Day 6, Friday, Feb 4, Crossing Intl Dateline

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

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Flag of Cook Islands  , Southern Cook Islands,
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Not much improvement in my knee yet but I increased my morning walk to 4 miles with no ill effects.  When I stopped in the fitness center about 5:15, Keith was all alone but 2 more people came in in the 10 minutes or so while we talked. 

The day's activities started off with "Protestant Perspectives" led by Pastor Ed Voosen.  There were 4 sessions in the Crystal Visions Enrichment Program.  David Davenport spoke on "Why Can't International Law Stop Pirates", dealing with both the legal and practical problems which make it difficult to deal with piracy and some possible ways to respond to the problem.  There was a Q&A session with Wayne Newton.  Topics discussed were how he got into show business, his relationship with other entertainers, and his activities as an entertainer for our troops.  Mr. Newton will be doing a show on February 10.  In the afternoon Ken Rees spoke on "A pattern of Islands--the story of Tonga and Fiji".  I did not attend the day's final lecture, but Bob Reif spole on "NFL Insider"

At his morning briefing Captain Oakland brought some good news.  By our itinerary we were supposed to anchor off Nuku'alofa Sunday but we got word that we will dock there instead.  After our experiences with Roratonga this word was quite universally welcomed.  I had heard on a blog from HAL's Amsterdam that the same thing had happened with them.  I suspect there is one dock there and it is used by supply ships when they are in town.  It is likely our good luck to be arriving between supply ships.  While today is officially Friday on the ship we actually crossed the International Dateline approximately 5PM, so our meals were actually Friday breakfast and lunch followed by Saturday dinner.

Today was also a weekly crew emergency drill.  Guests were not directly affected but there was quite a show of getting the lifeboats ready.  Team trivia had a musical theme and Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda had our best showing so far with 11 points, other teams running 6 to 13, although I had little if anything to contribute to today's effort.  We had the open house today along with the Asia Buffet, and John Mentis provided the entertainment at afternoon tea. 

Dinner tonight was in the Crystal Dining room, but at a table hosted by my travel consortium.  We had a lovely evening with our hosts and 5 other guests from around the country.  The evening entertainment in the Stardust club was a variety show featuring ventriloquist (and Cruise Director) Gary Hunter (accompanied by Evelyn and Mr. Tweed), followed by the acapella group Sounds of Serenity and comedian Jim Colliton.

Today's parting shot involves one of the Crystal benefits I don't normally fully appreciate.  Every single room on Crystal comes with a full bath including a standard tub.  While I am normally fine with a shower, it has been a great comfort to be able to give my sore knee a nice soak each afternoon.

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