Sea you on the 4th

The Fourth of July onboard was a bit rough. We were on the ocean side of Vancouver Island, and looking at some 6 foot swells at times. We ordered breakfast into our room, and after eating and getting dressed, I had to run the the Reservations desk at the main restaurant to get us reservations for the Formal Dinner this evening. Things filled up fast, but I was able to get us a 5:30 reservation.

This formal night was the “Captain’s Toast” night, with a presentation by the captain after the dinner in the theater. We were just exacted to get a change to dress up. I had brought my tux and two sets of ties/cummerbuns, and both Yulia and Sasha had beautiful evening dresses ready.

This is one of those times when I like to point out my personal taste for actual bow ties. I don’t like pre-tied ties. I think they have this awful, cheap feel to them, and really betray the fact that you are wearing a seriously expensive tux when you have something that looks like it should spin and shoot water around your neck. The only problem is that it is a pain in the ass to tie a bow tie. I actually have a PDF of how to do it saved on my iPad that I have to reference. But I think the look is worth it. That, and I get to untie it at the end of the evening in the bar and it hangs down with that cool “untied bow tie” look. Goes great with a martini.

With the reservations out of the way, we headed up to the pool. On the way out of port, the pool was pretty calm, tilting a bit as the ship turned and navigated out of the Sound. But now, it looked like an insane wave pool. Which it basically was, driven by the rolling of the ship. Kids were tossed about in the pool and were having an insane time. Sasha let into the pool right away and was going nuts. She hit it off right away with a few kids and was much more relaxed.

We hung out at the pool through lunch. After lunch I had made reservations for a poker tournament in the casino. I figured this would be fun, since I’m not much for other casino games but I always like a good poker game. Sadly, this was nothing like a good poker game, for me at least. It was setup fairly short stacked, we started with 1500 in chips, and blinds at 100/50. Blinds also were raised every 10 minutes, which was less than a full round. That, and the dealer spoke very bad english. It was a weird setup, but everyone at the table was pretty cool, so that really made up for the odd play. The one thing we all agreed on was that the boat was rocking more. It really felt like playing with a few extra drinks.

I didn’t hit a single card the whole round, and got wiped out once the blinds went up. Which with the game structure didn’t take that long. I took solace that I went out 6th out of ten, which is a lot better than first strike.

With a humiliating poker beating out of the way, we retired back to the Book Cafe, grabbed some coffee, and rode out the waves. The advantage to the Book Cafe was that it was in the center of the ship. It didn’t get so much of the wave action that we were seeing around the rest of the ship. Some folks on board were getting ill, but we were doing fine.

By the time dinner rolled around, we were pretty excited. I got my tux on, decided on the Yellow-spotted tie, Sasha put her new dress on, Black with Green accents, and Yulia had a smashing Red dress. I picked out a 1998 Bordeaux from our wine case, and we headed to the Forward Restaurant, La Fontaine.

It is pretty neat to see the whole ship dressed up, though most folks think “Formal” means “cheap tie”, but hey, at least there were no baseball caps. Without a doubt, Yulia was the best looking woman in the restaurant. She literally was stared at while we were escorted to our table. We called the Sommelier over and asked him to decant our wine. He had to run over the the culinary center to fetch a decanter, since no one else was bringing any wine worth decanting. He approved of the 98 Bordeaux, and left us for a great meal.

Dinner was fantastic, we have felt really fortunate with the food on this cruise. The desert was cool as well, Sasha got little pastries that looked like swans, Yulia had a nice tort, and I had a Baked Alaska variant.

After dinner we went back the the theatre to hear the Captain’s toast and introduction to the crew. It was fun up until the point where the show started again with the Broadway rejects, and we ran from the theater screaming with our ears bleeding. We again took refuge in the Piano Bar

Not bad for a full day at sea. Juneau is next.

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  1. Nothing humiliating about losing in a poker match setup like that, if you don’t get the cards asap, there’s nothing to work with.

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