Tuesday, April 21, 2009


MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2009 – 102/43 – AT SEA, GULF OF ADEN

Well, no pirates last night, the captain says we will make the turn into the Red Sea about 7:00PM. Out on deck this morning there are still many ships in the convoy. We think we can see the profile of a navy ship in the distance.

We got a flyer about all the things the ship has to do while refueling! All cabin alcohol and all bar alcohol will be taken up and locked away. All passengers in shorts or swimwear must cover themselves with towel or a robe if a Saudi official should come on the deck or in the cabin where the passengers are! The Saudis have the right to board the ship, come into the cabins, and search while we are refueling. We complain about invasion of privacy at home! The Saudis really need to “get a grip” as the kids say! We, as members of the Western world, need to be very vigilant that we protect and maintain our personal freedoms!

Again, we are on the waiting list for dinner at “2” tonight. When we read the menu last night, after we got back to the room (the next day’s menus are placed on the bed at turn down), we decided to call for a reservation first thing this morning. Well, that did not work. It seems as how they open the reservations the morning before the menus come out. Apparently, everyone calls then and reserves for the next night. Then if they don’t like the menu, they call and cancel. That is a very poor way to do things.

I found out the above little tidbit when I went to the pursers office to find out how to solve the soy problem as I have not been able to talk with anyone and no one has made any effort to contact me. And yet, most of the hotel staff know us on sight and call us by name. I was told to work with the chef and headwaiter….of course, I knew this already; this is not my first rodeo! I asked just how and when to do that? The woman at the desk said she would see what she could do. Hmm…, I truly hope there is some improvement in the food service on the ship, since, at this point, it leaves much to be desired in the dining room. Don’t get me wrong, we are having a nice time and there are many nice things about the ship, but the only really positive thing Seabourn’s food service has going for it is the single seating dining room. We do like that at night.

OK, enough complaints, Dick just got back from Trivia, the team is holding second place. We need to see what else is going on.

The afternoon is very slow, Dick watches one of his movies and Carolyn goes to Tea. Late in the afternoon, there is some interest on the fore deck as Dick and several of the other men watch the large ship ahead of us use its water cannons…wow, they really put out the water and would easily swamp a small boat. Since no one official seems upset by the ship ahead of us, we assume this is just a drill or maybe the ship is offloading extra water carried in case of a problem. We are making the turn to enter the Red Sea and can see land on the starboard side so we are probably out of danger now.

It is formal night, so after dressing, we go to a pre-dinner show on cabaret singers and head to dinner. Since it is formal night, the menu is very elaborate; a duck dish, Asian consommé, a crawfish puff pastry, a sorbet and either fish or a buffalo steak. Dick has this, but it does not appeal to Carolyn so she has Caesar salad and spaghetti bolognaise. We both have the fancy chocolate dessert and the little pralines…small balls of ice cream coated in good white or dark chocolate. The service is better tonight; at least we don’t have to ask for water, wine or coffee. However, it is not perfect; they forget to serve the sorbet before the main course. Oh well, the food is good.

We walk on the top deck after dinner and can see land on both sides of the ship. Dick takes a GPS reading and we are in the Red Sea. No more pirates!

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