June 27, 2019
Today is day 3 of our Atlantic crossing. We have a lot of end of cruise activities happening and will have even more before we disembark in New York a week from tomorrow. I know, it is hard to believe and very bittersweet for sure.
So, here is some of what’s been happening.
On Tuesday, our first sea day, we had an Around the World gathering at 9:15 with specially made doughnuts and other pastries, coffee and tea. Tricia (Around the World Hostess) put together a group of childhood pictures of some of the officers and entertainment staff and we had to guess who each one was. A fun way to get the group engaged.
On Wednesday, we had the Around the World raffle and auction. The huge mural that many passengers worked on was auctioned off, and Frank del Rio, the CEO of the cruise line, had put in an opening bid of $2000 and it sold to him for $5000. It will be on display in the corporate offices in Miami. There were lots of auction items including the official charts of the 180 day voyage, pictures of the entire crew, certificates to take crew members of your choice to dinner, lunch or breakfast and many other items. In all, the auction raised over $24,000 for the crew welfare fund which provides gifts, excursions, etc. for the crew. There was also a ship’s flag autographed by all of the crew. There is even an item to be cruise director for the day. Marie Ross won it and donated it to Sukey and Chris. That will happen on July 4 and they will do all of Ray’s job that day!
In addition, Aleks, one of the passengers who also conducts the yoga classes on sea days, is trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon and is in training. She ran a half marathon on the gym treadmill and people gave money, also for the crew welfare fund. She raised over $2400. Ray called her up after the show to thank her.
Yesterday, I won the blackjack tournament. It has been a while since we even had a tournament as we only have them on sea days, and quite a while since I have won.
Tonight we are invited to dinner in Toscana with the Staff Captain, Stjepan, and the Environmental Officer, Ivo and also both today and tomorrow we are attending the Oceania Club cocktail parties.
Still to come – a cocktail party and dinner for the ATW guests where the lounge and dining room will be reserved for us and Mario (our executive chef) will have a special dinner. He has hinted that it will be spectacular.
I should also mention that Oceania has decided to eliminate plastic water bottles and is using the Vero system for water. It is used in many hotels and it is very good. Very soon all plastic bottles will be eliminated on all ships.
Our friends Stephanie and Vic who are from Canada, have given their daughter’s recipe for a dessert that is served on Canada Day (July 1) to Mario and he has been testing it so it can be served that day. It is called nanaimo and we got the chance to taste it when we were having dinner with them and Mario brought out a sample for them to taste. Delicious. Can’t wait until Canada Day. I don’t think most other cruise lines would even consider doing this.
There will also be a White Elephant Auction where around the world guests can see what they bought that they don’t really want to take home and can donate for the auction (also for the crew welfare fund). I remember this from the 2017 trip. Ray is a great auctioneer and it will be a lot of fun. Some of the segment guests can buy stuff from ports they never went to!
There will be a big July 4 party and also a cocktail party on Sunday hosted by one of our fellow guests.
So, there is no end to the celebrations during the next week.
All of the entertainment team will be having cabaret performances in Horizons at cocktail hour – we started last night with Amy who did the female divas. Excellent!
Many guests who were scheduled to leave in Miami were offered great deals to stay on since the Cuba ports have been cancelled so a lot of passengers who booked those cruises cancelled to. Some friends will be on until the end of July at very little cost.
We will definitely miss all of our friends and the crew on board. We will be back for a segment next year and around the world again in 2021. Life doesn’t owe us any refunds, I always say. We feel very fortunate to be able to explore the world this way.