Heading North To San Diego

Last night the main show was at 7 PM for late seating guests. That worked for me, as the usual shows for late seating guests are 10:45 and, for me, like paper beats rock, sleep beats out ship shows. I was looking forward to the heralded “Comedy of Pepper Kaminoff and the Hilarious Alan Bursky”.

I was dressed for dinner and ready to head into the Mikado Show Lounge by 6:30, so I decided to kill a little time at the Atrium Bar. Wine is my usual drink, plus the occasional margarita. Someone the other night talked about a margarita with a topping of Grand Marnier. I think it’s called a Cadillac. (My joke that plain water and lemon must be a Prius went nowhere.) Ever the experimenter, I ordered a Cadillac.

The bar was full except for the last seat next to me. A man came up with a huge laptop, plopped it on the bar, got out his electrical connector, and hung the plug over the working side of the bar. The bartender, a pleasant gal from Brazil, asked if she could help.

“Please plug this in”, he said.

“There is just one outlet and the photographer has his equipment plugged in”, she replied.

“I was told there were two”, he said.

“There is only one”, she said.

“But I was told there were two”

This went on for a bit until they reached a compromise, He could use the outlet until the photographer showed up, and then, if a seat became available, switch to the other side of the bar, , where there were, yes, two outlets. With that, the man fired up his computer, whipped out a gaming magazine, and one deck away from a fully operating casino, proceeded to play poker…..for money. He ordered a Sprite. It should be mentioned that he was also only ten feet from the internet café. To me it was all very strange, but I was in the midst of a Cadillac.

I left with a few minutes to spare and headed, somewhat fuzzily, into the showroom. Bingo was in full swing. At 7:05, numbers were still being called. Finally, at 7:10 someone screamed “Bingo”, and we were promised that the show would soon start. About 7:15 lights flashed, the curtain parted and Cruise Director Stuart Dunn, an Aussie, took the stage. He got the sparse audience, some still packing up Bingo Cards, well warmed up, and then lapsed into a tepid comedy routine. A few jokes, fewer laughs, and it was closing in on 7:25. My thought was how inappropriate to do comedy before two comedians come out.

Not to worry, it seemed that the hilarious Alan Bursky missed the boat as it were, in Cabo and hopefully knew enough Spanish to be hilarious at some club in town.

So we were left with Pepper whose act was not exactly mime, but was without any dialogue. The premise of Pepper’s comedy was that the light far above his position on stage needed to be turned on. He had a number of boards on stage that he leaned, one against another, in an attempt to get elevated enough to turn on the light. For some time he attempted different configurations, climbing the boards in an amazing display of balance, but not getting high enough to turn on the bulb…..it was getting on to 7:45 and there was no light at the end of this looooong tunnel. Remember, not a word, just those damn boards. Well, board became bored and I left, thankful I still had the Cadillac to rely on. Pepper starts a major European tour next month.

Dinner was excellent. In particular I love the soups and appetizers. The Executive Chef’s name is Georges Blanc, and I am sure he has had a large impact on Carnival food. The wait staff is also above average, and their communication in English is flawless. At times they are giving back better English than they are getting. Each night after desert is ordered, but before it is served, the waiters do a mini show. Two nights ago it was singing “O Sole a Mio”. Last night it was a song I had never heard which demanded appropriate hand and body moves, a bit like the Macarena. Passengers were invited to participate and a bunch of them did. This is called a “Fun Ship” and it’s not misnamed.

This morning after breakfast I headed to the main morning festivities; towel folding. Each night the cabin steward folds towels to look like animals, and there were a bunch of people who wanted to learn how to do it.

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Carnival sells a book for $12.95 that will show you how to do 25 different animals. Great gift for the babysitter to keep the kids busy. My favorite is the elephant.

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Something I missed: A channel on TV that sowed the ship’s position, the weather and sea state.

Something I didn’t like: Thesmall sushi bar, opened at 5:30 PM. there were only two sushi chefs, rolling to order. the line last time I lookedtopped out at 30 people.

Something I liked: 24 hour Pizza

Tomorrow, it’s off the ship in San Diego, grab the bags, hike to the pier parking lot, leave $60 behind, and head home. I‘ll have six days there, and then Michael and I head to Seattle to board NCL’s Pearl for a week in Alaska. I am already having second thoughts about the three tours we’re doing in Alaska. Stay tuned!

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