Birthday at Sea!

Trip Start Jul 02, 2008
Trip End Jul 25, 2008

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Where I stayed
Deck 3, Promenade Deck

Flag of Norway  ,
Monday, July 7, 2008

Today, I discovered the delightful activity of napping on deck under a blanket.  It was so wonderful, that the activity was repeated several times.  I had every intention of reading, but the magazine (the first time) and the book (the subsequent times) could not keep me from dozing off.  Time changes and trudging though the pouring rain had taken their toll.  It was a lovely day, cloudy, yet temperate, and we had sailed north and out of the rain last night.
What a lovely ship the Eurodam is.  When they tout that it is more open and has more public spaces than her predicessors, they are not kidding.  From the Lido deck to the casino, the spaces have fewer divisions and feel more spacious than any of her sister ships we've sailed on.  Check out the photo's (of they're not on yet, be patient, downloads form sea are slow and I do have other things to do ;-)  And the shopping arcade, it is sooo spacious, even if they don't have much merchandise yet, or at least stuff Larry wants to buy.
My favorite spot aboard, I don't know just yet, perhaps this chair I am sitting in located in the Explorations café of deck 11.  Part coffee shop, part library, part internet café, my cozy chair (and convenient electrical plug) face the window so I can see he world go by.  But I have not truly relaxed as yet, so ask me at the end of the first 10 days where my favorite spot is, I'm sure it will change several times.
After breakfast I wandered around, catching up with Carol and Bob briefly to set some activities for the day.  Then I headed to the Promenade deck, found a nice comfy deck chair, and used a couple of towels to cover my legs until a steward came by with one of those lovely plaid blankets.  That is probably what put me over the top, I was so warm and the blanket was so cozy, the air so crisp and fresh, I was out.  Only to wake exactly at 11:45, the designated time for our luncheon reservation in the Tamarind Grill.  I race up there, half awake, only to discover the actual reservation was for 12, and Carol had preempted it to make sure we all showed up on time.  They were not even there yet.
The Tamarind Grill is amazingly beautiful.  Sleek, Pan-Asian in it's theme, calming and relaxing.  The service by an all female Asian staff was lovely and supurb.  Our fixed menu lunch began with hot towels, followed by sweet and sour soup, then a lovely Asian salad, and lastly an assortment of Dim Sum.  Desert was Coconut ice cream (Bob and Larry) Green Tea Tiramisu (Carol) and an egg custard tart (Michael).  All in all it was lovely.  Look for the food photo's! 
Then it was forward to the Crows Nest Lounge for trivia.  Since it was kinda cool and overcast, trivia was packed.  We hooked up with Ken and Wanda, biochemists from Kentucky and had a team of 6.  We did not win, but came close, with only 10 correct answers.  The winners had 12.  But it was fun, and we got our dam dollars, which are always fun to redeem at the end of the trip for kitschy H.A.L. merch.
I headed back on deck, and my blanket to relax and read.  Instead I fell asleep once again, much deeper and longer than before.  It was/is so lovely sitting there watching the sea go by.  And watching the walkers go by as well.  I forget how many laps it is around the Promenade makes a mile, but people walk or run in circles for hours.  I awoke in time to meet up with Bob and got to a lecture on Vikings at 4. 
An interesting lecture ensued with a professor from Washington State University in Seattle.   Again, HAL had difficulties with everything from microphones to computer links, but got them resolved  about half way through the lecture.  That's when I turned to Bob and said we should have taken these two cruises just before they do the crossing.  They would have saved on airfare, and HAL would have all the glitches worked out.
They said I looked tired and could go take another nap, but I agreed to play cards for an hour or so until Michael went to spinning, pilates or yoga, what ever he had planned for the late afternoon. We played Pinochle for an hour or so and then I wandered around the ship, once again taking in the delightful art of napping. 
I have never taken a tux on a cruise before.  We had always opted for suits.  But how fun it was to get all decked out and then head to the Pinnacle Grille for Michaels Birthday dinner!  And how delicious the Grille is.  Lobster Bisque, ceasar salad, Steak Diane, asparagus with béarnaise, whipped potato's topped off with not-so-baked Alaska with cherries jubilee.  And that was my dinner, everyone else had other choices.  Michael said the Lobster mac-n-cheese was to die for, Bob said his lamb shops were so delicate and tasty he wanted it every night, and Carols surf and turf looked lovely. 
Two lovely ladies we met when waiting to board, Althea and [Gosh, I can't remember her name!  Lovely ladies though] came over and sang happy birthday to Michael towards the end of the meal, and the staff presented him with an awesome cake (see photo's). 
It was Michael's birthday and he wanted to play cards, so we scouted out a quiet spot ending up in the Lido Restaurant  for another hour or so before heading to bed.  At least everyone but Michael went to bed.  He took 20 bucks and went to the casino, and was back shortly.  We ended the day snuggling in bed and watching Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, the perfect ending to a Birthday at Sea!
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