Newport, RI? Nope – Sea Day #3

Friday, April 21, 2023

After playing some slots and listening to Cat in the Ocean Bar, we headed for the main dining room for dinner.

I chose the Cod and Chuck chose the flat iron steak topped with chimichurri sauce (an Argentinian sauce made of finely chopped parsley usually mixed with red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sunflower or olive oil. Some recipes add shallot or onion, and lemon juice.)

The food was very good, and the service was much faster tonight.

We went to the world stage to see tonight’s show – Mark Yaffee, comedian. This is the first show that HAL has offered on this cruise that we hadn’t already seen on other ships. I thought he was okay. Chuck thought “meh.”

After the show was over, we went to the Crow’s Nest where the Orange Party was going strong. At least once every cruise, HAL hosts an Orange Party to celebrate its Dutch Heritage. Guests are asked to wear something orange but you are not turned away if you do not. Officers, staff, and guests mingled and the Ocean Bar band played. The dance floor was crowded.

This year the Orange Parties are even more meaningful for HAL since it is the 150th anniversary of its first sailing. The pastry chef on board even created a special cake.

Once again, we discovered that cruising can be a small world. When we were dancing, a woman stopped us and said she remembered us from the South Pacific Cruise. We were always in the BB King lounge when they were. Then, when we sat down and ordered a drink, the server said “Hello, Mr. Chuck – it’s me Esmerelda from the VOV cruise.” We were delighted to see her again. She and Mayo always took such good care of us in the Ocean Bar. This cruise, she was working the bar in the Crow’s Nest and she said Mayo had transferred to the HAL Koningsdam ship.

We spent our time alternately dancing and chatting with other people until the party wound down, and then we headed to our room.

Today, we were scheduled to arrive in Newport, Rhode Island. I was looking forward to this port as it was a new one for us, and we had a guided walking tour of the cliffs and then a guided tour of The Breakers (a home of the Vanderbilts) scheduled.

However, a couple of weeks before the cruise began, we were notified that two of our ports were being replaced. This port was one of them.

Since this port was being replaced with a sea day, we slept until 8:00. There were no morning presentations that I wanted to attend so after coffee and breakfast, we decided to walk a mile around the ship.

Wow! The weather certainly had changed from yesterday. Yesterday, it was chilly but pleasant. Today, it was very windy and cold. We only made it one lap and we were ready to go back inside. Time for me to pack up my shorts and t-shirts and get out my jeans and sweatshirts.

With no big plans for the day until the late afternoon Tech presentation, I grabbed the HAL blanket that was provided in the room, my hat, jacket, another vanilla latte, and my book and relaxed on the balcony periodically scanning for whales that the Captain said we might see beginning today. The sides and roof of the balcony did a good job of blocking most of the wind.

I was hoping for whales but, at this point, I would be happy to see a bird or even another ship. The Atlantic can be just as desolate as the Pacific.

However, I did get my binoculars and camera out just in case a whale popped up. This area is known for the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The Captain said it was doubtful that we’d see one but if you did happen to see a spout in a V shape instead of straight up – it’s the right whale. But there was more of a chance of spotting a humpback.

Because we were in right whale territory, the ship was also only allowed to sail at 10 knots from now until Boston. Felt like we were crawling but it’s better than striking a whale.

I never did spot a whale, but it probably would have helped if I hadn’t gone to sleep in the chair. I woke with a start, realized I had slept through lunch (the horror) and I needed to get ready to go to the next Tech presentation.

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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