Today’s At Sea entry is actually a mixture of two elements of the ship, the first focuses on the physical movement of the ship, and there certainly has been a good share of it, and the other music, entertainment, and activities on-board.
As we left the gentle waters of Tahiti and the other Polynesian islands, we began our 5 days at sea heading due north in the Pacific Ocean. Though the first day proved to be a very nice one with blue skies and comfortable ocean breezes, we were soon into an area near the Equator where the northern and southern induction zones come together in an area known as “The Doldrums.” As we approached this area, the skies turned gray, the tropical rain began to fall, and the swells began to grow. Though they are certainly not the worst movement we have experienced while cruising, very quickly the swells approached 15 feet with 30 knot winds. This took the smaller Royal Princess and began nearly 48 hours of nearly not stop corkscrew like motions that bobbed the ship both forward to aft as well as side to side. This motion impacted a good portion of the passengers on-board and we had a few evenings of quiet dining rooms as many chose to eat minimally or in their staterooms.
There was plenty of spray as well, so the open deck on 5 was closed for most of the day as the deck chairs were pretty soaked, and the pool sloshed all over deck 9, so the Equator Crossing the Line ceremony had to be brought indoors for the first time in the Royal’s Tahiti-Hawaii run. The staff provided a good number of alternate activities, so there was plenty to do and no crowding of any location on-board.
As for activities and other things to do on-board, they run the standard Princess spectrum, from arts and crafts, to Bingo, to boutique sales, to art auctions, bar tastings, and food carvings. In addition, there was an active Bridge group with games everyday, Wii was available most sea days for an hour or two, dance classes, karaoke, and movies (though I wish the afternoon movies in the Cabaret lounge was actually a daily occurrence).
Evening entertainment included some of the local cultural shows mentioned above, along with a magician, a piano player, a guitar player, and Princess shows with a smaller set of singers, dancers, and minimal sets. Most of the shows offered a 1st seating and 2nd seating show to help with crowds, but ultimately didn’t run into any trouble.
Tomorrow — Odds and Ends On-board Ship