December 20, 2004
Winning Games (written Monday 20 December @ 22:00)
Even though we had gone to bed so early, we only got up at about 8am. This being yet another 10 or so hour sleeping night for us!
After breakfast, as Mark had decided to skip his last bridge lesson, we went on a long walk around the ship covering loads of decks and spaces videoing and taking pictures of most of the ship. Then off to the quiz, which was the final part. It was name the singer and we did really badly as it was all old singers from the 50s and 60s.
A bit of gambling, then off to the gym and then lunch yet again. Delicious tomato soup with tortilla chips in for starters, and we had vegetable fritter things for our main.
In the afternoon, we did more filming, more bingo (where someone won $2200 as the jackpot) and then we decided to go to the (free) Laundromat and get all our socks, underwear and gym stuff washed before we head off to Washington. This is buried on 3 Deck and was a bit of a nightmare as took much longer than we expected, so we popped by to see some of the "passenger talent show". This was quite bizarre really, as it seemed to be some very old people doing some poetry readings, some singing, a bit of joke telling and then we gave up.
The nightmare packing had to be done before dinner, as you leave your bags out your door from 7pm and before 1am. Although in the end it went fairly quickly. If we had known what we know now, we could have saved bringing all the smart "daywear" like smart trousers and long sleeve shirts.
After over eating last night, we just had roast turkey and key lime pie for dinner. I had 2 glasses of champagne, and Mark was very restrained and had none. Then we went to the casino and played black jack for ages and ages. We doubled the $100 we started with, and decided to use that as gratuities for the 3 butlers and our 2 waiting staff. We had been debating if we should leave them extra tips, as we had done the gratuities included thing and were not sure what to do. So winning made it even easier to decide. (On the way to the casino we popped into the Grand Lounge and saw about 2 minutes of the truly awful cabaret by some Welsh woman - called Diane Cousins - who I had read about on the message boards about how awful she was. She is rather plump and was squeezed into some sequin frock).
Warren and Adam had collected all of the menus from the crossing and gave them to us at dinner, which was a nice touch!
On this crossing there were about 720 Americans and about the same from the UK. The next largest group was German, and they used to give the Captain announcement in German too each day.