and caviar bar, patisserie
Hamburger grill, ice cream bar, pizzeria, wine and caviar bar and patisserie
Computerized golf center
Lavish casino, gallery of shops, business center

Tomorrow (Sunday) we arrive in Aruba, so it should be a fun day.
-Rick Rockhill
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