Barcelona and Transatlantic Cruise 2008 – Day 13 – Atlantic Crossing

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Today was our first full sea day as part of the Atlantic Crossing having begun the journey yesterday upon leaving Las Palmas and the Canary Islands behind us. The weather immediately improved and the seas were cooperating.

Today was our first real chance to enjoy the pool and the outdoors for any length of time. The weather permitted shorts and a t-shirt as it warmed to near 80 degrees with minimal wind and sun. The seas were also quite calm with a mere 2 foot swells. The bridge crew also informed us that, while there were no guarantees, it was looking like we might could count on the same weather and sea state for the entire crossing – quite remarkable for a December crossing. The ocean floor sits about 18,000 feet below us.

The activities staff had a bunch of stuff planned for the passengers to keep them occupied during the day. Suzanne and the kids spend each night highlighting the activities they want to do on “the daily”. Both kids planned much time in the Fun Factory while Suzanne attended a bunch of trivia game contests.

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At 11:30 AM we attended the Senior Officers Cocktail Party which is for Select and Elite Captains Club members. It was a very well attended party and it was very pleasurable to actually see the Captain their greeting you at the door and shaking your hand. On most of our recent cruises, the Captain wouldn’t even shake your hand for fear of Norovirus. We enjoyed a couple glasses of champagne on Celebrity and mingled with some of the guests we had met on the cruise.

As the first day of the crossing, the ship was also having a huge brunch service in the main dining room vs a standard lunch service. They had an incredible amount of food from, of course, breakfast and lunch, including carving stations. Suzanne had arranged ahead of time to dine with about 10 other folks from the Cruise Critic group that was on the ship. It was enjoyable and some folks I hadn’t yet really spent any time with.

Normally, the Cruise Critic group gets a special reception thrown by the ship early in the cruise. As mentioned in an earlier post, that party was attended by 100 folks. The unofficial “leader” of the group has been hard at work though trying to arrange other activities for the group. This week she has now put together an additional party, a tour of the gallery and a special tour of the helipad on the bow of the ship. I am looking forward to getting on the helipad.

We also attended a wine tasting in the afternoon. It was a introductory type level wine tasting but still enjoyable to sample some wines. We sat with some folks from Wisconsin who weren’t really wine drinkers, so it was fun to help translate some of the stuff the sommelier was saying. We still have a special invitation Chardonnay blending seminar coming up later in the cruise that we are looking forward to.

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After the wine tasting, we enjoyed some time poolside. I hung out at the mast bar with our British friends Roy and Jennifer while Suzanne and Sean spent some time in the hot tub and pool. Roy and Jennifer are Elite Captains Club members (we are Select though I think we make Elite after this cruise or the next) and they have been invited to a tour of the bridge. Jennifer has done this before and doesn’t want to go, so Roy is working to get permission to take Sean on the tour instead. He asked the Cruise Director who said sure, but he wants to check with the Captains Club folks first. Sean is pretty excited about the opportunity to see the bridge – heck, even I haven’t seen the bridge on a cruise ship yet. Call me a bit jealous.

Last night was also our second formal night of the cruise. After getting all dolled up in our tuxes and formal gowns, we enjoyed a pre-dinner glass of champagne in the Champagne Bar. For dinner, Savannah enjoyed a nicely prepared Rigatoni alla Amatriciana which is a wonderful Italian pasta dish. When in Rome on business, it’s my second favorite pasta dish only to Carbonarra. Sean, Suzanne and I all enjoyed a perfectly cooked Filet Mignon. Hats off to Celebrity for another fine meal.

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Being a formal night, that meant another production show by the Celebrity Singers and Dancers after dinner. This show was entitled a Night of Stars. I have to say, once again, that I came away a bit disappointed in the show. It was still a pretty good show, just not as good as I have come accustomed to on Celebrity cruises. The singing was good but not memorable. The dancing was just ordinary. The choreography was actually a bit on the cheesy side with simple single or double turns and arm waving. I don’t know if the choreography was just not that good or if it was that way because the dancers aren’t really capable of more intricate dance moves. Even the kids and Suzanne agreed with me on this show. At the end of the production shows on Celebrity, the crowd usually gives them a standing ovation. At the end of this show, only one or two persons were standing, so I think most folks were in agreement too. It’s too bad too since we usually find the production numbers the highlight of the entertainment shows. The costumes, however, were still quite stunning. Suzanne had the camera and snapped some pictures, so hopefully that will come out when we get our photo album up after the cruise.

After the show, we moved to the Martini Bar to enjoy a nightcap with Roy and Jennifer. It was a nice peaceful way to close out a very fun first sea day on our Atlantic Crossing.

Tomorrow is sure to be fun once again, but sadly, the days have flown by too fast and there are not too many more days left.