Day 3, Tuesday, Feb 1, At Sea, Formal

Trip Start Jan 26, 2011
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Day 3, Tuesday, Feb 1, At Sea, Formal

Flag of French Polynesia  , Society Islands,
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My walk ran a bit late this morning as the first sea day seemed like a good time to get some laundry done.  There is a laundry room close to my cabin and I put a load in the washer early in the morning and stopped by to check on progress every few laps.  At the start of my walk I dropped by the fitness center which was deserted except for Keith at his usual place on the elliptical machine and Lisa from my tour around Tahiti on the weights.  There were several people on the Promenade deck and Anne Marie got started on her walk about 7.  I finished my initial 5 miles around 7 and then completed one more mile with Liki poles at 7:30.  I had my traditional breakfast as a series of snacks, joining Rex from my dinner table for one snack.

The morning show with Cruise Director Gary Hunter and World Cruise Hostess Stacey Huston featured an interesting restaurant in Moorea.  The Crystal Visions enrichment program got of to a great start with 3 presentations.  David Drewry spoke at 10 on "Exploring the Oceans", talking of currents, waves, El Nino and La Nina and concluding with the fantastic fate of a container of rubber duckies washed to sea in 1992 off the coast of Japan and traced to diverse parts of the world from Baja to Scotland.  At 11 Destination Lecturer Ken Rees spoke on "The Man Who Mapped the Globe - The Incredible Story of Captain James Cook.  While Ken has been a featured Crystal speaker for some time, this was my first opportunity to enjoy one of his lectures.  In the afternoon Dr. David Sholiton of Cleveland Clinic spoke on "Understanding Cataract and Refractive Surgery".

Team Trivia started off at Noon.  My team, "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda",  did not do very well, scoring 8 of a possible 17 points, in a range of team scores running from 6 to 13.  Lunch (Trident sandwich, dill potatoes, steamed vegitables and skim milk), Dr. Sheliton's lecture, and high tea in Palm Court, followed by ice cream rounded out the afternoon.

This was the first of 2 formal nithts on the ship.  The evening began with the Captain's welcome party in Palm Court followed by a lovely dinner in the Crystal Dining room and a special production show "My Favorite Things" by the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers featuring the music of Rogers and Hammerstein.  This is not one of the ensemble's regular repatorire but in the course of the World Cruise they do several such shows.  On this segment they are doing 2 shows, this and "Curtain Call", one of their regular productions.

My parting shot today will venture into the tricky subject of formal nights.  I must confess I am not really a big fan of formal nights but with 150 nights so far on Cunard and Crystal, two of the most formal of cruise lines and 40 more booked, I am de facto a part of the formal night culture.  I have traditionally been a dark suit person but have gradually been getting more formal, and tonight was my first night in a full tuxedo.  I look at the situation a little like going to a foreign country; a tourist there will likely not speak the language but someone going there to live should be expected to do so.  I'm not a fan here of saying "you can choose a less formal cruise line", there are few lines that offer the range of enrichment and other amenities Crystal offers, and I'm not comfortable with discouraging people from trying the experience over what to me is a relatively small part of the package. Personally, I would much rather have someone show up at my table  than not at all. To me, a dress code is an expression of civility.  I post regularly on 3 cruise critic forums and it seems to me that on all three, discussions of what to me is a matter of civility usually become uncivil quite rapidly.


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