Breakfast on Lido. Tai Chi. Vantage lecture. Chris talked about the development of British interests in Africa. He finished up with Dr. Livingston I presume. Interesting story that.
Mike Millwood continued with Aussie history. First governor, prison stuff, etc.
After lunch there was a panel of crew members, including Bruce, the Cruise Director, who briefly described how they wound up here and answered questions on what life was like working on a cruise ship. Pretty interesting. I was not surprised to hear all of them praise Holland American Lines as a great employer. Things run so well and everyone is so pleasant and helpful they had to be happy campers. How they got here and how they live was interesting.
The show was a flautist named Claire Langden (I think). She was pretty good and played a wide selection of music. Not quite James Galway but she is half Irish and was inspired by him. She said she chose this type of entertaining because she got tired of playing a few bars and then resting for long periods of time at symphony concerts. She decided she would rather play more and rest in bars! Or words to that effect. We do have quite a few bars on the ship. Seven I think but I may be overlooking one or two.
Day 41 Feb 14 Thursday (Sea Day - Valentines Day)
Breakfast on Lido. Tai Chi - I was a bit late due to being lazy in bed but didn't miss much.
Vantage Discussion: The changing roles of the sexes and how we're doing. Wow! Still some dinosaurs out there in the older generation! Chris does come up with some interesting discussion topics. He does like to "wind people up" as they apparently say in Brittain.
Digital Photography class was about how to share photos. Not too much new here for me but I did learn about a website which has free music (legal) to share. It is www.freeplaymusic.com.
At two in the afternoon two of the bar bands teamed up to put on a concert of Filipino Music (most of the crew is Filipino). It was interesting.
I ran a few miles today - about time I got back to it.
Dinner was formal tonight and the dining room was beautifully decorated for Valentine's Day. I got a couple of small gifts for the single ladies at my table (I'm the only single guy). Daphne and Claire were surprised but pleased. Claire has an Epson printer which she can put her camera card into directly and brought a lot of paper for 4x6 prints and gave everyone at the table a picture of one of the orchids on the tables with the ocean outside the window in the background and Feb 14 date stamped on the pic. This was a Valentine Card. Cute idea.
The show was a singer named Annie Frances. She is Aussie but has travelled widely entertaining. She had a very strong voice and did a wide variety of music and styles including Scat, Country, Irish Folk and Yodeling! Pretty good.
The Valentine's Ball was held at 10:15 and they had cupid running around from time to time and selecting ladies who then got to choose a card and if it was a Heart they received a free bottle of champagne. Funny thing, all the cards were Hearts. Then the twelve ladies who got to draw cards were invited on stage and one of them was selected (at random by drawing cards again) to be the Valentine Queen. She received a number of gifts including some spa treatments and the use of up to $30,000 in jewelry for the next formal day from the onboard jewelry shop. It was pretty nice and we all marvel at the amount of money they must spend for all the decorations.
When I got back to my cabin there was a Valentine Gift on my turned down bed. It is a nice velour heart box which was filled with Belgian chocolates. Happy Valentine's Day All!