Friday, July 6, 2018

An Excellent Eastern Expedition! - Day 6

--An Excellent Eastern Expedition--

(Previously: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5)

Sea Day! I woke around 9, cleaned up the room, then went up for breakfast.

Afterward I went on a "behind the scenes" tour of the ship's kitchen. Lots of other people had the same idea. They had us fill out a health card beforehand, stating we were not ill. However, there were so many people wanting to take the tour, and it was so crazy, I'm sure someone could've sneaked through without filling out the card.

We were led through in groups of 20. I couldn't hear a thing our guide was saying, but I was at the back of the pack. Despite that, it was interesting to see the ship's kitchens and see the endless amounts of food being prepared.

As the tour ended, we got to ride one of the kitchen's escalators up a floor. We came out in one of the ship's specialty restaurants, Pinnacle Grill. I never dined in there, but here are some photos:

It looks like a nice place.

At 11am I went to an art auction in one of the lounges. 


First they auctioned four different things whose opening bids were in the $THOUSAND$... but not one single person bid. Then they "auctioned" "mystery paintings." People could "reserve" the chance to purchase one by raising their bid card. 

What the heck? 

After each art piece was offered, whether or not there was any interest, we were supposed to applaud for the artist. ("Yay! No one bid on your work!! Go you!")

Midway, they did a raffle for prizes (I got there too late to get a ticket, but no matter) and the prize was a big floppy straw hat with flowers on it.


Occasionally they played a video about one of the artists, so at least the event had some educational value.

Before long, the auctioneer began to talk faster and faster. Like she just wanted the whole thing to end. Now.

I did manage to pull my eyes away from the train wreck and leave before the auction was completely over. I hope I didn't miss anything.

At some point today, I bought a souvenir from one of the shops: 

Lunch #1: Pudding and a chocolate cream puff.

That afternoon I went to the main theater for a presentation about Quebec City and Montreal, the two cities we'd be visiting on the two following days. 

I was glad I went to this, because I learned a couple of good pieces of information, including the name of the pier we'd be docking at in Montreal and the fact that said pier offered luggage storage. Yesss!

After the presentation, I tried going outside and watching for whales (there had been an announcement that we were going through whale waters), but I couldn't stand being out there for long. Even wearing multiple layers and clutching a hot cocoa, I was just too cold. The ship's app said it was 53 degrees that afternoon, which isn't that cold, but remember, it was also windy. So no.

See? Everyone else agreed with me. Too cold.

Actually, about these lounge chairs. Nearly all of them were positioned outside people's porthole windows and/or sliding glass doors. You know how there are some staterooms with private balconies? Well, say you want a stateroom that can have fresh air, but you can't quite afford a private balcony. What to do? Why, you get a stateroom whose "balcony" is shared by all -- deck 6! And don't worry, the windows and glass doors are tinted, so nobody can see in (except maybe at night? Oh my goodness.)

So, when choosing a lounge chair to... uh... lounge upon, I usually made sure not to select one that was beside a stateroom's sliding door. But I also didn't want to just plop myself in a chair outside somebody's window either. This left about 8 chairs on deck that weren't in front of anything, and therefore desirable places to sit.

Not that I ever had much competition out there.

Around 2, I got some more lunch -- cheese & fruit and a pear sandwich (bread, pear, mayo & lettuce -- who comes up with these things?) Then I read. Then I napped for a few hours.

After waking, I went up to Lido for dinner: mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, fruit, and a weird salad that I didn't finish. Then some almond-orange-poppyseed cake. 

After that, I was so full, I felt rather ashamed.

One thing I realized tonight was that half of the Lido restaurant sits one floor below the ship's basketball court (the other side is beneath a tennis court). And when people are playing basketball up there, it sounds like the ceiling's going to come down into the restaurant. Noisy upstairs neighbors have nothing on this sound. It's like construction's going on. Neg points for the ship's designers.

Full marks for this guy, though...

That night, there was an event called "Chocolate Surprise" on Deck 8 at 9:30. I debated going to it and then decided YES. OF COURSE I WANT TO GO. Just before 9 I went up and claimed a seat in the lounge area. I sketched in my notebook while I waited, and, as promised, around 9:30 crew members began to bring around the chocolate. There were only 4 things offered in total, but one of them was a shot glass of liquid chocolate. 

Afterward, I decided there was a distinct possibility I would not sleep again for a long, long time.

But apparently I did, because before I knew it, it was the next morning and we were docking in Quebec City!

Find out what I did in Quebec City... next time!

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