SA: Second Sea Day

Friday, January 13, 2023

When we got back to the room, we found Friday’s Daily program. A number of interesting things to do: ex – a presentation on The Pacific Ring of Fire, a game of pickleball, Top Gun: Maverick movie, and an open bar deck party. All fun things to do.

What was not so fun was the letter inside the Daily program that indicated we would have to do a mandatory antigen self-test for COVID on Friday morning. We had to do several tests on the French Polynesian cruise, but they were administered by the medical team. Sounded like these tests are more like the free home tests you can get.

We feel fine and have been trying to do our due diligence so I am pretty confident that we will be negative. But, I have heard and seen a number of guests coughing and sneezing so we may have positive cases on board.

There was a line of people waiting to get into the main dining room. Not surprising since tonight’s menu for a Gala night includes escargot and filet mignon. I was glad the line moved quickly and we shared a table for four with a couple from Seattle.

Since we have so much on-board credit this cruise from various HAL promotions and credit for owning Carnival Corporation stock, I decided to treat myself to a lobster dinner. Small lobster tails used to be complimentary during all Gala nights. Now, you might get one Gala night with lobster. Tonight was not that night. I paid a little extra to get one. I love lobster and this one was well worth the money. It was a 12 oz one.

Chuck ordered the filet mignon but I did share a few ounces of my lobster with him.

The conversation flowed easily, and we left the dining room about 9:00. We went straight to the Rolling Stone Lounge. We were very surprised to see that the lead female singer was the same one from our French Polynesian cruise. Different band though. They sang a variety of songs from country to 80’s rock anthems. We stayed for the 10:00 set as well. Since there was no port the next day, no need to get up early.

I still woke up at 7:00 and went for coffee at 7:30. I’m still surprised that there is not a line of people waiting for lattes or Americanos. On our last two cruises, there was always a long line.

We went back to the main dining room for breakfast and sat with a nice couple from California.

Afterwards, we came back to do our COVID tests. Our room steward was in the hallway handing out the kits. They were like the ones you can get for free. However, the stick on my nasal swab was not flexible like a normal Q-tip and it broke in 3 places as I was trying to get it out of the package. Luckily, I was able to get another one. We each took the test, recorded our Negative results, took a picture of the results with our printed information, and showed the steward the results. He recorded the results on his form.

Being the cynical person that I am, I can’t help but wonder if one person in the room tested positive and the other tested negative, will they be tempted to just use the negative test result for both photos so not to get quarantined for the next six days? I would hope not.

We then went to a presentation on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The speaker, Jim McParland, was just as good as he was on the French Polynesia cruise. He had a lot of fascinating photos of different volcanos and some very interesting information without having it go over our heads. The main stage area was packed. Looking forward to more of his talks.

We came back to the room, changed, and actually went to the ship’s gym to work out. They have an adequate number of weight machines, treadmills, free weights, etc. We worked out on the machines and decided to do some laps around the ship on the Promenade deck.

I quickly realized when I got outside that it was too cold and windy for me. I was not dressed for correctly for this walk. Chuck decided to come inside with me.

We saw our room stewards who apologized that are room had not been cleaned yet. Having to deal with the COVID tests really threw them behind schedule. No problem for us. However, I was noticing a strange smell in the room. An odor like varnish. The steward apologized and said an office on this section was being painted and the smell was coming through the ventilation system. It’s not terrible so no big deal. If it gets worse, we’ll have to do something. Give us an air freshener. Move us. Something.

We ate lunch in the main dining room. I had the roasted cauliflower again paired today with tomato soup. Decided to indulge in a piece of New York cheesecake which was excellent. I know it negated any calorie I might have burned up in the gym.

We skipped the open bar party. The Lido pool area was getting crowded with those anxious for free drinks and with the retractable roof closed, it was very stuffy. Why would a ship host an open bar party?

Carnival hosts an open bar party for their Platinum and Diamond guests but a party for the entire ship is a rare occurrence. Typically, I have only experienced them when the Captain feels that there needs to be a gesture of goodwill. In our case, he is probably trying to make up for the embarkation debacle and the missed port.

We played some slots and then we played a game of table shuffleboard. Each person got four metal sliders and you tried to get points on the board while knocking the other player’s sliders off the board. Unless Chuck demands a rematch at some point, I am the reigning champion.

We came back to the room to find a note from Guest Services regarding completing and keeping on us the Chilean agriculture affirmation form. Same one I completed before we arrived from the U.S. that the Chilean officials basically ignored. We have to complete the forms and keep them on our person until the last Chilean port of call. The authorities can demand to see the form at any time we are on land.

Hard to believe that the afternoon was coming to a close and it would soon be time to get ready for the evening activities.

Travel Trivia (even though we didn’t get to stop here)

Puerto Montt, Chile

Founded in 1853 during the German colonization of southern Chile.

Known as the gateway to the Andes mountains and the Patagonian fjords.

Puerto Montt has gained renown and grown significantly due to the rise of Chile as the second largest salmon producer of the world.

A favorite meal is cancato which is a stew made of fish, chorizo, cheese and tomato along with a side dish of sea urchins.

Picture by Google

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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