Barcelona and Transatlantic Cruise 2008 – Day 16 – Atlantic Crossing

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Today was our fourth straight sea day as part of the Atlantic crossing. We have continued to be blessed by great weather and seas for the crossing. The seas have continued to remain very calm with swells of only 3 feet. The weather warms up every day as we approach the Caribbean. Temperatures are in the low 80’s with some humidity.

We have been treated to some interesting weather patterns here in the Atlantic. It is very intriguing and fascinating to watch the weather in the distance change quite frequently. In my ocean staring time, I have seen many this squalls/storms form out in the ocean as we steam on. The weather formations come and go pretty quick. We have had several times where a mile or less off the ship, you can clearly see rain falling, yet the ship continues to bask in sunlight.

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We have been enjoying most of our breakfasts on the balcony. This is a change for us as we have normally gone to the restaurant for breakfast. It has been more relaxing on the balcony and sense the start of a new tradition for us and cruise breakfasts.

In the morning, we had received an invitation for a navigational bridge tour, so we obviously went on the tour. It was pretty neat. They did a quick little security check on folks before they took about 20 of us onto the bridge. The bridge is actually quite large and spacious. In fact, most of the bridge is just empty carpet. There is a lot of room for people to be running around up there.

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In the center of the bridge is a fairly small console that contains many of the instrument displays and controls. The 2nd Officer gave the tour and provided a lot of information on operation. There is a very small wheel that can be used to turn the ship but it is to only be used in emergencies as its really too sensitive and will cause disruption to the passengers. Normally, the ship is steered by entering a new desired course via digital panel or keyboard. The ship’s computer than accurately turns the ship to the new course.

There was another section of the bridge where the other two officers were seated behind the area where we were standing looking at the console. It didn’t look like too much back there, but they were certainly careful no one went back there or took pictures of it. Security made folks erase any images on cameras that might have accidentally included that area. Our tour of the bridge lasted about 35 minutes and was very enjoyable. If there hadn’t been another one behind us, we would have been allowed to stay longer.

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Sean and I also had a chance to play some more ping pong. He really likes to play that on cruises. Unfortunately for him, I continued my domination over him. He did play Suzanne in a couple of games and beat her.

We enjoyed a simple lunch of hamburgers and french fries today. I can easily say that the cruise has gone by too fast and I would love to stay more. But, I can also say a break from the fancy and gourmet dinners would be nice. The lunch break of a simple American favorite for lunch was very nice. I threw in a few Caribbean chicken wings that were also quite good. We have made a couple of stops in at the grill for lunch and will probably do so the last couple of days too.

Suzanne continued here trivia quest around the ship. Savannah and Sean spent some additional time in the Fun Factory and I continued my staring and enjoyment of the ocean.

In the afternoon, the family enjoyed some time together either poolside or at the Mast bar. We had a couple of drinks and the kids did some swimming in the pool. Unfortunately, the party band only played one set of music poolside. That has been a trait on this cruise that has not been a good one. I don’t understand why they haven’t been playing more at the pool. On most cruises we have taken, the party band plays for a couple of hours poolside weather permitting, which it has been for the crossing part of the cruise.

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Dinner was our last formal night of the cruise, so it took some extra time to get all prepared. We had a quick glass of champagne in the Champagne bar before dinner and then enjoyed another fabulous meal.

Being the last formal night, they brought out the Lobster. Suzanne and Sean partook in the lobster while Savannah enjoyed a Cornish Game Hen. The lobster tail was also served with a couple of grilled shrimp and scallops. I wanted to get the Game Hen, but ended up getting the Prime Rib, which was very delicious. I saw several folks get two orders of the lobster and even saw some folks get an order of lobster and an order of Prime Rib.

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After dinner, we went to the theater for the last production show of the cruise by the Celebrity Singers and Dancers. Thus far, I have been a bit disappointed in the production shows. I have always thought they were the highlight of the cruise entertainment, but on this cruise, I didn’t think they were quite up to par.

This show, Thoroughly Broadway was a marked improvement. The singers were much improved and the dancers were good too even though I still felt the choreography was still a bit simplistic but did go with the songs and sets. The costumes and set design was again top notch. This was clearly the best production show of the cruise and very enjoyable.

After the show, we headed back to the cabin for another relatively early turn in. We went lights out about midnight in preparation for our final day at sea tomorrow.