Saturday, December 10, 2011

En Route to Panama

This morning was supposed to have started with my alarm going off, however, with the time difference, something went awry. It was a good thing that Mom was already awake by 8:15. We made a command decision to go up and have breakfast in the Queen's Grill. I think our waiters were shocked to see us so early and especially since we often don't even make it to lunch. Breakfast was a nice change followed by a lecture on the upcoming ports in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Mom came down and joined the following discussion on the Panama Canal. We both thoroughly enjoyed learning the history behind it and the logistics of it's design. I've realized that I didn't know much about it before now including how its actually constructed. After our morning lectures it was noon and I hit the sun deck. I haven't felt such oppressive heat in a long time. Not only was it 90+ degrees, but about 90% humidity and not a bit of breeze to be found. I can only imagine the conditions that the workers faced when building the canal. We are to expect this type of heat for at least a day or two more. I stayed out in the sun all of an hour, some of which was spent in the pool, and I still managed to get quite red. By 1:30 I'd had enough sun so Mom and I went and had a sandwich for lunch. There wasn't much going on this afternoon so we returned to our suite and watched a documentary on the Panama Canal. It was done by National Geographic and was very interesting. Tonight was the Captain's reception, and formal evening, so we had to start getting ready rather early. 
By 6:30 we were heading up to the Wintergarden to meet with Inger Olsen, our captain, and first female captain of the Cunard line. Tonight's even was for Grill guests only, so was a much smaller affair. The heat has been so bad today, that they had a difficult time cooling down the area. Nevertheless it was very nice to meet the Captain and her officers as well as watching all of the gorgeous gowns come in. We did stake out an area under a fan and right where everyone was waiting to meet the captain, a perfect vantage point. We had a nice time talking to Tom and Tricia (our friends we met at muster) until it was time to head to dinner. We had pre-ordered our entire dinner earlier in the day since the menu is typically set for this evening due to the reception. We had the caviar for an appetizer (I think this is also Mom's favorite), followed by the beef wellington, cooked perfectly with some steamed vegetables and we finished the meal with crepe suzette made table side. I can't believe that I forgot my camera for these events, but I did. We will have to have a redo of the evening's activities so I can post it a bit later. All I can say is that the heat has gotten to me today. After dinner we went by the Masquerade Ball en route to the performance by the Royal Cunard dancers. It was a very nice performance, though slightly harder to follow than the one from two nights ago. We are both quite tired, thanks to the heat, so we're heading on to bed. Best part about tonight is that we gain our hour back :) Tomorrow will be an exciting day as we transit the Panama Canal!

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