February 24, 2019
We had 2 sea days before we arrive in New Zealand. The seas have been just a little choppy but really it is pretty smooth sailing right now. There is a cyclone in the Australia area but we hear it is not expected to impact us.
Yesterday we had the “country fair” out on deck where all the ship’s department staff and crew set up games where you get tickets for prize drawings. The games last an hour and then people gather together for the prize drawing – things like bottles of champagne, spa certificates, Insignia branded hats, backpacks, etc. and boutique gifts. We didn’t win anything but had a fun time. And the weather was perfect.
Here are some shots of the event.
The last picture is me trying to do the whack a mole (whack a restaurant waiter monkey in this case.) One of them kept grabbing my leg and putting ice on it from the bottom of the table! There were all kinds of games including identifying the smell of spices and of wine, identifying the nationalities of senior staff, identifying landmarks in different countries, games to ring the liquor bottles, send balls through the Olympic symbol into the pool and even a race to put pillows in the pillow cases (not as easy as it sounds.)
Norm and I also finished our fish hook necklaces with June.
We had dinner with Karen and Bill in the Polo Grill and chef Mario made fresh grouper. We all had it and it was delicious.
Today, we had a special lunch for the around the world guests. We started with sangria in the Insignia lounge as we all gathered. Very cleverly, on arrival they gave us cards with different scenes on them. This was to create an orderly transition to the Grand Dining Room which was closed to other passengers for today. It also helped people to sit with other passengers they had perhaps not met before.
Here are the invitation, the card and the menu.
Every bite was delicious. We were fortunate to sit with Sukey and also our captain, Damir Kurilic from Croatia. We have talked to him several times before but it was nice to get to know him better.
Later in the afternoon, I won the blackjack tournament, then we made Kukui nut and shell leis with June, our Polynesian lecturer. She told us all about the nut and its uses. The oil is used on the skin and the nut can also have a palm frond inserted and lit to make a small kind of candle which burns for just a few minutes, then lights the next one. I can just imagine how twinkly these would be. She described how these nuts are gathered and then polished to be used for jewelry. Ours are hand painted with the names of the places in the South Pacific that we visited.
Everyone could design their own styles. Here’s mine.
We will have another class to make bracelets and several more classes with June. She will be on board until Tokyo – she is a delight!
Tomorrow we are scheduled to visit Bay of Islands, New Zealand. The captain told us this is the first time he will be in this port, and it is also a first for this ship. It is a tender port so we hope the weather holds up enough for us to visit.
Wow, what unique experiences…We are enjoying learning a bit of facts about the world. l Don and Jan