Bonus Round

Today we are really rocking, rolling and bouncing around! It started last night and will probably continue to early tomorrow morning. Rough seas! But, really, this is the first time on our entire journey around the world that we’ve had rough seas. My cabin is on deck 11, right underneath the bridge, so I get to feel the bouncing and ship shuddering more than on the lower decks.

As we push southward toward New Zealand we are leaving behind tropical weather. Temperature outside is a chilly and blustery 58 degrees. It should be fun tomorrow in Auckland, New Zealand since it will be cold and rainy and I have only a light jacket and only one long sleeved dress shirt.

The hottest act on the entire World Cruise was a Beatle tribute band called “Beatles Celebration” . . . these guys sound and even look a little like the Beatles and have been the hit of the cruise. They came on when we were in Southampton to perform for two nights and get off in Dublin. But when we couldn’t get into Dublin because of sea conditions they were stuck on DAWN PRINCESS until we crossed the pond and got to Boston. They did ten different shows feverishly washing laundry since they had only brought aboard clothes for two nights. As a big finale the cruise director had them come back on board for the end of our cruise. So last night was our last big deck party before the cold weather.

Funny. Being crew on a cruise ship is a lot like high school. The first day when you sign on you feel just like you are starting high school all over again. It takes a while, but eventually you fit in. So here’s a picture of what we laughingly call “the cool kids table” in the Officer’s Mess. Everyone is “in uniform” which accounts for the rather corny outfits Ned (who’s really an ex body guard and marshal arts gold medalist) and Emma are wearing. Someone sitting in Princess’ home office in Santa Clarita thought that the cruise staff could make good use of a bunch of old show costumes. The “Village People” junior officers’ uniforms are what they live in.

One of the nice benefits of the Officer’s Mess is free wine. Granted, it comes in a great big box, but we’ve dubbed it Chateau Crew. After dinner Andy, Mike and I usually head to the Officer’s Wardroom for poker. It’s just crazy, fun . . . no money. Occasionally we’re joined by other crew, here Brett in one of those crazy outfits someone in Santa Clarita thought could be passed off as country-western (heaven knows what country). Anyway, on this night Brett managed to take all of our chips. It works for me: Andy and Mike have watch from midnight to 4 am, so at 8 pm they have to head off to bed.

Tonight I’m invited by some guests to have dinner in The Steakhouse, and then afterwards have a few drinks for Andy’s thirtieth birthday. I think he thinks his life will be over now that he’s 30. You wonder where kids get these ideas, but, in all honesty as a child of the ‘60s I grew up with the idea that you “can’t trust anyone over 30.”

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