Monday, February 9, 2015 - Day 6
For the first time on a ship, our room is as cool as we desire without engineering spending time in our cabin. The bed is comfortable and we sleep very well. The sea was delightfully bumpy last night and we always sleep well when there is some rocking and rolling. Dick is up about 6:30AM with the sun obviously up judging by the light coming in around the blackout curtains.
Coffee is calling and the Café Carinthia does specialty coffees and sells a coffee card; ten for $38.53. Not a deal but something less than the regular price and Dick only wants one per day. Two cards should get him to Australia, maybe. With full coffee mug in hand, life is better and Dick heads for the Lido to see what it is like for breakfast. As a rule, we don’t to buffets but this Lido is well laid out and inviting. It will do in a pinch.
Breakfast is served from 8-9:30AM and we arrive at 8:30AM and are seated with a couple from a small town north of Brisbane and a couple from Bozeman, Montana. The folks from Montana just have some juice and move on but we enjoy a visit with the Aussies and some of their traveling companions join us for a very pleasant visit. Both of us order grapefruit juice and Eggs Benedict.
Carolyn then heads for the port presentation on Honolulu while Dick goes to trivia. Next is the first part of a lecture series. Today the topic is how Hawaii came to be and is very good with lots of slides and a good talk. We are looking forward to the rest of the talks.
To round out the morning, we go to the Cruise Critic gathering which is a non-event but Carolyn talks at length with a lady she met on the CC discussion boards. It is now 12:45PM and time for lunch. We join a table with two other couples; one from Germany and the other two elderly sisters traveling together. The conversation is mostly about German geography and languages and multi-lingual cultures. Dick impresses the Germans when they describe where they live in Germany and he asks if it is near Krefeld. It is and they want to know how he knows of Krefeld. He decides not to tell them his Father spent several weeks there in 1945 firing 105mm artillery shells at the retreating German army.
After lunch we go back to the room for awhile. Then Carolyn goes to meet the sewing and knitting group in the Café Carinthia. There are about16 ladies and before the hour is up we are all chatting like old friends. Carolyn is sitting between a German and an English lady and we have a delightful conversation about our families and travel. This group meets every day at 3:00PM. At 4:00PM we break and several go to afternoon tea. Carolyn walks past the two story Queens Room where Tea is served and decides to join in the pleasantries. It is one of the nicest ship’s teas she has experienced since our first cruise in 1984 on the Cunard Vista Fjord, with very fresh dainty tea sandwiches and sweets served table side by liveried waiters from silver trays. A string quartet provides lovely background music.
From there Carolyn goes back to the cabin. Dick is out and about and the bed looks very inviting! The plan is to stretch out and read for a while...err nap. Carolyn now has a plan in place for the wonderful sea days. There are a lot on this cruise!
At some point Dick comes in and decides to get dressed for dinner. He then goes to the forward deck 10 lounge to read and leaves Carolyn a note since she is snoozing away. A slamming door wakes Carolyn enough that she sees the note Dick left and that it is after 6:00PM so she gets ready for dinner and joins Dick in the lounge for cocktails about 7:00PM.
We head down to dinner a little after 8:00PM. We want to be there when the doors open to see if that makes any difference in our table service since we were about 10 minutes late last night. The waiters are all lined up greeting the guests as we enter...all with smiles and light banter...except one...you guessed it...our waiter is at the end of the line with a sour expression and no response to our greeting. Things go downhill from there for almost all the guests at his tables. He takes our order fairly fast, but then we wait 30 minutes for our appetizers, then he forgets Carolyn’s salad course and we wait some more for our main course. People at other stations who came in as much as 10 minutes after us are getting their desert and no one at our stations has seen a main course and some not even their salad.
The head waiter walks by and we call him over for a little chat about the problems last night and tonight. He tells us he will work on it. Five minutes later our main course, prime rib and baked potato served with horseradish and sour cream arrives without the sour cream or horseradish. Dick finally stops a passing waiter, not ours, and asks for the trimmings. All the while our food is getting cold.
Finally the trimmings arrive and we can eat. Well, the head waiter stops by to see how the food is and we explain what just happened and that we are not happy campers; the service is terrible in our section. We are not sure what will happen. Our waiter has a bad attitude and it will probably only get worse now that we have complained. We will see. Funny thing is we had great waiters and good service at breakfast and lunch.
Finally we finish dinner and go back the room, which is turned back and very cool. We are ready for another good night’s sleep.