March 26, 2017
OK, I have been threatening to do a post about the casino for a while now – to the staff of course – so here it is. Today is a sea day on the way to Manila, Philippines, and like every sea day, they hold competitions in the casino. I almost always enter the blackjack tournament, never the slot or the Texas hold’em. I have won a few times, and placed second and third a couple of times. Other than the tournaments, I like to play blackjack and three card poker so I spend a bit of time in the casino! And as many of you know, Norm never goes, so we have our routines.
Overall I am not winning at the moment and I keep getting reminded by the dealers about the good hands they give me (they never mention the bad ones!). But my theory is that if I win it is a bonus and if I lose it is entertainment. I am pretty careful about what I am willing to lose! Since it is a small ship the casino isn’t very big – three blackjack tables (I have never seen the $100 minimum one open), one roulette table and one three card poker table and lots of slot machines.
Today I got almost all bad hands and did not win the blackjack, although I did make the finals. I spent time taking pictures of the dealers, the cashier, the boss and some of the “usual suspects” that I play with. Here is part of the cast of characters – and I will add Daria later as she was taking a nap during the picture taking. I may also be able to take some pictures of fellow passengers Tom, Norman (not my Norman!) and others. If so, I will edit and add them to this post. ***added!
And here is Jesse with HIS blackjack…and I think he is reaching for OUR money.
Alan is a regular like me, and when we play poker, his favorite phrase is “the big one is coming”. I guess that makes us stay longer in hopes that it really is. We should probably listen to Jesse when he says “full house and leave”.
Here are some of the regulars:
Win or lose, we do have a good time, and we also give these dealers a lot of abuse. But they take it with a smile. Oh, and we give it with a smile too!
Jesse is looking forward to Manila tomorrow as he has family visiting him on the ship. He’s a nurse by background and he has resigned and is going to go to Canada to work there, he will be getting off the ship in a few weeks. We have been short a dealer for a couple of weeks, the person who was supposed to come on didn’t show. He is scheduled to join tomorrow – and I hope so, these guys are getting very tired!
I didn’t remember this from the last cruise, but today everyone on the ship had to go through a temperature check by the Philippine authorities. We had to fill our our landing cards which had health questions on them. Then according to the time we were assigned, we had to go to the Horizons lounge and hand in the card and pass by what seems to be some type of scanner. I think it is a chance for the authorities to come on and enjoy a few days on the ship! Is that really a scannng device that takes our temperature??
I went to the art class today as well. Our artist in residence is Graham Denison. He is an absolutely wonderful artist, a good teacher and a really nice guy to boot. He used to work for Disney and now does beautiful work using only a palette knife. Today he talked about color and composition. I haven’t started doing painting with him yet, but there is some nice work being done by those who have started. Many of the people do paint at home and you can tell.
We will see tonight if “the big one is coming”!
PS. Well, almost, I was an ace of spades away from the royal straight flush, would have been $5000!. As it was, over $200. So not bad. Thanks, Jesse!